Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to capture the lead in a top-10 field that includes some of the greatest anglers in the world. Salewske now holds a 15-ounce edge over his closest competitor, David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, heading into the final day of competition in the $2 million…
Rusty Salewske of Alpine, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to capture the lead in a top-10 field that includes some of the greatest anglers in the world. Salewske now holds a 15-ounce edge over his closest competitor, David Curtis of Trinity, Texas, heading into the final day of competition in the $2 million 2009 Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol the World Championship of Bass Fishing. If he holds on for the win, Salewske will pocket $1 million.
There were four of us sharing the same area the first day, said Salewske, who qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup through the FLW Series National Guard Western Division. I was the last one in the lock I wanted it that way. I wanted to see where they all started. Im all about respecting water, but I expect the same. So I got to start where I wanted to start. They all started where they wanted to start. And now Ive got the whole pond to myself.
Salewske said he fished the Allegheny River and has only 4 1/2 hours to fish after locking through.
My favorite bait to throw is a jig, Salewske said. My favorite topwater bait to throw is that little Rapala that Im throwing. Most guys catch fish when the way they like to fish are the way the bass are eating. If you were in my boat today, you would catch every fish I caught today on a drop-shot or a shaky-head or anything its not the bait. It has nothing to do with the bait. Its finding out what theyre doing.
Theyre river fish, and theyre up there feeding and positioning, and you just have to know where theyre at, Salewske added. They turned on today. It was a dead sea this morning, but man, the last hour was dynamite.
David Curtis caught five fish weighing 5 pounds, 7 ounces to advance to the final day of competition as the No. 2 seed.
It was a grind like it has been the entire tournament, said Curtis, who has won more than $604,000 in FLW Outdoors events. I had some good fortune today. The second stop I made I managed to catch four keepers. I really wasnt anticipating that at all. Thats what really lifted my spirits and anchored what I weighed in today.
Curtis said he fished the Ohio River and said he was fishing rather shallow. He said he targeted deeper water in practice, but rain and muddy water changed that. Curtis said he is focusing on 10 to 12 spots.
I ran new water today, said Curtis. Stuff I caught fish on before the cutoff. Man, Im just really running and fishing instinctively.
The first day of this tournament I got on a real distinctive pattern that I was real excited about, Curtis added. When I could find mayflies around the right kind of stuff, that day it worked really good for me. But by day two that pattern went by the wayside.
Rounding out the top 10 pros are Cody Meyer of Redding, Calif. (five bass, 5-0); Michael Iaconelli of Runnemede, N.J. (four bass, 4-12); Team Folgers pro Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark. (three bass, 4-6); Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La. (four bass, 4-3); Team Kelloggs pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa. (one bass, 3-15); Team BP pro David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn. (one bass, 0-13); Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C. (one bass, 0-12); and Team Chevy pro Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark. (two bass, 0-10).
Overall there were 31 bass weighing 36 pounds, 4 ounces caught in the Pro Division Saturday. The catch included three five-bass limits.
Brad Roberts of Nancy, Ky., won the Co-angler Division and $50,000 Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 6 pounds, 4 ounces followed by Michi Oba of Tokyo, Japan, in second place with two bass weighing 1-13 worth $10,000.
After I caught my first fish about 30 minutes into it I had the jitters for about 45 minutes, said Roberts, whose first career win came at the Forrest Wood Cup. I fished with Mike today, and after fishing with him, Im an Iaconelli fan.
Roberts said a Cumberland Pro Casting Jig with a football head was his key bait the last day of competition.
Ive always wanted to get a win, but to do it today at the Forrest Wood Cup, its just unbelievable, Roberts said. Everything just lined up and I fished clean and to know going in that you do have a shot (to win), its just absolutely unbelievable.
Roberts opened the tournament in 14th place Thursday with three bass weighing 2-9 while fishing with Team BP pro Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C. On Friday he jumped into eighth place on the strength of a two-bass catch weighing 3-4 while fishing with Team BP pro Shinichi Fukae of Mineola, Texas. He wrapped up his win while fishing with Iaconelli.
Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are Greg Schultz of Wayzata, Minn. (two bass, 1-11, $9,000); Ron Fabiszak of South Bend, Ind. (one bass, 1-6, $8,000); Blaine Bucy of Wellsburg, W.V. (one bass, 0-12, $7,000); Lynn Baciuska Jr. of Afton, N.Y. (zero bass, 0-0, $6,000); Tommie Goldston of Gardnerville, Nev. (zero bass, 0-0, $5,000); Teddy Bradley of Mishawaka, Ind. (zero bass, 0-0, $4,000); David Lauer of South Bend, Ind. (zero bass, 0-0, $3,500); and Kevin Hawk of Ramona, Calif. (zero bass, 0-0, $3,000).
Overall there were 11 bass weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces caught in the Co-angler Division Saturday. The catch included one five-bass limit.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. Sunday from Steelers Quay, North Shore Riverfront Park located at Art Rooney Drive across from the South Plaza of Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Sundays weigh-in will be held at Mellon Arena at 66 Mario Lemieux Pl. in Pittsburgh beginning at 5 p.m.
In conjunction with the Sunday weigh-in, FLW Outdoors will host a free Family Fun Zone and outdoor show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center located at 1000 Ft. Duquesne Blvd. in Pittsburgh. The Family Fun Zone will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Family Fun Zone offers fans a chance to meet their Fantasy Fishing team anglers face-to-face and review the latest products from Berkley, Lowrance, Ranger, Evinrude, Yamaha and other sponsors while children are treated to giveaways, fishing themed games and rides like the Ranger Boat simulator. Children 14 and under visiting the Family Fun Zone on Sunday will receive a free rod and reel combo while supplies last. One lucky member of the audience will even win a new special edition Three Rivers Ranger Z20boat powered by Evinrude during the final 5 p.m. weigh-in Sunday courtesy of Froggy Radio. Admission is free, and you must be present to win.
In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field competes in the two-day opening round for one of 10 slots in Saturdays competition based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for day three, and co-angler competition concludes following Saturdays weigh-in. The top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from days three and four.
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup, hosted by VisitPittsburgh and sponsored locally by Range Resources and Verizon Wireless, will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS, the network which brings anglers the best fishing programming on television featuring the most-trusted authorities on the water. The Emmy-nominated FLW Outdoors, will air Aug. 30 and Nov. 8 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET. FLW Outdoors, hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide, including internationally through agreements with WFN (World Fishing Network) and Matchroom Sport to such countries as Canada, Germany, China, South Africa, Australia, Malaysia, Russia, Hungary and the United Kingdom, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoor-sports television show in the world.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also is taking fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports, $10 million in cash and prizes. Sign up for Players Advantage to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Players Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.