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FLW Finale at the Forrest Wood Cup

Posted by jacob on August 10, 2016

Jacob Kicking Up Mud Cup 2016.jpg

(Photo: FLW LLC)

I just got back home from the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup at Wheeler Lake.  It was a great event and after winning my first a few years back I’ve been hungry to be the first one to win it twice.  Although I came up a little short with a 7th place finish, it was a great event.  John Cox pulled off the win and my hat is off to him for being consistent all week and getting the job done.  With it being the dog days of summer on Wheeler, it’s a tough time of year to catch them and be consistent.  Like John, you had to be willing to put it all on the line and go where others would not in order to have a shot at $300,000.

It’s the Cup and because of that, I had a completely different mindset going in.  There are no points on the line and nothing to lose because you are guaranteed $10,000 just for being there.  I adopt the mindset of going out there and fishing to win.  Now, it’s not to say I’m not fishing to win every event that I fish, but during the regular season you have to remember it’s not a race, it’s a marathon. 

After practice, I felt like I had a few things going on.  I found schoolers down the lake that I ended up giving to my roommate Matt Arey because it wasn’t near where I was planning to fish.  I also found fish back in the creeks which seemed to be more consistent and hold some good quality too.  My game plan was to hit the most obvious main river creeks on the first day with the most potential and save the sneakier stuff for the final two days.

The first day was a grind.  I went into a creek that had some fish in it in practice and started getting bites.  I hooked up and lost three quality fish on a jig including one about four and a quarter.  For some reason they were biting funny and just swatting at the bait.  I ended up scrounging together a limit and sat in 30th after day one.

Day two, I went right back to that same area, but this time I put them in the boat.  On the same exact spot as day one I caught a four and a quarter (probably the same fish).  Then I kept working further along and popped a three and three quarter pound fish from under an overhang.  After putting together about thirteen pounds, I went looking for new stuff and culled up to over seventeen pounds a moved into a great position for day three.

Jacob Cup 2016.jpg

By the final days, I had burnt up most of my stuff.  I knew exactly where John Cox was fishing and thought about going in there day two without knowing he was there, but decided against it.  In practice I caught a quality fish near where he settled in on a frog and saw the potential in that creek.  One thing you don’t do is move in on someone when they are leading a tournament and I decided to give him space and just go fishing.  I ended up running a lot of sketchy shallow stuff in creeks and at one point set my boat down on a boulder in the back of a creek.  When winning is the only thing on your mind in a tournament like this, you’ve got to be willing to take some risks.  Throughout practice and the event I put my Ranger and Evinrude G2 through about as much as any rig can go through and was still running strong.  That final day I caught a lot of fish, but not the quality I had been and came up a little short.

Once I got home I dropped my boat off to get patched up and ready for the rest of the season.  I’ve got the final two Bassmaster Northern Opens coming up along with a Major League Fishing event.  The only event that’s up in the air would be the Open on the James River because it’ll be cutting it close for them to have my boat ready.  It wouldn’t be a huge deal to miss that one, but when you are fishing well and the momentum is going in the right direction you should fish everything you can. -JW