Hot Springs ON THE GO!
It's no secret that our area lakes are a huge draw for visitors year-round, and the balance of beautiful waters and warm hospitality is what keeps them coming back. The Forrest Wood Cup, Fishing League Worldwide's world championship of bass fishing, returns to Lake Ouachita Aug. 20-23 with its expo and other events held at the Hot Springs Convention Center and Bank of the Ozarks Arena, and as Steve Arrison, CEO of Visit Hot Springs, said of the announcement of the tournament's return in 2014, “they've been here so many times they're familiar with the people here and the piers. It's like a homecoming and they're just as excited as we are.”
Fifty pros will fish for $500,000, competing for two days before the 20-man semifinal round on Aug. 22 produces 10 finalists. Hot Springs has hosted the tournament a total of three times, most recently in 2011, and two Arkansas natives have won in that time.
Bryant's Scott Suggs was the first professional angler to receive a $1 million first prize in 2007, and Hot Springs' George Cochran, a two-time Bassmaster Classic champion, fished within sight of his lakefront home in winning the 2005 Forrest Wood Cup title.
In 2007 alone, more than 60,000 people were in attendance over the course of four days, and with events for the entire family — including the Bass & BBQ competition, which will be held in the soon-to-be completed Baxter Plaza.
Fishing enthusiast or not, the FLW is sure to bring back plenty of entertainment and fun for all ages. Let's make it our goal to welcome them with the hospitality that will keep this organization coming back for years to come.