Forrest Wood Cup is less than two weeks from now, and practice is only a week and half away. Seems fast approaching to me, but I suppose that's probably so for most of competitors, as they anticipate competing for the world championship and bass fishing's biggest prize of 1/2 million dollars.
This year's Cup is extra intriguing to me because of the venue of Lake Murray and Columbia. Having gone to school at the University of South Carolina and only living a few hours away, I've enjoyed some fun days fishing on Lake Murray and know the lake somewhat well at least.
Of course, the more you cover bass fishing, the more friends you make in the sport, so there are several anglers I'll be watching closely as the competition unfolds. I'll also be contributing to the FLW coverage, along with blogging, posting photos and such, so I'll be in the middle of everything going on from start to finish.
Like any fishing fan, I'm curious about the patterns that unfold and which anglers figure out the fish. The nearly universal word from pre-practice was that fishing was very tough, but someone always figures out something.
Last time the Cup was in Columbia it was a junk-fest, with top anglers beating banks and throwing a lot of stuff. Docks and frogs played a big part in the winning pattern and in the strategies of most top finishers. That said, the deep fish that relate to herring offer a wild card. The general word is that you can't count on those deep fish day after day, but if someone finds something shallow that's dependable AND hits the deep fish just right even one day, that could be big.
We'll find out soon.
The best place to keep up with the action is on FLW's Forrest Wood Cup website, and coverage of story lines is already well underway. I hope you'll also keep an eye on what I post on this blog, on the Jeff Samsel Fishing facebook page, on Twitter (@jeffsamsel) and on Instagram (jeffsamsel).
Better yet, plant to be in Columba Aug. 14-17 and see for yourself how the championship unfolds!