Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 08/14/2014

Story by Dave Rush – Photos by Advanced Angler’s Dan O’Sullivan

Columbia, SC - With 17-14 on Thursday, Castrol pro David Dudley took the lead at the Forrest Wood Cup.  Dudley leads both Cody Meyer and Brian Thrift, who are tied for second place by over three pounds headed into the second day of competition.  15 of the 45 anglers were able to surpass the 10- pound mark, with a total of 17 anglers managing a limit of Lake Murray largemouth.  Barry Wilson weighed in the Bridgford Big Bass on Day 1 at 5-10.

1st Place: David Dudley (17-14)
Dudley on his decision making on day one of the Forrest Wood Cup: "I think I learned a lot today, and in retrospect from what I learned I wish I could go back and change a few things that I did today.  Overall I am happy with my decision making on the water today, but hopefully I will be able to be more efficient throughout the rest of the tournament based on what happened out there today."

Dudley on his overall thoughts on his day one performance: "Even though today was the first day of the tournament it was really more like a practice day for me.  I was really just trying to figure out when I needed to be shallow, and when I needed to be deep.  It is just a process on trying to figure out the timing, and I don't quite have that figured out yet.  The five fish I weighed in today came on three different baits, and I ended up catching seven keepers all today.  I probably hit around fourty spots today, and fished as deep as thirty feet."

Dudley on his expectations headed into the day: "I didn't have a lot of bites during practice, and didn't even practice the last day so I really didn't know what to expect.  I was just looking for a few bites to get me jumpstarted and kind of go from there, that was my game plan."

Dudley on how his strong first day will affect his strategy moving forward: "Anytime you are in the Forrest Wood cup you need to come out strong.  If you look at the past history anyone who has one has had one exceptional day and just basically survives the rest of the tournament.  Today just kind of happened, I am planning on running all new shallow stuff tomorrow, but will revisit some of the deep stuff I fished today."

2nd Place (Tie) Cody Meyer (14-9)
Meyer on his overall thoughts on his day one performance: "I only got five bites the entire day.  I thought I could catch some good fish early but I got my first bite about 10:30, and my second wasn't until 1:00, so it was a scramble.  I moved around several areas, and actually found one brushpile that I caught two fish out of including my big one.  I plan on doing basically the same thing tomorrow, with the exception of starting on a few new areas first thing in the morning."

Meyer on his expectations headed into the day: "I never caught a limit any day during practice so I knew it was going to be a grind.  I was hoping to catch a few in the morning and grind it out the rest of the day.  I know the reality of this place is that I could go back out tomorrow and  catch one, so I am very happy with how things went today."

Meyer on his decision making on day one of the Forrest Wood Cup: "I'm very happy with the decisions I made on the water today. I really didn't learn anything today that I think will help me moving forward other than this place is really tough, and I expect it will be the same the rest of the tournament."

2nd Place (Tie)  Bryan Thrift (14-9)
Thrift on his expectations headed into the day: "I was hoping to catch 10-0 to 11-0 pounds and be happy with that.  As tough as it has been I was thinking it would take around  20-0 to make the cut, but it looks like it might take a little more than that.  I was really fortunate to have what I did, and the couple of better bites I got were key.  I just plan on going out and running all new water tomorrow and just see what happens."

Thrift on his decision making on day one of the Forrest Wood Cup: "Yeah I am happy with my decision making today.  I started out doing one thing and only caught one keeper, so I switched up after about 30 minutes and ended up catching everything I weighed doing that.  I plan on starting off with that in the morning, and hopefully take advantage of the early bite.  I feel like if I can get off to a good start it will calm me down and let me fish more free the rest of the day."

Thrift on whether conditions are changing or basically staying the same on Lake Murray: "I don't think it has really changed at all since the last day of practice.  The weather forecast has been wrong everyday so far, and that didn't change today.  They were calling for light and variable winds this morning and it was blowing probably 20 mph.  The fish are still tough to catch, but that is the type of tournament I like to fish."

4th Place Brad Knight (13-7)
Knight on his expectations headed into the day: "I had a really tough practice and only got a few bites here and there.  Getting started this morning early was the key for me, I caught a pretty good one on my first stop and just kept it going from there.  Everyday is a new day, and you just don't know what to expect from these fish out there right now.  I feel good about it though, and am looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow."

Knight on whether he learned anything on day one that will help him moving forward: "I think I learned some things today that are going to really help me.  I lost a big fish on something I am going to try and go out and expand on tomorrow.  It was a midday deal, and I feel like that is what I have been lacking here all week, so we will see how that goes tomorrow."

Knight on his decision making on day one of the Forrest Wood Cup: "I am happy with my decision making out there today.  Execution wise things could have gone a little better for me, but that is just the way things go sometimes."

5th Place Scott Martin (13-6)
Martin on his overall thoughts on his day one performance: "I was really blessed to get a limit by about 9:00 this morning, and I had a pretty good bag.  At that point I had to make a decision whether I wanted to start running new stuff and maybe catch a bonus fish, or fish some places I knew I could probably catch a few.  It was really hard to pass up spots where I knew I could catch fish, but I know that a 3 pounder tomorrow is way more important than a half pound today.  I don't know what I am going to catch tomorrow, but hopefully leaving those places alone today will pay off."

Martin on how changing conditions are affecting his pattern:  "I think the bright sun today made things different.  I got less bites today and I think the sun was what slowed it down quite a bit.  The quality was still there, but the number of opportunities I had was definitely reduced."

Martin on his decision making on day one of the Forrest Wood Cup: "I think my assessment of my decision making today would be the word disciplined.  It was really hard to fish that way today, but I think it will pay off for tomorrow and beyond if that is possible."


The top 20 pros after day one on Lake Murray are:
1st:          Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 17-14
2nd:         Repel pro Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., five bass, 14-9
2nd:         Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., five bass, 14-9
4th:          Brad Knight, Wartburg, Tenn., five bass, 13-7
5th:          Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., five bass, 13-6
6th:          Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., five bass, 13-5
7th:          Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 13-2
8th:          Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., five bass, 12-10
9th:          Rayovac pro Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., five bass, 12-5
10th:        Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., five bass, 11-8
11th:        Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., five bass, 10-15
12th:        Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., four bass, 10-9
13th:        Matt Herren, Ashville, Ala., five bass, 10-4
13th:        Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., five bass, 10-4
15th:        Straight Talk Wireless pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., four bass, 10-0
16th:        Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala., five bass, 9-13,
17th:        Michael Wooley, Collierville, Tenn., four bass, 9-8
18th:        Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., five bass, 9-7
19th:        Castrol pro Phillip Jarabeck, Lynchburg, Va., three bass, 9-4
20th:        George Foreman pro Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., four bass, 9-3