Ge­or­gia Reels in Ma­jor Fish­ing Cham­pi­onship Tour­na­ment

2010 For­rest Wood Cup to be held on Lake Lanier

The Covington News - - Agriculture & outdoors -

AT­LANTA - Gov­er­nor Sonny Per­due joined FLW Out­doors Chair­man Ir­win Ja­cobs and other state and lo­cal of­fi­cials this af­ter­noon to an­nounce Lake Lanier and At­lanta as the site of the 2010 For­rest Wood Cup pre­sented by BP and Cas­trol. This cham­pi­onship fish­ing tour­na­ment, which is sched­uled for Au­gust 5 - 8, 2010, will draw the top bass an­glers in the coun­try as they com­pete for a $2.5 mil­lion purse. The tour­na­ment will be staged out of the Go Fish Ge­or­gia mega-ramp cur­rently un­der construction at Lau­rel Park on Lake Lanier. The weigh-ins are slated for the Ge­or­gia Dome, and the Fam­ily Fun Zone and Out­door Show will be held at the Ge­or­gia World Congress Cen­ter.

“The For­rest Wood Cup is the largest fish­ing tour­na­ment in the coun­try, and bring­ing this tour­na­ment to Ge­or­gia is ex­actly what I en­vi­sioned for the megaramps we are build­ing as part of Go Fish,” said Gov­er­nor Per­due. “This tour­na­ment will pro­vide na­tion­ally tele­vised ex­po­sure for our fish­ing re­sources, gen­er­ate ex­cite­ment about fish­ing in Ge­or­gia, and pro­vide a pos­i­tive eco­nomic im­pact on our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.”

Go Fish Ge­or­gia is de­signed to es­tab­lish Ge­or­gia as a na­tional fish­ing des­ti­na­tion by im­prov­ing the qual­ity of fish­ing in Ge­or­gia wa­ters, im­prov­ing ac­cess to lakes and rivers for fish­ing in Ge­or­gia and in­creas­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion through pro­mo­tion and mar­ket­ing of Ge­or­gia’s ex­cep­tional fish­ing re­sources. Plans call for the de­vel­op­ment of a Go Fish Ge­or­gia Vis­i­tors Cen­ter and Hatch­ery and an 18-site bass fish­ing trail with mega-ramps to ac­com­mo­date large fish­ing tour­na­ments.

“We are proud to have At­lanta serve as host for For­rest Wood Cup in 2010,” said Ir­win Ja­cobs, Chair­man of FLW Out­doors. “The For­rest Wood Cup is not just an­other tour­na­ment and an out­door show. This is a week­long event that brings the en­tire com­mu­nity to­gether. Young an­glers show­case their tal­ents in the Na­tional Guard Ju­nior World Cham­pi­onship and pro­fes­sional an­glers vie for the most pres­ti­gious ti­tle in bass fish­ing, For­rest Wood Cup Cham­pion. The For­rest Wood Cup show­cases ev­ery­thing that makes bass fish­ing the great­est sport in the world, in­clud­ing the rich­est pay­out in all of fan­tasy sports, $1 mil­lion to the grand prize win­ner of Fan­tasy Fish­ing.”

The For­rest Wood Cup is bass fish­ing’s crown jewel and the rich­est tour­na­ment in com­pet­i­tive fish­ing with a to­tal purse of $2.5 mil­lion and of­fers $1 mil­lion to the win­ner. The 78 pro an­glers com­pet­ing for the ti­tle qual­ify through the Wal­mart FLW Tour, Wal­mart FLW Se­ries, Stren Se­ries, and in­cludes the cham­pi­ons of the Wal­mart Bass Fish­ing League and the Na­tional Guard FLW Col­lege Se­ries.

In 2008, cov­er­age of the For­rest Wood Cup was broad­cast to 81 mil­lion FSN (Fox Sports Net) sub­scribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Out­doors” tele­vi­sion pro­gram that aired Sept. 28 and Oct. 5. “FLW Out­doors” was also broad­cast in Canada on WFN (World Fish­ing Net­work)and to more than 429 mil­lion house­holds in the United King­dom, Europe, Rus­sia, Aus­tralia, Africa, Asia and the Mid­dle East through a dis­tri­bu­tion agree­ment with Match­room Sport, mak­ing it the most widely dis­trib­uted fish­ing pro­gram in the world.

FLW Out­doors, named af­ter For­rest L. Wood, the leg­endary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fish­ing tour­na­ment orga- niza­tion in the world. In 2008 alone, the or­ga­ni­za­tion of­fered more than 90,000 an­glers the chance to win over $40 mil­lion through 230 tour­na­ments in 10 cir­cuits.

Fish­ing is big busi­ness in Ge­or­gia and has an es­ti­mated an­nual eco­nomic im­pact of $1.9 bil­lion. The Go Fish Ge­or­gia Bass Trail alone will pro­vide a sound re­turn on in­vest­ment in Go Fish Ge­or­gia. The state pro­vided $5 mil­lion to­ward the de­vel­op­ment of the mega-ramp trails which was matched by lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties who wanted to build th­ese ramps to at­tract large fish­ing tour­na­ments. Mid-sized tour­na­ments can have an eco­nomic im­pact of up to $5 mil­lion; large cham­pi­onship tour­na­ments likethe For­rest Wood Cup can gen­er­ate up­wards of $20 mil­lion.

Since 1996 when the first made-for-tele­vi­sion tour­na­ment aired, the sport has grown rapidly. Fish­ing now ranks as the fifth most pop­u­lar sport in the na­tion. Ac­cord­ing to the 2001 Na­tional Sur­vey of Fish­ing, Hunt­ing and Wildlife-as­so­ci­ated Recre­ation, con­ducted by the U.S. Depart­ment of the In­te­rior, U.S. Depart­ment of Com­merce and the Fish and Wildlife Ser­vice, about one in ev­ery six U.S. res­i­dents 16 and older fish. Res­i­dent and non­res­i­dent an­glers in Ge­or­gia cur­rently spend $1 bil­lion each year with an es­ti­mated $1.9 bil­lion in eco­nomic im­pact.

“We look for­ward to work­ing with FLW Out­doors and lo­cal and city gov­ern­ments to make this a very suc­cess­ful tour­na­ment that brings in the top pro­fes­sional an­glers to Ge­or­gia,” said Ge­or­gia Depart­ment of Nat­u­ral Re­sources Com­mis­sioner Noel Hol­comb. “Lake Lanier is the per­fect venue to ac­com­plish all of th­ese things and we hope that this will bring home to Ge­or­gians that fish­ing can be en­joyed by every­one.”

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