Top 10 Anglers Quotes and notes from the final day of the Forrest Wood Cup
Dylan Scott kicked it the final day of the Forrest Wood Cup with a free concert for all the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup fans. He was a great warm up to the final day of the four day tournament where the 2013 FWC Champion was waiting behind the stage with nine other hopeful anglers.
Hank Parker, who had been doing behind the scene interviews of various anglers over the past 3 days, was brought to the stage to provide some insight on the anglers, the Red River and surrounding Shreveport/Bossier area. Hank Parker explained why he believes this is the best area ever to have hosted the Forrest Wood Cup: “The variables the Top 10 anglers have managed to work around were many”. Hank elaborated, “First off, the river is so expansive and everything looks like it should hold fish. Then, the back waters are filled with hazards; while an angler may not travel very far, it still could take them twenty to thirty minutes to get to the water they want to fish. They might want to focus on running to another pool. While Pool 4 and 3 were options, when running that far you have to factor in the distance, lock times and exactly how much fishing time you’ll have. The Red River is such a phenomenal fishery. The main river is just loaded with a ton of fish, but were they able to find the quality they needed to move up each day or did they need to get in the back water and hope for 5 good bites? These anglers had to relearn how to fish rivers as it is much, much different than other river water ways they are used to.” Hank closed by sharing that he was told over and over anglers had to find clear water to get the bites they needed, the muddy water just shut them down here.
Forrest Wood was next up on stage. He restated the FLW goal to support competitive fishing and bringing it to a level to be considered a true sport. Forrest thanked the anglers, sponsors, Ranger and Wal Mart for all the hard work, as well as the new programs focusing on the youth. The parents and kids all work hand in hand, along with the FLW team, to make us what we are today. Forrest must have been taking notes from Jimmy Houston because he said, “I know everyone is excited to get this kicked off today”, the crowd gave up a big cheer and Forrest agreed saying, “Just think about the fish. If the anglers are excited and the fans are excited to be here, you know those fish are excited! Heck, I bet some of them have never been to town before let along up here on stage at the Cup!”
It was then time for FLW to introduce the Top 10 Anglers. As their name was announced, they walked out on stage and took a seat in one of the 5 Ranger Boats by order of the place they finished day 3 from tenth to first. Once everyone had a seat and the Weigh Master Chris Jones was ready, it was announced the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will air in NBC at 2:30 eastern time 29 Sep 2013.
Michael Neal – In 10th place from day three Michael Neal had five bass for 11 pounds 11 ounces to add to his three day total of 32 pounds 4 ounces. His 44 pounds 2 ounces was enough for him to hold 1st place in the race for the cup for a short time. Neal said, “Amazing”, when asked how he felt. He went on to say, “My goal was to just make it here”, talking about his first trip to the Cup. It was also his first time fishing all six events this year. Neal fished the Jungle, in Pool 4, over the course of the tournament but said “Today, I went in blind to Pool 3 and just went fishing.”
Tom Monsoor – Starting day four with 32 pounds 4 ounces, he also brought five bass to the scales. His small limit of 8 pounds 14 ounces brought his four day weight to 41 pounds 2 ounces and wasn’t enough to remove Neal from the hot seat. Monsoor told the audience that a lot of his fish over the past four days came on worms but he changed it up today. Known as the ‘River Rat’ and the king of swim jigs he fished his strength today.
Troy Morrow – His day three weight of 32 pounds 7 ounces started him off in 8th place on day four. Troy also had five bass. They weighed 9 pounds 1 ounce, bringing his four day total to 41 pounds 8 ounces and just under three pounds from taking the lead. Remember when I was writing about Adrian Avena reviewing the day three weights from the top 20 anglers? I told you more would come about this angler, here it is. Troy Morrow had boat issues on day three. Adrian Avena saw him, picked him up and raced him back to check in so he avoided a penalty. Without Adrian’s help, Troy would not have moved up to the Top 10. Adrian Avena’s total three day weight of 32 pounds 3 ounces was the first man out of the Top 10 cut by a mere ounce. Sportsmanship was displayed at its best with this angler and Troy Morrow wanted everyone to know about it.
Carry Milner – Carry started in 7th Place on day three with 32 pounds 13 ounces; his five bass limit added another 11 pounds 10 ounces making him the new Cup leader with 44 pounds 7 ounces. Milner said, “I never thought I would be here looking at a half million dollars”. His goal was to make the Top 10 and he spent the day working pads in White House. He commented on how he was working frogs with braid and thought he was going to be sore for a few days. Between sticking bass with the frogs and flipping in the thick stuff on both days one and two, he never let up on his hook sets and was going to pay for it.
