MINNEAPOLIS – Eighty one of the world’s top professional bass anglers traveled to Hot Springs, Ark., for a chance at winning $1 million in their sport’s crowning event, the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita, presented by Castrol. “FLW Outdoors” will chronicle the season-ending bass tournament in two parts, the first airing Sunday, Sept. 23 on FSN.
Thousands of anglers from more than 40 states, Japan, Australia, Canada, Italy and Spain have been casting for more than a year to earn a trip to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup. Anglers from the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Stratos Owners’ Tournament Trail and The Bass Federation qualified for the richest championship in the history of professional bass fishing.
With air temperatures in the mid-90s and a thick layer of humidity slithering through the Ouachita Mountain valley, the bass were in their classic summertime patterns. Despite winning the 2007 Gain Rookie of the Year award, pro Bryan Thrift sent a message to the rest of the field that he’s not content to rest on his laurels. The Shelby, N.C., native caught a five-bass limit on day one that weighed 15 pounds, 7 ounces to lead all anglers. On day two, Thrift caught three solid keepers, but slipped to third overall. Watch as FSN takes a closer look at the young rookie as he prepares for the biggest tournament of his life.
As Thrift failed to catch a limit of five bass on day two, Knoxville, Tenn., pro Jack Wade wasted little time ascending to the top of the leaderboard. After sacking 11 pounds, 3 ounces on day one, Wade brought in the largest limit of the tournament on day two – 16 pounds, 14 ounces – to lead with a two-day total of 28 pounds, 1 ounce.
In second place after day two is local favorite Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark. The Folgers pro is fishing over deep, submerged timber with a 10-inch Berkley Power Worm and a spinnerbait. He’s positioning his boat on places where bass historically school in the fall. On day one, the strategy worked to the tune of five bass weighing 14 pounds, 14 ounces. Knowing weights are zeroed after the opening round, Suggs caught only what he needed on day two – 11-10. Another indication of how many good fish Suggs is on, his co-anglers from both days have caught 10-pound limits from the back of the boat.
In addition, Yamaha pro Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., participates in this edition of Fishing 101. Yelas gives viewers valuable tips on swimbaits, one of his favorite lures to throw and one of the main reasons he won the 2007 Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year award on the FLW Tour.
In conjunction with the Forrest Wood Cup, the National Guard Junior World Championship was held in Hot Springs on nearby Lake Hamilton. The junior anglers were paired with an FLW Tour pro for two days of competition with three anglers to a boat: one junior angler from each age group plus an FLW Tour pro, who ran the boat and mentored the anglers but was not allowed to fish. The National Guard Junior World Championship awarded $42,000 in scholarships and youth-program grants to the top six competitors in the 11 to 14 age bracket and top six competitors in the 15 to 18 age bracket. Shane Lehew, from The Bass Federation’s Southern division, won the 15 to 18 age group with four bass weighing 7 pounds, 7 ounces. Dylan Peppers, who also represents the TBF’s Southern division, won the 11 to 14 age bracket with three bass weighing 3 pounds, 11 ounces.
FSN is the industry leader in providing the most up-to-date technology in TV production. FSN puts viewers in the boats with the pros, shadowing them from sunrise until the final weigh-in using innovative camera work that gives fishing fans the most intimate viewing experience available.
FSN broadcasts “FLW Outdoors” Sundays from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern time. Check local listings for show times and channels in your area. FLWOutdoors.com also provides an online guide listing upcoming episodes on “FLW Outdoors.”
FSN is broadcast to more than 81 million homes through its network of 20 regional sports channels. Established in 1996, FSN is the only cable network that supplies national, regional and local sports programming. FSN serves as the cable TV home to 62 of the 82 MLB, NHL and NBA teams based in the United States, and produces more than 4,500 live events each year. FSN has an extensive catalog of original national programs, including “Best Damn Sports Show Period” and “Beyond the Glory” documentary series, along with national packages of collegiate sports. Based in Los Angeles, FSN is part of the vast FOX Sports television family. For the latest up-to-the-minute sports news and opinions, visit the FOX Sports/FSN website at www.FoxSports.com.
“FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to more than 429 million households in such countries as 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. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 service men and women stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.