HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — Thousands of anglers from more than 40 states, Japan, Australia, Canada, Italy and Spain have been casting for more than a year to earn a trip to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by Castrol – bass fishing’s biggest event – in Hot Springs, Ark., and for the top 81 professionals and 81 co-anglers in the world, that dream will come true Aug. 2-5 when the sport’s biggest names compete for a $1 million top award.
Already qualified for the Cup are Arkansas natives George Cochran and Rob Kilby of Hot Springs, Mark Davis of Mount Ida, and Danny Pierce of Greenbrier. These anglers are among the pros who qualified through the 2006 Wal-Mart FLW Series. Once in Hot Springs, they will face qualifiers from the 2007 Wal-Mart FLW Tour, which wraps up qualifying competition July 15 in Detroit. They will also face qualifiers from the 2007 Wal-Mart BFL All-American, 2007 TBF National Championship and 2006 Stren Series Championship.
Cochran won the 2005 Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs in front of a record crowd that topped more than 40,000 spectators over the four-day event. In 2007, Cochran will no doubt be looking to repeat his success in front of his hometown crowd. This time, however, he will be fishing Lake Ouachita instead of Lake Hamilton, where he won $500,000 in 2005. The stakes are higher, too, as Cochran stands to win $1 million this year.
Forrest Wood Cup contenders will launch at 7 each morning from Brady Mountain Resort located at 4120 Brady Mountain Road in Royal, Ark., and daily weigh-ins will be held at Summit Arena located at 134 Convention Blvd. in Hot Springs each afternoon at 5. The Forrest Wood Cup Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show – featuring more than 140 exhibits, fishing seminars by Forrest L. Wood and other bass-fishing legends, and free daily giveaways – runs 2 to 8 p.m. Aug. 2-3, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 4-5 at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
The first 500 fans 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show Aug. 2 will receive free Berkley fishing line. On Aug. 3, the first 500 fans 14 and under will receive a free tackle kit. On Aug. 4, the first 750 fans 14 and under will receive a free pair of Solar Bat sunglasses. On Aug. 5, the first 1,500 fans 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel. One lucky fan over 18 attending the final weigh-in Sunday, Aug. 5, will even win a new $53,000 Ranger Z-Comanche bass boat powered by Yamaha. Admission is free, and participants in the Ranger boat drawing must be present during the Aug. 5 weigh-in to win. All other giveaways may be picked up at the main entrances following each day’s weigh-in.
The complete Forrest Wood Cup field will be posted at FLWOutdoors.com following the final 2007 regular-season FLW Tour event – the $1.5 million Chevy Open on the Detroit River – July 12-15. A complete schedule of events for the Forrest Wood Cup, including details on a free country music concert and taping of the “Best Damn Sport Show Period,” will be released following the July Fourth holiday.
Every pro competing in the no-entry-fee Forrest Wood Cup will receive at least $1,000. Pro awards of $10,000 extend through 40th place, with the winner receiving $500,000 guaranteed plus a $500,000 bonus if the winner owns a qualified Ranger boat. The top co-angler award is $50,000, which includes $25,000 guaranteed plus a $25,000 bonus if the winner owns a qualified Ranger boat.
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States Sept. 23 and Sept. 30 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia, Australia, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East through Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. To plan your trip to Hot Springs for the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup Aug. 2-5, visit Hotsprings.org.