HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Aug. 4, 2016) – Cox Leads Forrest Wood Cup, fifty of the best bass anglers in the world converged on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Alabama, this morning for the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world-championship of professional bass fishing. The four-day competition, which awards a top cash prize of $300,000, will feature a full field of anglers Friday before cutting to the top 20 on Saturday, and to the final 10 on championship Sunday.
Pro John Cox of Debary, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces, to take the early lead after Day One on the water. Cox holds a slim 1-pound, 13-ounce, lead over Brandon McMillian of Clewiston, Florida, who caught five bass weighing 14-14, good for second place.
Cox said he spent his day on the south end of the lake dissecting a 300-yard creek arm off of the main river. He said it was one of four arms that he had hit during practice.
“I was on my way into a hole that I figured no one could get to, and I ended up catching them on the way back there,” said Cox, who won the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell earlier this season. “It took about 40 minutes to get in there. There were a lot of logs I had to go across.”
Cox said he caught 10 fish along his path using a variety of baits including a buzzbait, spinnerbait and a Yamamoto Senko.
“I saw some duckweed in a tree and caught one on a frog, and then another from a clump nearby,” said Cox. “I flipped and casted all day. I caught my largest fish in the morning – a 3-pounder – when I finally got to the back of the creek.”
Heading into Day Two, Cox said he is confident that some sizeable bass will still be in his area.
“I’m thinking I can go back in there tomorrow and catch them again,” said Cox. “The fish were healthy, thick and eating good. I like how the area was setting up. I don’t know if I can get the same weight as today, but 13 pounds is a definite possibility.”
The top 20 pros after day one on Wheeler Lake are:
1st: John Cox, Debary, Fla., five bass, 16-11
2nd: Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 14-14
3rd: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 14-7
4th: Joseph Webster, Fulton, Miss., five bass, 14-2
5th: Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., five bass, 13-15
6th: Bill Chapman, Salt Rock, W. Va., five bass, 13-8
7th: Yamamoto Baits pro Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, five bass, 13-7
8th: Shane Lehew, Mooresville, N.C., five bass, 13-3
9th: Quaker State pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 12-8
10th: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 12-1
11th: Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 11-13
12th: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., five bass, 11-6
13th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 11-2
14th: Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., four bass, 10-12
15th: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., five bass, 10-11
16th: Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., five bass, 10-8
17th: Livingston Lures pro Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., five bass, 10-7
18th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 10-2
19th: Old Spice pro Greg Bohannan, Bentonville, Ark., five bass, 9-15
20th: Tyler Suddarth, Valdosta, Ga., five bass, 9-12
For a full list of results visit FLWFishing.com.
Anglers will take off from the Ditto Landing located at 2963 Ditto Landing Road in Huntsville, at 7 a.m. each morning at the Folger’s Morning Takeoff. Each day’s weigh-in will be held at the Propst Arena located at 700 Monroe St. SW, in Huntsville, beginning at 5 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at the Von Braun Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. prior to the weigh-ins. The Expo includes games, activities and giveaways provided by more than 40 FLW sponsors, the opportunity to shop the latest tackle and outdoor gear from more than 100 exhibitors, Ranger boat simulators, a casting pond and a trout pond for children, as well as the opportunity to meet and interact with top professional anglers, including Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston and Byron Velvick. FLW’s namesake Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, will also be greeting fans.
On Saturday and Sunday the first 500 children 14 and under each day who are accompanied by an adult will receive a voucher to redeem for a free rod and reel combo courtesy of WHNT News 19 after the evening’s weigh-in. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a brand new Ranger Z521C bass boat with a 250-horsepower Mercury outboard motor courtesy of WAFF 48. The Ranger Boat giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Also on Saturday and Sunday, FLW fans will be treated to the Bass & BBQ Festival in conjunction with the FLW Expo. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to local Alabama charities.
Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst on Sunday starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in. The concert is presented by WDRM 102.1 radio. Lynch occupies a unique place in today’s country music. Thanks to his classic sensibilities, he’s been heralded as the heir to George Strait’s throne. Yet with one listen to, “Where It’s At” it’s obvious the young Tennessee native knows how to combine his traditional influences with an edgy intensity that places him at the vanguard of today’s contemporary country scene.
The Folger’s Morning Takeoff, FLW Expo, Bass & BBQ event, live concert and weigh-ins are all free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) when “FLW” airs October 18 from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For a full schedule of events, complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat: @FLWFishing.