Bringing 14 pounds of bass to the scales on the final day of the Forrest Wood Cup, Randall Tharp walked away with the victory cup. His opening round weight of 18 pounds 8 ounces gave him a strong lead over most of the competition; however, Bryan Thrift stayed within striking distance and even took the lead from Randall on day three. Losing the lead must have supercharged Randall. He put together a final round stringer that gave him the win by four pounds.
On stage after weighing in his limit of bass and before Bryan brought his bass to the scale, Randall said, “I have a feeling this is my time.” In an event where 11 pounds a day propelled anglers to the top ten, having fourteen pounds in your weigh in bag had to be a very confident feeling.
Randall is known for fishing a swim jig, and true to form, a swim jig is exactly what he used to catch most of his winning stringers. His swim jig of choice was a 3/8 ounce in a bluegill pattern dressed with a rage craw trailer. Randall talked about his swim jig rig retrieve, “I like to pulsate the bait during the retrieve; I give the bait a lot of action. I also try to bump it into anything and everything.” On the final day, Randall mixed it up some and decided to give the Spro frog a chance and it paid off big time, catching his three largest bass today. Randall describes the switch to the frog, “I can’t tell you why I picked it up today. These were the first three fish I caught on a frog in this tournament, I just didn’t throw it. It was a gut feeling and I ran with it. I do my best fishing when I go with my gut feelings.”
The Top Ten stacked up as follows:
Randall Tharp 53-2 winning $500,000
Jacob Wheeler 49-2 winning $75,000
Bryan Thrift 46-1 winning $60,000
Kerry Milner 44-7 winning $55,000
Larry Nixon 44-4 winning $50,000
Michael Neal 44-2 winning $45,000
Mark Rose 43-7 winning $40,000
Troy Morrow 41-8 $35,000
Tom Monsoor 41-2 $30,000
Robbie Dodson 37-11 $25,000
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