COLUMBIA, S.C. – The top 77 professionals and 77 co-anglers in the world will compete for a $1 million top award in the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol – bass fishing’s world championship – on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17. Many of these anglers, representing 31 states and Japan, are fishing on teams sponsored by some of the nation’s leading brands.
“The Forrest Wood Cup is the crown jewel of professional fishing and the biggest sporting event of any kind held in South Carolina this year,” said FLW Outdoors President and CEO Charlie Evans. “It is the most important, most competitive and most difficult to qualify for tournament in our sport. Forrest Wood Cup competitors are world-class athletes with skills that are second to none. These are the absolute best men and women in the sport, and the best of the best will win as much as $1 million in Columbia on August 17.”
Anglers from all 50 states plus Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Spain competed in the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series Championship, Wal-Mart BFL All-American and TBF National Championship to qualify for the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup. California, a state known for phenomenal bass fishing, is sending the most qualifiers with 24. Arkansas has the second most anglers in the field with 17, followed by Alabama with 13 contenders.
This year’s field includes six former Forrest Wood Cup champions led by 2008 Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year, 2003 Forrest Wood Cup champion and FLW Outdoors all-time leading money winner David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va. Other champions in the field are Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif. (2006); George Cochran of Hot Springs, Ark. (2005); Luke Clausen of Spokane, Wash. (2004); Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo. (2000); and David Fritts of Lexington, N.C. (1997).
“We could see records fall during the Forrest Wood Cup,” Evans said. “During our last visit to Lake Murray we set a single day FLW Tour weight record with five bass weighing 30 pounds, 15 ounces. The fishing will be fantastic, and with the caliber of anglers competing, it will be a real shoot out.”
In addition to seeing top pros weigh-in during the Forrest Wood Cup, fishing fans will be treated to hundreds of exhibits, fishing seminars by Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston and other bass-fishing legends and free daily giveaways for children 14 and under during the Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center located at 1101 Lincoln St. in Columbia. Daily weigh-ins will be held at the Colonial Center located at 801 Lincoln St. in Columbia each afternoon at 5.
The first 500 children visiting the Family Fun Zone and Outdoor Show Aug. 14 will receive free Berkley fishing line from WIS-TV NBC. The first 500 children visiting the show Aug. 15 will receive a free tackle kit from WIS-TV NBC. The first 750 children through the doors Aug. 16 will receive a free pair of Solar Bat sunglasses from WACH-TV FOX. And on Aug. 17, the first 1,500 children visiting the show will receive a free rod and reel from WLTX-TV CBS. One lucky fan over 16 attending the final weigh-in Sunday, Aug. 17, will even win a new Ranger Z-Comanche bass boat powered by Yamaha from The State. Doors open at 2 p.m. Aug. 14-15, and 11 a.m. Aug. 16-17.
The “Best Damn Sports Show Period” will tape a show Aug. 16 from noon to 2 p.m. in the Colonial Center, and country music fans will be treated to a free Tracy Byrd concert hosted by WCOS-97.5 FM at the Colonial Center Aug. 17 at 4 p.m. Admission to all activities is free, and participants in the Ranger boat drawing must be present during the Aug. 17 weigh-in at 5 p.m. to win.
Forrest Wood Cup contenders will launch at 7 each morning from Lake Murray Marina and Yacht Club located at 1600 Marina Rd., in Irmo, S.C.
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup, hosted by the Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board, will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States Sept. 28 and Oct. 5 as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast in Canada on WFN (World Fishing Network) and to more than 429 million households in the Europe, Africa, and Asia through a distribution agreement with Matchroom Sport, making it the most widely distributed fishing program in the world. The program airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. Check local listings for times in your area.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. In 2008 alone the organization is offering more than 90,000 anglers the chance to win over $40 million through 230 tournaments in 10 circuits targeting bass, walleye, redfish, kingfish and striped bass.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.