With the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup slated for Aug. 15-18 on the Red River in Shreveport, La., the clock continues to tick toward the start of one of the most prestigious and exciting bass-fishing championships in the nation. In an effort to provide bass-fishing fans with a little more perspective and background on the competition, FLWOutdoors.com is launching a six-part series/overview of each of the 46 qualifying pros – one of whom will walk away with the title of Forrest Wood Cup champion.
With a guaranteed first-place prize of $500,000 on the line, there is clearly plenty at stake this summer in Louisiana. So without further ado, let’s meet the contenders.
(Editor’s note: Forrest Wood Cup competitors will be featured in alphabetical order. This is the third in a six-part series.)
2013 Forrest Wood Cup contenders
J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla. – Straight Talk Wireless pro JT Kenney will keep his streak alive as 2013 marks his seventh straight Forrest Wood Cup appearance, his eighth overall. Kenney captured back-to-back finishes (Lake Eufaula and Grand Lake) in the top 10 this season to help earn valuable points that would boost him to 31st in the points – ultimately qualifying him for the Cup. Over the past several seasons Kenney has branched out from his shallow-water-fishing shell and took a liking to the offshore game. That versatility has made Kenney more dangerous and has help boost his career top 10s to 39. Despite his love for fishing deep Kenney will most likely call upon his flipping skills to help try and add $500,000 to his $1.1 million in career earnings this August on the Red River.
Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo. – Without question Stacey King is one of the true legends in the sport of professional fishing. He has only fished the FLW Tour since 2007 and will now make his fourth appearance to the Forrest Wood Cup in his short career with FLW. King had his second best season to date by placing 19th in the points, easily sending him to the Red River. The Missouri pro has posted nine top-10 finishes on tour, including one on Beaver Lake this season. King is a fan of jigs and crankbaits which have contributed to his over $350,000 in winnings with FLW. Though King will be out of his comfort zone of the Ozark region, you can bet he will be trying to beat his 41st place finish from the last FLW event on the Red River back in 2011.
Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla. – Kreiger has been one of the staples in FLW Tour and EverStart competition over the years. Kreiger is known as “Mr. EverStart” and for good reason considering he has the most EverStart victories in FLW history with five – one of which came last year in the 2012 EverStart Series Championship. That championship victory is what punched Kreiger’s ticket to the Cup this year. He owns 45 career top 10s that compile put his career earnings at close to $1.5 million. Kreiger is on his way to his ninth Forrest Wood Cup – fifth consecutive – thanks in part to his consistency in the Angler of the Year race. He finished the season 27th in points mostly due to his excellent start to the tour season with back-to-back top-10 finishes on Lewis Smith Lake and Beaver Lake.
Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa. – Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre is an angler that has experience among all levels of FLW competition. He started fishing BFL and EverStart tournaments in 2001 scored his first victories on both circuits in 2002. The following year marked his debut on the FLW Tour and he is now in his 11th year on the pro side. Since those first two victories in 2002, Lefebre has taken three more titles that include another EverStart Series win on the Potomac River in 2006, and two tour titles (old Hickory in 2004 and Kentucky Lake in 2012). Including the five career wins Lefebre boasts 45 top-10 finishes that bring his career earnings to nearly $1.6 million. Lefebre is one of the more versatile pros on tour and that is reflected by him making his 11th Forrest Wood Cup showing this year. He locked down his entry to the Cup by placing third in the FLW Tour Opens last year.
Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., – Justin Lucas is one of the hottest young anglers on the water at this point. Lucas – who is originally from California – got his start at the co-angler level of competition back in 2006. In his first year he netted a victory in an EverStart Series Western Division event on Lake Shasta. Lucas then made his step to the fish the FLW Series in 2007 while remaining a co-angler. He would go on to win two titles that year and two more the following year, all from the back of the boat. It was after that when Lucas knew he had to give it a shot on the pro level. He moved to Alabama in 2010 and competed in his first season on the FLW Tour. Since that time he has made over $500,000 and taken three top-10 finishes on tour. The 2013 FLW Tour season was his best thus far as he finished sixth in points to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup.
Casey Martin, New Market, Ala. – While 2013 may mark his rookie season in the front of the boat on the FLW Tour, Casey Martin is no rookie at catching bass. Originally from Canada, Martin wound up in Alabama after attending college in St. Louis. He sampled BFL events both as a co-angler and a boater early in his career. In 2009 Martin fished his first tournament as a co-angler in the EverStart Series. Two years later would find Martin fishing as a pro in the EverStart Southeastern Division and as a co-angler in the FLW Tour Opens. His EverStart season would pan out by finishing seventh overall in points but his tour season was one to remember. Out of four Open events he fished in 2011 he would never finish below 22nd – including back-to-back victories to end the season on Champlain and Guntersville. After another victory in 2012 in a Major on Kentucky Lake, Martin decided to go pro. In his debut season as a pro he captured two top 10s which include a victory just weeks ago to end the season on Lake Chickamauga and ultimately qualifying him for the Cup.
Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla. – This Forrest Wood Cup champion hardly needs an introduction. He has dabbled in BFL and EverStart tournaments throughout his career but the bulk of it has been spent as a pro on the FLW Tour – 14 years to be exact. Sure, he is the son of fishing legend Roland Martin, but he is well known for hosting his own TV show as well as notching several wins on tour. Martin has an astonishing six wins under his belt including the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup. He has earned over $2.1 million over his career and looks to build to that as he heads to his 13th Cup this August. He qualified through the point standings on the tour this season by finishing 28th.
Bill McDonald, Greenwood, Ind. – Bill McDonald will be attending his first ever Forrest Wood Cup this August after qualifying through the points in the 2012 FLW Tour Opens. Most of the tournaments McDonald has fished are BFL and EverStart events. He has fished the tour on and off over the years – 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2013. His breakthrough season came last year in the FLW Tour Opens when he finished fourth in the points. The highlight from that year came at the Detroit River event where he sacked up 25 pounds, 2 ounces worth of smallmouth on day two to take the lead. He would eventually settle to second place behind Larry Nixon. McDonald holds a top-10 finish on tour from 2004 on the Atchafalaya Basin as well as 16 other top-10 finishes in BFL and EverStart events.
For more information about the upcoming 2013 Forrest Wood Cup, click here.
To see detailed schedule information for this year’s Cup, click here.