For­rest Wood Cup to re­turn to Hot Springs in ’18

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - THE SECOND PAGE - BRYAN HEN­DRICKS

The For­rest Wood Cup will re­turn to Hot Springs next year.

Fish­ing League World­wide (FLW) an­nounced to­day at the For­rest Wood Cup in Columbia, S.C., that it will hold the 2018 For­rest Wood Cup on Aug. 10-12 at Lake Oua­chita in part­ner­ship with Visit Hot Springs and the state of Arkansas.

The For­rest Wood Cup is the cham­pi­onship event for the FLW. It fea­tures the top an­glers from the FLW Tour, FLW Tour In­vi­ta­tional se­ries, FLW Costa Se­ries, the Bass Fish­ing League (BFL) cham­pion and The Bass Fed­er­a­tion cham­pion.

This will be the fifth time Hot Springs has hosted the For­rest Wood Cup. The first was in 2005, when Ge­orge Cochran of Hot Springs won $500,000 at Lake Hamil­ton.

Scott Suggs of Bryant won the 2007 For­rest Wood Cup at Lake Oua­chita, where he be­came the first an­gler to win $1 mil­lion in a fish­ing tour­na­ment. Michael Ben­nett was the sec­ond, at the 2008 event at Columbia, S.C. That was also the tour­na­ment where a lo­cal an­gler in­ter­fered with Mark Rose of West Mem­phis, who was in con­tention to win up to that point.

Scott Mar­tin of Clewis­ton, Fla., son of the leg­endary Roland Mar­tin, won the 2011 Cup at Lake Oua­chita, and Brad Knight of Lanc­ing, Tenn., won the 2015 Cup.

Knight em­ployed a cu­ri­ously in­ge­nious tech­nique to win that very tough tour­na­ment. He fished a drop shot rig away from the bank in heavy traf­fic in a spot that was heav­ily silted. He fig­ured out how deep his weight would sink into the mud and tied his drop­per line at a level that would hover a few inches above the muck.

Steve Ar­ri­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive

of­fi­cer of Visit Hot Springs, is pleased that the Spa City landed such a prime catch again.

“Our whole city is ex­cited by the fact that FLW has cho­sen Hot Springs for the fifth time as the host for the For­rest Wood Cup,” Ar­ri­son said. “Hot Springs has es­tab­lished a won­der­ful re­la­tion­ship with FLW and our au­di­ences for the Cup and other FLW events have been large and en­thu­si­as­tic. I know the 2018 Cup will find the same level of en­thu­si­asm and warm hos­pi­tal­ity

that FLW has come to as­so­ciate with the great fish­ing in Hot Springs.”

Hot Springs and Columbia, S.C., are be­com­ing de facto homes for the Cup. Lakes Oua­chita and Mur­ray, re­spec­tively, are wor­thy of na­tional at­ten­tion, but the cities are promi­nent bass fish­ing towns with ar­dent, knowl­edge­able bass fish­ing pop­u­la­tions. The 2005 event at the Hot Springs Con­ven­tion Cen­ter had one of the most elec­tric at­mos­pheres of any sport­ing event I’ve ever cov­ered, and the 2007 event was nearly equal.

Kathy Fen­nel, FLW’s pres­i­dent of oper­a­tions, con­curred.

“The Hot Springs com­mu­nity is ex­tremely pas­sion­ate about bass fish­ing, and the great at­ten­dance makes it the per­fect des­ti­na­tion for an ex­cit­ing and mem­o­rable cham­pi­onship event,” Fen­nel said. “We ex­pect the 2018 For­rest Wood Cup to be our best yet.”

OUT­DOOR HALL OF FAME

A sell­out crowd cel­e­brated the in­duc­tion of four new mem­bers into the Arkansas Out­door Hall of Fame on Fri­day at the State­house Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Lit­tle Rock.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Foun­da­tion en­shrined for­mer Arkansas gov­er­nor and U. S. Sen. David Pryor, Ross Whip­ple and Mark Karnes. The or­ga­ni­za­tion also be­stowed its Legacy Award on the late for­mer Lt. Gov. Winthrop Paul Rock­e­feller.

Along with the late U.S. Sen. Dale Bumpers, Pryor co-spon­sored the Arkansas Wilder­ness Act that pro­tects eight parcels to­tal­ing 95,000 acres in the Ozark and Oua­chita na­tional forests. He was also in­stru­men­tal in pass­ing the fed­eral Wild and Scenic Rivers Act in 1992.

As chair­man of the board of trustees for the Ross Foun­da­tion, Whip­ple has over­seen the do­na­tion of mil­lions of dol­lars in sup­port of forestry re­search and con­ser­va­tion man­age­ment. A large por­tion of Ross Foun­da­tion prop­erty com­prises the Big Tim­ber Wildlife Man­age­ment Area, which is man­aged co­op­er­a­tively with the Arkansas Game and Fish Com­mis­sion.

Rock­e­feller served on the na­tional board for the Boy Scouts, but he was also the driv­ing force be­hind the cre­ation of The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy in Arkansas.

In ad­di­tion, Rock­e­feller founded the In­ter­na­tional Bill­fish Con­ser­va­tion Foun­da­tion, and he spear­headed The Na­tional Ri­fle As­so­ci­a­tion’s Project ChildSafe in Arkansas, which dis­trib­uted hun­dreds of free trig­ger locks to gun own­ers statewide.

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