SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. – It is no surprise that the Red River in the middle of August would present a tough bite. That only compounds with the level of difficulty that inherently goes with being a co-angler and fishing behind the best pros at the Forrest Wood Cup. One way to make a bang, however, is to jump out to an early lead – something Theo Corcoran did on day one.
This year at the Forrest Wood Cup a new format was presented to the co-anglers. Instead of fishing their normal three days of competition to crown a champion, there is only two. Capitalizing on quality bites became even more of a necessity to ensure a top finish. After weighing a 14-pound, 13-ounce limit on day one, Corcoran will carry nearly a 5-pound lead as he heads to the final day of co-angler competition.
“I’m just a kid chasing his dream,” said Corcoran. “This is amazing right now, I can hardly talk.”
“I had my limit by 9:30 today,” said the 23 year old. “It was an absolute blast. I was just trying to fish different and doing some crazy stuff. But I have to say that I got lucky, too.”
Corcoran qualified for this year’s Cup by fishing the 2012 FLW Tour Opens and sat the 2013 season out. He works as a collections specialist back in Kansas City but is trying to focus more on his ultimate goal – fishing the FLW Tour as a pro.
“I fish as much as I can at home. It will only be a matter of time before I can take it to the next level. I know that if I keep working hard at this it will happen.”
For obvious reasons, Corcoran didn’t want to give out any secrets just yet, but he is confident he will catch some good fish tomorrow with what he learned today.
“I just want to thank Bill Taylor, FLW, Mike Williamson and of course my mom, you can’t forget mom. This is just unbelievable, wow, this is the Forrest freaking Wood Cup.”
Woodford in second
Also making his Forrest Wood Cup debut this week is Alan Woodford of Winslow, Ind. Winslow brought a limit of bass to the stage at the Century Link Center that weighed 10 pounds. He has a sizeable deficit to overcome in order to pass the leader Corcoran, but with a kicker bite, anything is possible.
Woodford was paired with Chevy pro Bryan Thrift (who sits in second currently) and knew it would be tough to pull fish behind the known power fisherman.
“Very seldom do you do well when fishing the same way as the pro,” said Woodford. “I tried to mix things up throughout the day but most of what I caught was power bites. I even made a few culls later in the day.”
One big bonus for Woodford today was that he was able to catch the elusive kicker fish that swim in the Red River – a 5-pounder. That big fish actually came from the same spot where Thrift caught his 7-pound beast nearly 20 minutes later.
The Indiana native is actually used to fishing condition as tough as we are seeing on the Red River.
“Back home I fish an area of the Ohio River that is actually pretty similar to this,” Woodford explained. “It is a similar style of fishing which helped me today. I think I have the right technique down for this tournament.
“Tomorrow all that matters is hopefully my pro (David Dudley) is on fish. And knowing David, he is.”
Peek perched in third
As if winning the 2013 Co-Angler of the Year award wasn’t enough, Richard Peek decided to throw his hat in the mix for the Forrest Wood Cup title. His 9-5 limit was enough to seat him near the top of the leaderboard, a place that Peek has became very comfortable with.
Peek rose through the ranks of the FLW College Fishing world and has been one of the most consistent anglers from the back of the boat over the past few years. So it seemed only fitting that he was paired with Paul Clark – the 2013 College Fishing champion from the University of Louisiana-Monroe.
The pair started their day by locking into pool 4 and running to a place known as the Little Jungle.
“We basically camped back there until about 2 o’clock,” said Peek. “I had four fish when we made a move back up to pool 5. I needed one more fish and ended up catching two in the last 20 minutes or so.
“I used a frog, a Tightlines UV beaver and a squarebill all day. It was tough, but I stuck with it. I only got those six keeper bites all day.”
Despite his young age, Peek has already displayed veteran poise he needs to stay focused on the job at hand.
“Every tournament has been a grind this year, but this is by far the toughest,” said the Alabama native. “This river fishes a lot like the rivers and backwaters at home so I do feel comfortable.”
When asked how he felt about the tough conditions Peek just grinned and said, “I’d rather it be tough like this than anything.”
Day in fourth
Glenn Day of Cumming, Ga., pulled in a 9-pound, 1-ounce limit from the Red River to take the fourth-place position as the co-anglers look towards their final day tomorrow. He sits nearly 6 pounds out of the lead.
Hardin Sr., Mosley tie in fifth
Mike Hardin Sr. of Robertsdale, Ala., caught an 8-14 limit in tough conditions to tie for the fifth position.
Brock Mosley of Collinsville, Miss., rounds out the top five with his 8-14 limit to keep him in contention tomorrow.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers from day one on the Red River:
7th: Josh Smith of Hamilton, Ohio, five bass, 8-9
8th: Benjie Seaborn of Guin, Ala., five bass, 8-5
9th: Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., five bass, 8-3
10th: Patrick Stines of Granger, Ind., five bass, 8-2
Tomorrow’s takeoff is scheduled for 7 a.m. Central time from Red River South Marina located at 250 Red River South Marina Road in Bossier City, La.
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