Posted by Z3 on 08/15/2014

Story by Dave Rush, Photos courtesy of Advanced Angler's Dan O'Sullivan

Columbia, SC - With 17-pounds on Friday, Castrol pro Philip Jarabeck took the lead at the Forrest Wood Cup.  Jarabeck, who is making his first Forrest Wood Cup appearance, grabbed the lead from his uncle and fellow Castrol pro David Dudley who fell of his blazing pace, only managing 3 fish for 6-1 on Friday. Jarabeck leads former Cup champion Brent Ehler by a mere 8 ounces headed into day 3, with Chevy Pro Bryan Thrift remaining in third less than 2 pounds off the pace. 

1st Place: Philip Jarabeck  (9-4, 17-0; 26-4)
Jarabeck on his overall thoughts on his day two performance: "Execution was the biggest difference in my performance today.  I probably had 10 bites yesterday and was only able to put 3 of them in the boat, and I hope that doesn't come back to hurt me in this event.  Today  I had a great time, I caught multiple keepers and was able to cull 3 or 4 times.  I was able to figure something out extra today that I hadn't the day before, so I am excited about getting back out and trying that tomorrow.  I am fishing exactly the way I like to fish and I am extremely comfortable here, it fishes just like back home."

Jarabeck on the biggest difference he noticed between day one and day two: "Today the slick calm conditions I think helped my deep bite.  The cloudy and windy conditions are helping the shallow bite, so I hope it stays sunny and calm for the rest of the event.  Today I got my first bite about fifteen minutes into the day, and then caught another keeper and a 4 pounder.  The fish bit a lot better for me throughout the day today than yesterday."

Jarabeck on the what he needs to do to keep the momentum going: "I just need to stay head strong out there.  This tournament is the biggest mental game we have all year, I just need to stay focused and keep my head straight.  Not having a co-angler with me tomorrow will free me up and make it a little easier to fish my deeper stuff.  I grew up in the co-angler system, and have the utmost respect for those guys, but not having to worry about boat positioning should help some tomorrow."

2nd Place Brent Ehler (13-5, 12-7; 25-12)
Ehler on his overall thoughts on his day two performance: "It's getting tougher out there each day.  I ended up having 7 keeper bites today, and broke one off also.  When I catch one it seems like it is a 2 pounder, so it is going to take something special to get up to that 15 to 18 pound stuff.  Some of my fish moved on me, and I went back to a few places where I had caught some and wasn't able to catch anymore."

Ehler on the biggest key for another solid day on Lake Murray: "If I can catch a few early it will help.  There is no rhyme or reason to the timing, but if I can time something right in the morning I can have a good stringer.  I really don't have a key on when to go where, but if I pull up on the right spot and they are there the potential is there for a good bag."

Ehler on his day two pace: "I didn't have any flurries today, it was one here and one there again today.  I don't have a spot where I can pull up and catch a limit, it is taking all day to catch five fish.  I am going to switch up my rotation a little tomorrow and see if that helps some.  I probably have had my limit by 1:00 each day, so it is tough fishing."

3rd Place Bryan Thrift (14-9, 10-7; 25-0)
Thrift on his day two disappointment: "I think I blew it today.  My whole tournament is based on me catching 3 or 4 good ones on top every morning, and today I had the bites again but they weren't getting the bait in their mouth.  If I am going to be any threat at all to win this tournament I have to get that big topwater bite going."

Thrift on his overall thoughts on day two: "I caught 2 on top this morning, one which was my biggest fish and just another little keeper.  I had 6 bites in my morning area all together and was only able to put 2 in the boat.  I ran to another place and caught 10 to 12 on back to back casts and just filled out my limit.  Once they quit biting I went back shallow looking for another big one, and just never found him."

Thrift on what it is going to take for him to win the Forrest Wood Cup: "Whoever wins this tournament is going to have to catch a big bag over the next two days.  Really anyone within 4 or 5 pounds of the lead has a chance.  This lake is so tough right now, and just to catch five fish is a success."

Thrift on managing his day between deep and shallow: "I am planning on sticking with my shallow stuff until at least 10:30 AM because I don't want to give up any of those opportunities.  I am going to keep doing what I think is the best chance to catch a bigger fish, because I can go to my limit spot anytime during the day, it doesn't seem to matter."

