John Cox took the day one lead of the Forrest Wood Cup and never looked back en route to becoming the 2016 champion. Cox entered the limelight when practice began and remained there until all the confetti had fallen. The FLW media team was there to capture it all. In case you missed it, here’s how the week played out.
Cox had an FLW camera with him right out of the gate on the first day of official practice. The Florida pro knew the backs of the creeks was where he wanted to be and that it would only be a matter of time until he found the right ones. He spent almost more time on the big motor than he did fishing in order to try and reach some remote areas.
Cox had some experience on Wheeler Lake in the past; however, he wanted to explore parts of the lake he had never seen. After returning to some areas he’d caught fish from years ago, Cox found an area where he could get some quality bites.
Wednesday is an off day for the field. They get to spend time working on tackle and resting. They also have to attend the registration meeting in the afternoon where they get to collect swag bags filled with free products from FLW sponsors.
Miraculously, our on-the-water team managed to bump and grind their way back to Cox’s secret hole on day one. When the camera showed up he already had a limit and was looking to cull.
When the scale closed after day one, Cox lead by nearly 2 pounds after bringing in 16 pounds, 11 ounces.
Watch him recap day one here.
On the second day, Cox headed right back to where he caught his day one limit and got to work early. He kept a custom-built MHX rod with a Jackall Iobee frog tied on in his hand all day. While he wasn’t getting as many bites as the first day, the right quality of fish were still there.
After he got to the Von Braun Center and bagged his kicker fish, Cox headed to the weigh-in stage. He sat 15 pounds, 10 ounces on the scale and extended his lead to over 6 pounds.
Watch him recap his day two catch here.
After making an appearance on FLW’s morning show, Cox headed back up to Cotaco Creek. The size and quantity of his fish diminished and Cox headed for fresher water towards the end of the day. Because things were tougher, Cox broke out a spinning rod with a Yamamoto Senko to scrounge out what he could.
Watch his day three GoPro footage here.
Despite only weighing 11 pounds, Cox maintained a 9-ounce lead heading into the final day of competition.
Watch his post weigh-in video here.
Cox is a very down-to-earth dude. Even though he had a lot on his mind with leading a tournament that had $300,000 on the line, he still took the time to do some interviews and sign autographs. As he left Ditto Landing, Cox headed to the very back of Limestone Creek. He only caught three small keeps before deciding to head out.
Watch Byron Velvick catch up with Cox during the morning here.
Cox ran all the way back up Wheeler Lake to the spot that carried him throughout the event. There he filled his limit and found a kicker fish that would ultimately help seal the deal.
Watch him wrangle in the 4-pounder here.
Cox nervously awaited his time to weigh in. He needed 7 pounds, 5 ounces to dethrone Michael Neal from the top spot. His 11-8 limit sealed the deal. Confetti rained down and Cox etched his mark in bass-fishing history. Congrats, John.