FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi achieved what had been considered by many to be an impossible goal here Sunday in bass fishing’s richest championship tournament. After disqualification from the season-opening Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Okeechobee because of an inadvertent rules infraction, the South Carolina angler completed a five-tournament comeback in regular season to qualify for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup. Finally, here before a standing-room-only crowd in Colonial Life Arena, Gagliardi capped off his comeback by winning the four-day test on Lake Murray, his home fishery. Gagliardi’s four-day weight of 51 pounds, 2 ounces earned him $500,000 For the complete story of Gagliardi’s championship victory, click here. Visit ForrestWoodCup.com for complete results. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 earned their share of the $1.2 million tournament purse.
Curtis Niedermier and Kyle Wood
How much is enough? For Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, it was an ounce. That’s what it took to edge Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury and win the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country with 51 pounds, 2 ounces. Gagliardi hoisted the Cup before a packed house at Colonial Life Arena. Details on top finishers will follow, but here’s the upshot: Just 11 ounces separated first and fifth places. For fans of this sport, a weigh-in like this delivers memories not soon forgotten. Safe to say, that sentiment runs a good bit deeper for the local favorite from Prosperity, S.C. “It just falls in line with everything else that happened this year,” he says. “I made it into the (Cup) by one ounce. It’s just fitting.”
David A. Brown
Perry Marvin and Joe Stolski finished strong to claim top honors at The Bass Federation Junior World Championship on South Carolina’s Lake Wateree. The two-day event pitted state champions from six divisions across the U.S. against one another in 11-to-14-year-old and 15-to-18-year-old age groups. On day one, the entire field competed, with the top angler from each age group in each division moving on to the final shoot out on Saturday. “Words can’t describe this feeling,” says Marvin, of Peru, N.Y., after weighing 8 pounds, 10 ounces to take the crown in the older age group. “It doesn’t feel real yet.” “It’s great to come down and win this on a Southern lake that fishes so differently than what I’m used to back home,” adds Stolski, of Baxter, Minn. After a tough start on day one, Stolski brought a 4-pound, 1-ounce bass to the scale on day two to top the competition in the younger group.
With the Forrest Wood Cup in town, the mention of bass is no rarity for Columbia, S.C. But how about salmon, trout, pike, sunfish, triggerfish, sailfish, catfish and marlin? Well, thanks to the Wildlife Forever State-Fish Art contest, the town is enjoying a good dose of piscatorial diversity. Now in its 16th year, the contest is open to kindergarten through high school students. Contestants were judged on their artwork, along with accompanying essays explaining the related conservation thoughts behind their work. Students throughout the U.S. and Canada can focus on any official state fish, regardless of where they live. Entries from Spain and the Philippines were also accepted. Wildlife Forever (wildlifeforever.org), a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving America’s wildlife heritage by developing stewardship, hosts the annual event for state finalists in conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup. Doug Grann, the group’s president, says that teaching aquatic education through the arts provides a natural bridge to young minds.
David A. Brown
Get ready Arkansas because the Forrest Wood Cup is returning to Hot Springs and Lake Ouachita Aug. 20-23, 2015. FLW and Visit Hot Springs made the official site announcement tonight at the day-three weigh-in of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C. The event will be held at Bank of the Ozarks Arena, formerly known as Summit Arena.
Calm conditions served up a tough bite for the young guns competing in day one of The Bass Federation Junior World Championship on Lake Wateree in South Carolina. Sean King of Villa Hills, Ky., brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces to take the overall lead among the field of youths competing in 11-to-14 and 15-to-18-year-old age groups. King is competing with the older anglers, while James Fields of Anthem, Ariz., tops the 11-to-14-year-old age group with three bass for 6 pounds, 1 ounce.