4th Place Michael Wooley (9-8, 14-12; 24-4)
Wooley on his overall thoughts on day two: "I probably cycled through 15 to 20 spots all together today, that ranged anywhere from 20 to 40 feet deep.  I was concentrating on straight rock from the mid lake area down to the dam.  My bites are usually coming about an hour apart, but I hit one spot where my co-angler and I caught a few in a little flurry that happened about 1:00 this afternoon.  I think the main key for me was just starting deep and getting in a groove and sticking with it all day."

Wooley on whether he believes his deep bite is consistent enough to make a run at the Cup: "I think it can happen deep on this lake.  I don't know if the boat traffic will affect my fish tomorrow because they are so deep, but it may play a factor.  Most of the fish I am catching are really spooky, if you can get two off a spot that is doing really well.  Normally if you catch one you might as well just pack it up and move on to the next one.  I was able to catch 11 keepers today, and one short fish."

Wooley on the biggest difference he noticed between day one and day two: "I think the biggest difference for me was that the high pressure system moved out of the area.  It just seemed like that caused the fish to get back on the pattern I had gotten dialed in on in pre-practice.  Yesterday I just felt like I was off key and fishing way too fast, today I had three in the boat by 8:30 today so I knew it was going to be a good day."

5th Place Jacob Wheeler  (12-5, 11-13; 24-2)
Wheeler on his overall thoughts on his day two performance: "I am just trying to cover as much productive water as I can, and I feel like that is the key to this lake.  Today I got six bites and I missed a couple of fish because just because I don't think they got the bait right.  I am fairly happy with my day although I really left the door open not having that fifth fish today."

Wheeler on the potential for a big bag on Lake Murray:  "There is no doubt that the fish live here to get this thing done.  There are giants that live in Lake Murray and you just need to come across the right ones.  You can catch a 17 to 18 pound bag, and maybe even a 20 pound limit if things go right."

Wheeler on his decision making on day two of the Forrest Wood Cup: "I made a really big move today and ran up the river to fish a place I hadn't fished before.  I thought it looked good yesterday and I marked it on my GPS.  I pulled up there today at the right time and caught one that was almost 4 pounds, so I was pretty happy with that."

DAY TWO STANDINGS (Top 20 to fish on Saturday) 

Pl.First Name  |  Last NameCity / StateDay 1

Day 2

Day 1&2

1 PHILIP JARABECK LYNCHBURG, VA 9-04 (3) 17-00 (5) 26-04 (8)  
2 BRENT EHRLER REDLANDS, CA 13-05 (5) 12-07 (5) 25-12 (10)
3 BRYAN THRIFT SHELBY, NC 14-09 (5) 10-07 (5) 25-00 (10)
4 MICHAEL WOOLEY COLLIERVILLE, TN 9-08 (4) 14-12 (5) 24-04 (9)
5 JACOB WHEELER INDIANAPOLIS, IN 12-05 (5) 11-13 (4) 24-02 (9)
6 DAVID DUDLEY LYNCHBURG, VA 17-14 (5) 6-01 (3) 23-15 (8)
7 ANTHONY GAGLIARDI PROSPERITY, SC 13-02 (5) 10-03 (4) 23-05 (9)
8 ANDY MORGAN DAYTON, TN 12-10 (5) 10-04 (5) 22-14 (10)
9 SCOTT CANTERBURY SPRINGVILLE, AL 10-00 (4) 11-03 (5) 21-03 (9)
10 MATT HERREN ASHVILLE, AL 10-04 (5) 10-14 (5) 21-02 (10)
11 SCOTT MARTIN CLEWISTON, FL 13-06 (5) 7-08 (5) 20-14 (10)
12 CASEY ASHLEY DONALDS, SC 9-00 (5) 11-14 (5) 20-14 (10)
13 MARK ROSE WEST MEMPHIS, AR 9-07 (5) 10-08 (5) 19-15 (10)
14 STEVE KENNEDY AUBURN, AL 9-13 (5) 9-15 (5) 19-12 (10)
15 MATTHEW STEFAN JUNCTION CITY, WI 10-04 (5) 9-02 (4) 19-06 (9)
16 BRAD KNIGHT WARTBURG, TN 13-07 (5) 5-13 (3) 19-04 (8)
17 MATT AREY SHELBY, NC 10-09 (4) 8-00 (4) 18-09 (8)
18 RAMIE COLSON JR CADIZ, KY 8-00 (3) 10-05 (4) 18-05 (7)
19 JAMES BIGGS EULESS, TX 5-07 (2) 12-08 (5) 17-15 (7)
20 DAN MOREHEAD PADUCAH, KY 9-03 (4) 6-10 (4) 15-13 (8)