2011 Forrest Wood Cup – Day 2 trends - Major League Fishing
2011 Forrest Wood Cup – Day 2 trends
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2011 Forrest Wood Cup – Day 2 trends

August 12, 2011 • Curtis Niedermier • Angler Columns

The weather on day one of the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Ouachita was abnormal for this time of year. It felt more like fall, with cool air, cool wind and occasional storms. We saw more sleeves and raingear on the water than shorts and sunscreen. Today, Hot Springs definitely lived up to its name. The sun is up. The air is steamy. The wind is absent. It’s flat out hot.

For some pros, the return to scorching summer conditions is welcomed. They dealt with the same conditions throughout practice and built their game plans accordingly. Now they can go back to what they originally planned to do, on what is definitely “moving day” for anyone that struggled yesterday.

Other than the return to summer weather, the most prevalent trend I saw today was the use of topwater lures to grind out the bites. It’s tough out there, but the pros continue to push the surface bite. They’re tight to shorelines casting parallel to the bank. Even when they do pick up another lure, it’s usually something moving, or a small soft plastic they can “roll” quickly along the bottom. The exception is the group of pros that are dissecting offshore spots, although that group is outnumbered by the guys closer to the bank.

I’m really impressed by two things here at Ouachita. One is the morning schooling activity. I can’t count the times I’ve been sitting in a creek watching a tour pro fish, only to have bass come up and bust the surface right by the boat. It has happened over and over the last two mornings. Man, I wish I had a Pop-R or a Zoom Fluke just one time to cast into the mix. The other impressive thing is the bream population. Today I sat in one clear creek watching Ron Shuffield, and I witnessed at least a dozen bluegills swim past the boat along the bank. It’s no wonder the pros are running shoreline…any bass that eats a bluegill probably likely has a big mouth, and any bass with a big mouth has the body size a tournament pro wants for weigh in.

Finally, tomorrow will see another major shake-up on the pond. The locals will be out en masse. The top pros will have to deal with a band of followers looking for new fishing spots, plus the media and general fans of bass fishing. They’ll have to deal with water skis, tubes, pontoons and cruisers. But hey, this is a championship, and championships are won by the anglers who can adapt and overcome no matter what is thrown at them, even if the ammo includes blistering heat and kids on skis. Stay tuned. Twenty pros will fish tomorrow, and we might see some surprise moves on Ouachita.