“I’ve often said there are a lot more good people than bad people. The bad ones just get all the publicity. We wanted to give attention to a good one,” said Forrest L. Wood, the namesake of the Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Leadership Award, as he helped honor this year’s award recipient, Rich Dalbey, on stage before the day-two weigh-in at the Forrest Wood Cup. The annual award recognizes a Walmart FLW Tour pro who exemplifies ideals of sportsmanship and community leadership. Dalbey, who just completed his second year on Tour as a professional angler, was selected in part based on the task he took on of coordinating food drives at every FLW Tour stop.
COLUMBIA, S.C. – When Bryan New left the dock at Dreher Island State Park this morning, he could hardly control his excitement. Before him lay an opportunity, and it was an opportunity he believed he could seize. After catching 7 pounds, 9 ounces on day one of the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray, New came into today’s competition atop the co-angler leaderboard by more than 2 pounds. All he needed to do was catch a couple of solid fish and he’d have a shot at the win. Three keepers would almost certainly seal the deal. After two consecutive top-five finishes at the Forrest Wood Cup, this was New’s best shot at the title. And he went out and earned it.
Suffice it to say that Philip Jarabeck has admired the accomplishments of his uncle, Castrol pro David Dudley, but today he showed there’s plenty of talent in the family by taking over the lead Dudley set on day one of the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country. Dudley, a past Forrest Wood Cup champion, posted the event’s heaviest sack with his first-round weight of 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Today, Jarabeck hauled in 17 pounds and raced up the standings from his 19th-place finish on day one. “I was just super-blessed today,” Jarabeck says. “I had a great day today. I culled three or four times. I had multiple keepers that I threw back.”
David A. Brown
Lake Murray, known as the “Jewel of South Carolina,” is glimmering brightly under the hot August sun today during the second day of competition at the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup. Weather.com currently lists the air temperature in Columbia, S.C., as 88 degrees, but the humidity and nearly flat-calm conditions are making the “feels like” temperature seem much higher. FLW’s On the Water crew has reported only a handful of limits and just as few kicker bites thus far. Most of the action occurred early in the morning. Once the sun rose above the treetops, the eat switch flipped to the off position.
Few will disagree that qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup by way of the Walmart Bass Fishing League is among the most difficult challenges in competitive bass fishing. The journey to the Cup through the BFLs is one requiring immense skill and flawless execution over the course of five regular-season circuit events, a 160-boat regional and a three-day championship against the best weekend warriors on the planet.
In the field of 45 pros hoping to raise the trophy at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart and hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country, five have enjoyed that magical moment before. After a strong day-one performance, Castrol pro David Dudley is looking a lot like a man on a mission for No. 2.
David A. Brown
On Grand Lake
Demographically speaking, professional bass fishermen are getting younger and better all the time. That’s one conclusion to draw from the roster of anglers who qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup this year.
While the pros are on the water at Lake Murray, making money in the Forrest Wood Cup, fishing fans in attendance at the FLW Expo will be saving money thanks to great Cup-only deals from FLW sponsors and vendors.
The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup champ talks fortune, fame, football and flats skiffs.
With Richard Peek
In Episode 40, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with rookie pro Richard Peek about fishing in college, his experience as a co-angler, his thoughts going into his first Forrest Wood Cup as a pro and a variety of other topics. Then they talk about some recent news in the fishing industry, preview their Fantasy Fishing teams for the Cup and review the week’s BFL action.
Mud lines caused by a lot of boat traffic sometimes are good places to fish in the summer. They provide shade and cover for baitfish, which in turn attract bass.
If preparation is the precursor to victory, then Spencer Shuffield is starting out in the hole. Not only did he not pre-practice at Lake Murray to prepare for the Forrest Wood Cup, he hasn’t even laid eyes on the lake since he fished the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup there. All he remembers about it is that it was the toughest championship he ever fished, and he’s competed in seven of them since beginning his FLW career as a co-angler in 2007.
With Anthony Gagliardi
In Episode 39, hosts Joe Opager and Jody White talk with Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi about his roller-coaster season, his practice for the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray, having a home-field advantage and various other topics. Then they talk about some early favorites for the Forrest Wood Cup, the College Fishing Southern Conference event on Lake Dardanelle and review the week’s BFL action.