Robby Dodson – -With 33 pounds 5 ounces in 6th place starting day four, Dodson was only able to find four small bass for 4 pounds 6 ounces giving him a total of 37 pounds 11 ounces. Dodson, while on stage, said he really needed to find a fifth bass that was “big enough to eat those four “(pointing to the fish swimming around in the scale). Dodson said, “Heck to win this, I needed another 4 to go along with that one as well”. He ended the four day Cup race in 10th place. Dodson also explained he made a mistake in his fishing as he only had 3 spots and never changed baits. By the last day they were used to seeing that same bait over and over.
Mark Rose – Mark was in 5th place with 34 pounds 6 ounces starting day Four. His five bass on day four gave him another 9 pounds 1 ounce; giving him a 43 pound 7 ounce total, yet leaving him one pound short of taking the lead. Mark Rose was caught by the boat camera man diving for one of his bass. A no kidding genuine question was asked while on film. After Rose set the hook on a bass next to a log, the hook and or bass got hung up. He could see the bass but couldn’t budge it. Rose started working the rod around to work the fish free, then he knelt down trying to get closer to the fish, kneeling turned to being on his stomach. He was determined he was going to get his bass. Little by little, Rose eased into the water until he was about halfway submerged. Victoriously he rolled back on to the boat, and when he wiped the water out of his eye Rose looked at the camera holding his bass and asked, “Well, what would you do for Half a Million dollars?”
Jacob Wheeler – The 2012 Cup Champion started off day four in 4th place with 34 pounds 15 ounces. Jacob found five bass good for 14 pounds 3 ounces, and more than enough to take the lead with his four day total of 49 pounds 2 ounces. Jacob talked about how his girlfriend told him point blank at the end of day one, “You are catching baby bass.” So, he knew he had to do a lot better and went back to fishing the way he loves and knows and moved shallow. Wheeler described how he had to go way back, to the very back water and just focus on bigger bass feeding on bluegill. He had to work hard to stay on those fish because they weren’t always feeding; they would pull out and just sit in deeper water. He couldn’t get them to bite until they came back shallow to feed.
Larry Nixon – Larry’s 35 pounds 14 ounces put him in 3rd place at the end of day three. The General added another five bass for 8 pounds 6 ounces to total 35 pounds and 14 ounces giving him 5th place in the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. Larry Nixon said “Great week. I tell you what; it was great to fish all four days here.” When asked about his day on the water, he told us how he knew he could grab a limit out on the main river but ran right in to the back waters and worked over his big bass spot. Then about 11 A.M., “I thought – you know I may zero this thing if I don’t get a limit. So I ran out [talking about the main river] and put a limit in the boat in short order. Then I ran right back to the back waters working for ‘this’ (holding up a quality bass), the one big bass I found. It just wasn’t enough but sure better than the zero I had been looking at before 11 this morning.”
Randal Tharp – The Honey Badger started in 2nd place on day four with 39 pounds 2 ounces. He wasn’t shy about letting folks know he found five bass and rightfully so. His 14 pound limit on day four propelled him to 1st place with a four day total of 53 pounds 2 ounces and crushing Wheelers hopes at being the first angler ever to win 2 Forrest Wood Cups. Tharp said he had to adjust to the river and had ruled out everything but his flipping sticks. “The fans here are absolutely phenomenal, everyone respected my water. Even with the huge crowds of boats following me they all stayed well away and watched to see where I was going to make sure they wouldn’t get in the way.” Tharp went on to talk about his big fish caught on day four, “it came on a frog, but enough about that, I… and the crowd, are ready to see what Bryan Thrift has in his bag.”
Bryan Thrift – With Tharp on the left side of the scales, Bryan Thrift carried his bag from the boat to the scales. The weigh master recapped Thrift’s last three days: Starting with the 18 pound 7 ounce bag brought in on day one, adding another 11 pounds on day two, and edging out Tharp by four ounces taking the top spot at the end of day three with his 9 pounds 15 ounces… Thrift told everyone he had five bass. One by one as they were taken from the bag and put in the scale, the excitement spreading across Tharp’s face grew. Thrifts five bass for 6 pounds 11 ounces, gave him a four day total of 46 pounds 1 ounce. Randall Tharp was the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup Champion. Bryan Thrift finished in third.
The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup was a heck of a show. The field was filled with some of the best anglers out there–they are “Living the Dream.” The FLW and B.A.S.S programs have set the standard for our sport. The FLW Staff and Anglers have taken a unique outlook and mindset toward the sport we love and dream about. If a future Forrest Wood Cup is ever close to you, or you have the time and money to make it to one– Do it! You will not be disappointed.
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Fishing Never Felt So Good!
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