SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. – Most anglers dream from a young age of one day having the shot to claim the Forrest Wood Cup title. A dream that only a handful of those anglers will ever fulfill. At 23 years old, however, Theo Corcoran made the dream he has had since he was 5 come true in an emotional victory to claim the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup title for the co-angler field.
“I can’t even think right now,” said Corcoran about his victory. “This is a dream come true, or at least the start of one. I have wanted this since I was 5 and watching Jimmy Houston on TV and my mom would take me out fishing.”
Before the tournament even began it was common knowledge that the Red River wouldn’t kick out quality fish with ease. Adding to that was the fact many of the pros would be fishing shallow making it tougher for the guys in the back to get big bites. That’s when Corcoran put his head down and got to work.
His first day partner was Spencer Shuffield, who spent much of his day flipping shallow cover. Shuffield was punching his rig on the inside edge of the cover leaving Corcoran to work the outer edge. It didn’t take long for Corcoran to flip up a solid limit to the tune of 14 pounds, 13 ounces and putting him in the lead by nearly 5 pounds.
“I just wanted to get five little ones today,” the Kansas City, Mo., resident said. “I tried not to think about what weight I needed to catch or anything, I just went fishing.”
Today, Corcoran was paired with the 2013 TBF National Champion Mark Daniels Jr. who was making the run down to the bottom end of pool 4. When they pulled up to the first spot Corcoran began throwing a frog. Just a few casts later he had a 4-pounder eat the frog at the boat and he flipped the giant in. Seconds later, Daniels Jr. set the hook and his 1-ounce tungsten weight went flying right at Corcoran’s face, cutting his eyebrow pretty bad.
“Mark's 1-ounce weight cracked me good. He started freaking out and I just told him to get me a towel and some super glue. After we got it patched up I went right back to fishing. And I think it helped take my mind off of stressing about catching a limit to taking it one fish at a time.”
Once he got back in the game the Forrest Wood Cup rookie went on to catch nine keepers on the day. Added with Corcoran’s kicker from the morning, his total weight for day two stood at 11-13, giving him 26-10 overall for the Cup and a winning margin of 7-9. Not to mention the $50,000 check that accompanies the title.
“The only way I can describe how I feel is like the tingly feeling you get in your fingers after you sleep on your arm. Plus, with my mom being here with everything she has done for me – I can’t even put it in words.”
He used a Nemesis Baits Bullet Craw with a 1-ounce weight and a 4/0 Trokar flippin’ hook. He match that with 65-pound braid to land 8 of his 10 keepers.
Corcoran’s ultimate goal is to fish as a pro on the FLW Tour, so will next year mark his debut in the front of the boat?
“I can honestly say that I need at least one more year of being a co-angler. I have fished out of a 17-foot duck boat since I was 12. I am confident with my flipping and power fishing but I need to learn how to read my electronics like these guys can.”
Mosley rallies to second
Brock Mosley of Collinsville, Miss., started the day tied in fifth with an 8-pound, 14-ounce limit. And at the end of it he was the last man standing between Corcoran and the title. Despite Mosley’s best efforts, his 10-3 limit on the final day wasn’t enough to knock off Corcoran but slide him up the ranks to cash a $10,000 check.
“The day started out pretty slow,” said Mosley. “I didn’t have a limit until about noon. Then Robbie (Dodson) and I started to throw frogs to go for bigger bites. I caught a 4 ½-pounder around 1:30 and was able to make a few more culls. I can’t thank Robbie Dodson enough for today.”
Mosley caught his biggest fish of the tournament on a Spro frog. He also flipped a Berkley Havoc Pit Boss and even caught a few fish on a Strike King 1.5 crankbait.
“I caught more fish yesterday and had my limit by 10:30 but I never culled yesterday,” said the Forrest Wood Cup rookie. “I caught probably 10 or 12 fish today but only eight or nine were keepers. But being from central Mississippi we don’t have a lot of slugfest tournaments. I like them tough so I was ready for this tournament.”
Mosley, who will turn 25 next week, was hoping to seek a little redemption on the Red River after fishing a BFL Regional last fall and BASS Open this spring with mixed results. Seems as though the third time is the charm as Mosley racked up his best FLW tournament finish to date in the biggest tournament of his career, right back on the Red River.
Woodford drops to third
Alan Woodford of Winslow, Ind., kept the streak alive of rookies taking top finishes in this year’s Forrest Wood Cup. Woodford caught 10 pounds even on day one with Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, including a kicker that weighed 5 pounds. Today, the Indiana native was paired with Castrol pro David Dudley Woodford produced another good limit worth 7-8. His two-day total weight was 17-8 which earned him a $9,000 payday.
New up to fourth
Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., wrapped up an incredible season this week at the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup on the Red River. New found 8 pounds, 3 ounces worth of bass on day one to land him in ninth place for the day. Showing his consistency, New backed that up with 9-2 today giving him a two-day total of 17-5 and an $8,000 payday.
“The Red River is the Red River and it’s tough tournaments like this that show the men from the boys,” said New, who is in his second year as a co-angler. “I had a great week and probably caught 35 to 40 fish on Charlie’s Worms products.”
The North Carolina native fished began fishing the FLW Tour as a co-angler in 2012. He finished 12th in the points to qualify for last year’s Cup on Lake Lanier. This year he proved that he can catch fish behind the best and grabbed the 13th spot overall in the points – including a win at Lake Eufaula. In just two years he made it to two Cups and netted a top-10 finish as well as a top five – a true testament to talents of this young angler.
New used a variety of baits this week to do his damage. A Finesse Worm, Brush Buster and Swimming Juke on a swim jig (all made by Charlie’s Worms) combined to do most of the work for him from the back of the boat. He also noted that a few fish came on a buzzbait made by Brian’s Bees.
“I’d really like to say a big thank you to McCorkle Concrete and Lake Norman Bait and Tackle because without their support I couldn’t do this.”
Stines rounds out top five
In just his third showing at the Forrest Wood Cup, Patrick Stines of Granger, Ind., captured his second top 10 from the prestigious event this week. His total weight for two days stood at 17-4, good enough for fifth place and a $7,000 check.
Stines sang the same story that many of his fellow competitors did – numbers were there just, however, they lack in size.
“I caught 30 or 40 keepers this week, but every fish I put on the balance beam weighed the same,” said Stines. “I could tip the beam one way or another and it would go right back to even.”
With the different format at this year’s Cup of having the co-anglers compete for two days instead of the normal three it threw off how these anglers would normally tackle this tournament.
“Normally you can just catch limits for the first few days and then if you make the cut you can go for it,” Stines explained. “But with only two days you have to find those quality bites to move you up the leaderboard. When you add that to fishing the Red River in August, it just makes it tough.”
Despite the condition, Stines brought in 8-2 on day one after catching about 10 keepers. Today brought more fish but the same results as he caught 15 keepers with the best five weighing 9-2. He threw a Texas-rigged green pumpkin/blue Zoom Baby Brush Hog on a 5/16-ounce weight all week. Though, his biggest fish did come on a Rapala DT 10 thrown around some rip rap.
Rest of the best
Rounding out the top 10 from the Red River:
6th: Benjie Seaborn of Guin, Ala., two-day total of 16-9, $6,000
7th: Mike Hardin Sr. of Roberstdale, Ala., two-day total of 14-15, $5,500
8th: Jeff Sprague of Point, Texas, two-day total of 14-14, $5,000
9th: Brett Preuett of Colfax, La., two-day total of 14-5, $4,500
10th: Richard Peek of Centre, Ala., two-day total of 14-2, $4,000
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