12 Things to do at the 2018 Cup - Major League Fishing

12 Things to do at the 2018 Cup

A sampling of what’s happening at Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs this August
Image for 12 Things to do at the 2018 Cup
Scott Martin Photo by D. W. Reed II. Angler: Scott Martin.
June 15, 2018 • Kyle Wood • Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit

If you aren’t making plans to attend the Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 10-12, then you should probably change your schedule. Of course, you’ll want to attend to watch the best in bass fishing compete for a $300,000 prize, but there’s much more going on.

Check out this list of other fun things to do while hanging out in Hot Springs.


1. Meet the pros at FLW Pro Angler Day

Before the chaos of Cup week gets rolling, take the opportunity on Saturday, Aug. 4 to meet the pros for autographs, photos and to talk fishing. Pros will be available at several locations, so odds are good that there’s a place close to home if you live nearby.

The meet-and-greet will take place from 12-2 p.m. CT at each of the following locations:

Bass Pro Shops, 1 Bass Pro Dr., Little Rock

Walmart, 1601 Albert Pike Rd., Hot Springs

Walmart, 4019 Central Ave., Hot Springs

Walmart, 3604 N. Hwy 7, Hot Springs Village

Walmart, 1910 Martin Luther King Blvd., Malvern


2. Get a bite to eat at the Lunch Break Tailgate Party presented by Quaker State

On Thursday, Aug. 9 spend lunch over at Walmart (1601 Albert Pike Rd., Hot Springs, Ark.) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for free food and drinks. Heck, the first 15 fans get free Quaker State Oil Change gift cards, which makes it worth the trip alone. Of course, Quaker State and Pennzoil Marine pros Matt Arey, Scott Canterbury and Jimmy Houston will be there to talk fishing.


3. Watch takeoff at General Tire Ramp

If you can’t make it to the meet-and-greet or lunch break before the tournament, head over to the General Tire ramp each morning to check out the daily takeoffs at the Brady Mountain Resort & Marina Corp of Engineers Launch Facility at 4120 Brady Mountain Road in Royal, Ark. Takeoff starts at 7 a.m., but feel free to stop by earlier to see the pros, enjoy free coffee and donuts, and watch the FLW Live takeoff segment. It’s a great way to start your day and get close to the pros before they head out to try and win $300,000.


4. Attend daily weigh-ins

Aside from actually being on the water or watching FLW Live, one of the best ways to see fish and the pros is to attend the daily weigh-ins at Bank of the Ozarks Arena at 134 Convention Blvd. in Hot Springs. Emcee Chris Jones will weigh ’em daily starting at 5 p.m.


5. Buy gear, meet pros and enjoy activities for kids at the FLW Expo

Before heading to weigh-in, swing by the free FLW Expo at the Hot Springs Convention Center (134 Convention Blvd.) between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. each day for your first chance to buy new tackle released at the 2018 ICAST show. Plus, there are activities for kids, pro meet-and-greet sessions, seminars and more.


6. Enter to win free stuff

Want a chance to win some free goods? Well, thanks to KATV, the first 250 kids through the Expo doors on Saturday and Sunday get a voucher for a free Shakespeare rod and reel. Vouchers can be redeemed after weigh-in each day.

For the adults, how about winning a Ranger Boats Z521L with an Evinrude outboard? All you have to do is sign up any day at the expo. The giveaway is presented by US 97. A winner will be selected by random drawing following Sunday’s weigh-in. You must be present to win.

There’s also a chance to win a Jackson Kayak courtesy of Quaker State and Lamar. Sign up at the expo, and a winner will be selected by random drawing at Saturday’s weigh-in. You must be present to win.


7. Enter the kids in the FLW Foundation Unified Fishing Derby

Bring the kids on down to Family Park (215 Family Park Road in Hot Springs) from 8-10 a.m. on Aug. 11 to participate in a free fishing tournament. The first 100 youth registered will receive a goodie bag. Winners will be recognized on the Cup stage. Email [email protected] to register.


8. Pig out at the Bass & BBQ Festival

Eat great Southern BBQ from some of the region’s top low-and-slow cookers. Thanks to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, fans can enjoy all of the great fishing action along with some of the best food from top BBQ teams Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Funds raised during the festival will go to local charities. The festival will take place in Baxter Plaza right outside the Hot Springs Convention Center, so it’s easy to stop by if you’re at the FLW Expo or on your way to watch the weigh-in.


9. Learn about bass at Pro Angler Seminars

Want to learn about bass fishing from the best? Well, thanks to 103.7 The Buzz, you can. Head to the FLW Expo Aug. 10-12 to attend seminars conducted by speakers such as Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston, Eric Jackson, Byron Velvick and more. They dish all the secrets from noon to 3 p.m. daily in meeting rooms 201 and 202.


10. Attend the free Realtree Fishing Justin Moore Concert

Watch the country music superstar perform before the final weigh-in on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 4 p.m. at Bank of the Ozarks Arena. The concert is presented by KSSN 96 and is free to attend. Be sure to get there early for prime seating, and stick around to watch someone get crowned Cup champion shortly after the concert.


11. Get a Lowrance on-the-water demo

Get a lesson in the latest fish-finding technology from industry leader Lowrance on Saturday and Sunday at Brady Mountain Resort & Marina Corp of Engineers Launch Facility. Demos run from 7:30 a.m. until noon. Whether you are looking to buy a new graph and want to see it in action, or just curious about the latest and greatest, swing on by to get the scoop.


12. Take a Ranger/Evinrude test ride

For more hands-on activities head over to Clarion Resort on Lake Hamilton (4813 Central Ave. – SR 7, Hot Springs) Friday, Saturday and Sunday to experience top-of-the-line fishing crafts from Ranger Boats powered by the Evinrude E-TEC G2. Test rides will take place Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.