The Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing, is returning to Lake Ouachita and the Hot Springs, Arkansas, area in late August to crown bass fishing's top angler of 2015.
The tournament features 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals and co-anglers casting for the sport’s biggest award—half a million cash in the pro division and $50,000 cash in the co-angler division.
Local professional angler Ishama “Ish” Monroe, who has been competing for 17 years now, is looking to become the next champion when the competition begins on Aug. 20.
Monroe will be one of 50 anglers competing in the championship tournament— his fourth Forrest Wood Cup appearance.
He punched his ticket to the event by finishing the year ranked No. 7 out of 154 anglers who compete on the Walmart FLW Tour.
Among Monroe's 50 competitors at the Forrest Wood Cup will be Scott Martin of Clewiston, Florida, the reigning FLW Tour Angler of the Year who claimed his Forrest Wood Cup win on Lake Ouachita when FLW last visited in 2011.
“This is going to be a very exciting tournament,” said Martin. “The Forrest Wood Cup is the fishing tournament that nobody forgets. I’ve had five other major victories in my career, and some people may remember them, but no one forgets the Forrest Wood Cup.”
Martin said that multiple different patterns would be in play amongst competitors and that he expected the fishing to be better than when he won back in 2011.
“There are so many ways to catch fish this time of year on Lake Ouachita,” Martin continued. “Every time we visit, it seems like the field splits pretty evenly – half of the anglers fish shallow while the other half opts to fish deep. You can really fish to your strengths. One factor that may be different this year, though, is the grass. There is more grass on Ouachita than we have seen in the past, and that could really add another dimension to this event. We’re also visiting the lake a little later in the year this time, so it’s hard to say exactly what pattern will be dominant.”
At least 13 pounds a day are expected to be caught by anglers said Martin.
He also expects for the winner to weigh in a four-day total right around 60 to 61 pounds.
“This tournament will change somebody’s life,” Martin added. “All of the press and the prestige that comes from winning this event – it’s a game changer. This event is something that you will never forget.”
Fishing fans who can't make the trip to Arkansas can follow along with all the tournament's action at FLWFishing.com.
Live on-the-water tweets, updates, photos and videos will be posted throughout the four days of competition as well as a live streaming video feed of the weigh-in held at 5 p.m. each day.