DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

FORREST WOOD CUP: PREVIEW

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 08/13/2014

Story and photos by Dave Rush

Columbia, SC - Thursday marks the first day of competition at the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray.  The 45 professionals and their co-angler partners have already faced a myriad of conditions including severe heat, torrential rains, and an influx of dirty water from the Saluda River as practice concluded on Tuesday.  

Regardless of the conditions the general consensus among the competitors is that conditions on Lake Murray are tough, and the overall bite is expected to be sporadic at best.  Comments from anglers echo those from 2008, when Michael Bennett hoisted the cup with a 4 day total of 52-3.

On Tuesday afternoon the anglers gathered for the Forrest Wood Cup media day, and the BASSZONE was on location to ask all the tough questions.  The truth of the matter is that these guys are pretty vague when it comes to divulging information about the upcoming event.  With that in mind the BZ chose to mix it up a bit, and not ask the repetitive questions and get the same stock answers, but rather ask a few off the wall questions and have some fun with the competitors.

What folllows is Forrest Wood Cup Media Day Coverage.............BASS ZONE Style:

David Dudley
THE BZ: How many spinning rods will you have on deck the first day of the Forrest Wood Cup?
DUDLEY: "I will have four spinning rods on the deck of my boat on day one of the tournament."

THE BZ: If you were to win the Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
DUDLEY: "That is a really good question.  You know I got rid of TV at the house about 7 or 8 years ago, so the only movies I ever really get to watch are the animated ones with the kids and I am not sure that I would want a cartoon character playing me."

THE BZ: What is the strangest or craziest thing you have ever seen a co-angler do in your boat?
DUDLEY: "I once had a co-angler lay out an entire picnic lunch on the back deck of my boat.  He just didn't sit down and eat a pre-made sandwich, I am serious when I tell you he laid out the entire spread and sat back there Indian style and ate it while I kept fishing."

Anthony Gagliardi
THE BZ: What would you say is more important for you this week as a local favorite, the morning bite or getting on the right rotation through all of your spots?
GAGLIARDI: "First of all I have no idea where I am really wanting to go to start on Thursday to begin with.  Probably most of my more consistent bite is happening in the afternoon, so anything I catch in the morning would be a bonus for me."

THE BZ: How tired are you of hearing about and being asked about Blue Back Herring this week?
GAGLIARDI: "There's always going to be guys that are complaining about those things.  But in reality whatever lake we were on under these conditions, whether it had Blue Backs in it or not it was going to be a tough bite for sure."

THE BZ: If you were to win the Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
GAGLIARDI: "Everyone tells me I look like the guy from the Spiderman movies, Tobey Maguire, so I would definitely have to have him do it."

THE BZ: With the heavy rains that we have had in the area this week, what is going to be more important for you, water clarity or water depth?
GAGLIARDI: "Probably depth.  I am planning on fishing a few areas that have some color to them, and the fish that are there are dependent on the water being dirty so it wouldn't be good if it started to clear up on me either."

Spencer Shuffield
THE BZ: With the heavy rains that we have had in the area this week, what is going to be more important for you, water clarity or water depth?
SHUFFIELD: "Water depth for me I think.  I really haven't even had enough bites to know where to begin on this lake.  If I go deep I don't see any fish and can't get any bites, and if you go shallow it is an absolute grind where you might catch a keeper every 3 hours.  So I am basically putting all my eggs in the schooling fish basket, and just see what happens."

THE BZ: If you could take off an hour earlier, or weigh-in an hour later this week which one would you choose?
SHUFFIELD: "I would definitely choose to weigh-in an hour later this week."

THE BZ: How many spinning rods will you have on deck the first day of the Forrest Wood Cup?
SHUFFIELD: "I will have four spinning rods on the deck when I blast off on Thursday morning."

THE BZ: If you were to win the Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
SHUFFIELD: "Bruce Willis, because he is just a bad ass!"

Brett Hite
THE BZ: With the heavy rains that we have had in the area this week, what is going to be more important for you, water clarity or water depth?
HITE: "I would say clarity, no I am going to take that back.  Water depth might actually be the key for me, because I am going to just stick to one gun and role with it.  I had limited practice because I had to come from the Delaware River, so I am just going to have to go with what I found.  I have been getting a big bite here every day with what I am doing, so I feel ok about it."

THE BZ: With the heavy rains that we have had in the area this week, what is going to be more important for you, water clarity or water depth?
HITE: "I will only have one spinning rod on deck this week."

THE BZ: If you were to win the Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
HITE: "Matthew McConaughey, because all the girls love him."

THE BZ: If you could take off an hour earlier, or weigh-in an hour later this week which one would you choose?
HITE: "I would take off an hour earlier here this week."

