Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre doing a little final packing for the Forrest Wood Cup, adding some Terminator spinnerbaits he thinks he might need for the Red River. Photo courtesy of Dave Lefebre.
Practice begins Sunday.
In only four days, 46 of the nation's top pros will begin trying to find the right fish and the proper pattern to win the Forrest Wood Cup. A week later, one of those pros will hoist the world champion's trophy and a check for $500,000.
The competition begins a week from tomorrow (August 15) and lasts four days. The venue is Louisiana's Red River, at Shreveport, Louisiana. Competition waters include three pools, 150 miles of water and an extensive network of backwaters. The weather is supposed to be sizzling hot, with high humidity. Fishing will be good, most pros agree. The challenge will be finding enough quality fish that are willing to cooperate. Decision making and execution when opportunities do arise are apt to be critical to the outcome.
For now, most competitors are most likely doing final packing or home preparation -- studying maps one more time, double checking essentials like their insurance evidence, and tossing in a few more baits they don't want to be without. A few, no doubt, are already en route, either because of the long distance they live from the Red River or because of other stops they need to make along the way.
Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Oregon lives the farthest from the Cup venue at 1787 miles. Christopher Brasher of Hallsville, Texas lives the closest and is only 47 miles away when he is at home.
Dave Lefebre of Erie, PA said he's starting south tomorrow morning. Lefebre, who will be making his 11th consecutive Forrest Wood Cup appearance, said the only real difference in his packing for the Cup from other tournaments is that he carries far more autograph cards and such than normal because of the huge amount of interaction with bass fishing fans.
Three of the competitors -- Jason Christie, Ish Monroe and Zell Rowland -- had to do all their Cup planning well ahead of times and actually must have their minds on a totally different fishery right now. All three also fish the B.A.S.S. Elite Series, which begins a tournament tomorrow on the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. Depending on how they fare and whether they make Saturday and Sunday cuts, they'll be traveling from New York to Louisiana some time over the weekend. For now, they need to be thinking about St. Lawrence smallmouths. Next week, they'll think about Red River largemouths.