HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (July 30, 2015) – The Forrest Wood Cup returns to Lake Ouachita. Presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will return to Lake Ouachita and the Hot Springs, Arkansas, area August 20-23 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2015. Hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for the sport’s biggest awards – $500,000 cash in the pro division and $50,000 cash in the co-angler division.
“This is going to be a very exciting tournament,” said Scott Martin of Clewiston, Florida, the reigning FLW Tour Angler of the Year who claimed his Forrest Wood Cup victory on Lake Ouachita when FLW last visited back in 2011. “The Forrest Wood Cup is the fishing tournament that nobody forgets. I’ve had five other major victories in my career, and some people may remember them, but no one forgets the Forrest Wood Cup.”
Martin said that multiple different patterns would be in play amongst competitors and that he expected the fishing to be even better than when he won in 2011.
Forrest Wood Cup returns to Lake Ouachita How It Will Be Won
“There are so many ways to catch fish this time of year on Lake Ouachita,” Martin continued. “Every time we visit, it seems like the field splits up pretty evenly – half of the anglers fish shallow while the other half opts to fish deep. You can really fish to your strengths. One factor that may be different this year, though, is the grass. There is more grass on Ouachita than we have seen in the past, and that could really add another dimension to this event. We’re also visiting the lake a little later in the year this time, so it’s hard to say exactly what pattern will be dominant.
“I think topwater baits, buzzbaits, walking baits and prop baits will all be dominant for the shallow-water anglers, as well as flipping jigs in the shallow cover,” Martin said. “The water levels are up right now, so flipping the heaver cover could be a really good pattern to get on. If I’m fishing out deep, I’m bringing all of my tackle – everything from drop-shot rigs, to 10-inch worms, to big crankbaits, big swimbaits and underspins.”
Martin said that he expects anglers will need to catch at least 13 pounds a day in order to make the top-20 cut and fish the weekend, and he expects the winner to weigh in a four-day total right around 60 to 61 pounds.
“This tournament will change somebody’s life,” Martin went on to say. “All of the press and the prestige that comes from winning this event – it’s a game changer. This event is something that you will never forget.”
Anglers will take off from the Brady Mountain Resort and Marina located at 4120 Brady Mountain Road in Royal, Arkansas, at 7 a.m. each morning at the Folger’s Morning Takeoff. Each days weigh-in will be held at Bank of the Ozarks Arena located at 134 Convention Blvd. in Hot Springs, Arkansas, beginning at 5 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the Hot Springs Convention 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 KATV ABC 7 after the evening’s weigh-in. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a brand new Ranger Z520C bass boat with an Evinrude G2 outboard motor courtesy of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. 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. During the two day event, fans will have the opportunity to sample barbecue from 30 of the top teams in the country. The competition is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and is a part of a yearlong points race to find the best barbecue in the nation. A $5 donation will give fans five tickets to redeem for pulled pork and rib samples from the competing teams. All fans who buy sampling tickets will help determine the “Fishermen’s Favorite” Award, which goes to the team that collects the most votes. Awards will be presented before the Forrest Wood Cup weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday at Bank of the Ozarks Arena. The total payout for the two-day competition is $10,000.
Live concerts will also be a huge part of the Bass & BBQ festival and the FLW weigh-ins. Shari Bales & Southbound will perform outdoors at the competition on Saturday from 2 to 3 p.m., while the Luke Williams Band will play at the same time Sunday. Country music superstar Justin Moore will headline the festivities with a free live concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage in Bank of the Ozarks Arena on Sunday, starting at 4 p.m. The Valory Music Company recording artist has four No.1 hits, including “Small Town USA,” “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” and “Til My Last Day.”
The Folger’s Morning Takeoffs, FLW Expo, Bass & BBQ event, live concerts and weigh-ins are all free and open to the public.
“Fans that come out to the Forrest Wood Cup this year are in for a real treat,” said Steve Arrison, Chief Executive Officer of Visit Hot Springs. “We’ve got great fishing, great music and great BBQ, and it is going to make for one awesome week.”
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) when “FLW” airs December 6 from 7 – 8 p.m. ET. 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 industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show 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 more information about FLW visit FLWFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.