THE BZ: What is the strangest or craziest thing you have ever seen a co-angler do in your boat?
HITE: "I once had a co-angler brush his teeth several times during the day, that was a little odd."

Randall Tharp
THE BZ: How many spinning rods will you have on deck the first day of the Forrest Wood Cup?
THARP: "There will be zero spinning rods in the Halo boat this week period."

THE BZ: How tired are you of hearing about and being asked about Blue Back Herring this week?
THARP: "Pretty sick of it.  I am so horrible at trying to figure those things out that I am going to fish where they aren't even a factor this week."

THE BZ: If you could take off an hour earlier, or weigh-in an hour later this week which one would you choose?
THARP: "You know I am actually really happy with the times of the tournament.  Everything has been working out ok for me so far."

THE BZ: If you were to win another Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
THARP: "Kevin Costner or George Clooney, for obvious reasons."

THE BZ: What is the strangest or craziest thing you have ever seen a co-angler do in your boat?
THARP: "I had to pick a co-anglers line from between my ear and my hat three times in one day, I think that is pretty crazy."

Andy Morgan
THE BZ: How many spinning rods will you have on deck the first day of the Forrest Wood Cup?
MORGAN: "Believe it or not, I am going to have at least two strapped on deck on day one."

THE BZ: If you could take off an hour earlier, or weigh-in an hour later this week which one would you choose?
MORGAN: "I'm going to take an extra hour here this week."

THE BZ: If you were to win the Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
MORGAN: "It would have to be Val Kilmer, because I love the movie Tombstone."

THE BZ: What is the strangest or craziest thing you have ever seen a co-angler do in your boat?
MORGAN: "That would have to be dropping my truck keys in Beaver Lake.  I handed him my truck keys and he went to take off his life jacket and slung my keys into 20 ft of water out in the cove.  Needless to say, I wasn't very happy."

THE BZ: How tired are you of hearing about and being asked about Blue Back Herring this week?
MORGAN: "I even hate how the word sounds.  Bluebacks and my fishing style don't even exist together."

Steve Kennedy
THE BZ: If you were to win the Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
KENNEDY: "I think Tom Hanks could do a pretty good job.  We are sort of similar."

THE BZ: What is the strangest or craziest thing you have ever seen a co-angler do in your boat?
KENNEDY: "The game warden stopped us for a check and discharged my fire extinguisher into my co-anglers tackle bag.  It wasn't my co-angler that did it, but we all about jumped out of the boat on that one.  It was pretty crazy."

Casey Ashley
THE BZ: If you could take off an hour earlier, or weigh-in an hour later this week which one would you choose?
ASHLEY: "I would love to be able to take off an hour earlier for sure."

THE BZ: How many spinning rods will you have on deck the first day of the Forrest Wood Cup?
ASHLEY: "I will probably have one just to say I have one out."

THE BZ: If you were to win the Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
ASHLEY: "I would probably have to just play myself.  I don't think anyone else could be as cool and calm when they win half a million dollars."

THE BZ: What is the strangest or craziest thing you have ever seen a co-angler do in your boat?
ASHLEY: "I was fishing a PAA a few years back and they paired me up with a girl who was a country singer who hadn't been fishing before.  She had a shakey head tied on, but rigged a Zoom trick worm on it like you would an earthworm on a gold hook.  Everytime she through that thing it sounded like a 3 ounce sinker hitting the water.  That was pretty crazy, and funny at the same time."

THE BZ: How tired are you of hearing about and being asked about Blue Back Herring this week?
ASHLEY: "I wish they would just kill all of them to tell you the truth about it.  I don't think you can win here this week following those things around."

Jacob Wheeler
THE BZ: How many spinning rods will you have on deck the first day of the Forrest Wood Cup?
WHEELER: "I am going to start with  three spinning rods on deck.  But I will probably have fifteen total rods on the deck."

THE BZ: If you could take off an hour earlier, or weigh-in an hour later this week which one would you choose?
WHEELER: "I would take earlier all day long.  I feel like 75% of the fish caught in this event will be during the first two hours of the day."

THE BZ: If you were to win the Forrest Wood Cup and they made a movie about it, what Hollywood actor would you want to portray you and why?
WHEELER: "Matthew McConaughey because he is my man crush."

THE BZ: What is the strangest or craziest thing you have ever seen a co-angler do in your boat?
WHEELER: "It didn't happen in my boat, but in a boat right next to me while I was fishing.  The co-angler stripped down and jumped in the water with a bar of soap and took a bath.  I am not even joking, he said he was so sweaty that he couldn't stand it and had to get clean.  I couldn't believe it!"