The baits hit the water in earnest today. Practice and positioning is over. It’s time to cast for the green ($500,000) as champion of the FLW Forrest Wood Cup on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier. It’s a tough time to fish the river, but the 46 anglers who make up this prestigious field could probably catch a limit of bass out of my grandma’s old water well.
There’s been a lot of talk about baits, techniques, locations, etc. But most of that is pure smoke. Unless, of course, an angler really got smart and told the total truth about what he was catching fish on and where. In that case, nobody would believe him anyway and he’d really throw everybody off.
Today will begin the four-day separation between fact and fiction. Between contender and pretender. Between champion and “others”. Welcome to pro bass fishing. The tournament begins each day with a 7 a.m. takeoff from the Red River South Marina. It ends at the 5 p.m. weigh-in at CenturyLink Center. The field will be cut Friday to the Top 20 anglers based on cumulative weight from the first two days. After Saturday’s fishing, only the top 10 will live to fish another day of the tournament on Sunday for the grand prize. Total weight for all four days determines the winner.
One thing that anglers have been talking about that is true is the temperature. It’s been brutal. Water temps are so high that, as pro Jay Yelas pointed out on his Facebook page yesterday, if you could add some bubbles and a couple more degrees, they’d be fishing in a jacuzzi (see water temp photo from his boat Tuesday during practice – yes, that says 95.6 degrees). That brings up an interesting question: Do fish sweat? I know one thing for sure. If I were in the tournament, I’d throw Kool Aid and Ice Cream colored baits!
The local favorite, and only Louisiana fisherman, is Paul Clark, who earned his spot in the tournament as the leading fisherman on the University of Louisiana – Monroe’s bass fishing team. ULM won the national championship! Paul will be fishing out of a big Ranger bass rig wrapped in ULM’s maroon and gold colors with a huge Warhawk logo. I expect him to have a huge following at the tournament. You can read more about Paul in two posts last week (archives to the right) on this website. Good luck, Paul.
A lot of rain north of the Red has made the water pretty muddy, so that will probably concentrate the anglers in backwater lakes. Fish may have moved since earlier days of practice, so it should be interesting. Even though fishing should be tough, one pro angler who guides on the river, Homer Humphries, was quoted as saying he felt it would take 56 to 57 pounds to win and ten pounds a day should keep you in the top 20. Only time, and the Red River bass, will tell.
If you’ve never seen a big-time bass championship like this, don’t miss this opportunity. For complete details about the tournament, check out: