Meyer was a Cup bully the first three years he fished it, finishing in the Top 10 three years in a row. He’s had some middle-of-the-pack finishes in recent years, but Meyer is always, always a threat at this event. Photo by Joel Shangle
Garmin pro Stetson Blaylock is an interesting story here because he’s like the rent: due. Blaylock has competed in 10 FWCs and averaged somewhere in the 30s, but that can’t continue forever for a guy who averages a Top 10 every five tournaments. Photo by Joel Shangle.
MHX pro John Cox is maybe the wildest of the wild cards here this week. Not because he’s a hack – two Top 10 AOY finishes in a row – but because he’s flat out admitted that he’s taking the Crestliner places that nobody else would even think of. He’ll be fun to watch this week, no matter what. Photo by Joel Shangle.
The other half of the “Aluminum Duo”, G-Loomis pro Jeff Gustafson had a break-out year on the FLW Tour. He’s been consistently good this year, and is fishing this week without a care in the world. Watch out for that. Photo by Joel Shangle.
How happy do you think 2007 Cup champion Scott Suggs is to be back in this tournament? Damn happy. And how dangerous is a guy who knows how to fish these bathtub-warm waters? Damn dangerous. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Quaker State pro Matt Arey has three Cup Top 10s as a co-angler and three Top 20s as a pro. He obviously knows how to compete here, and you’d be a fool not to put him on your must-watch list. Photo by Joel Shangle.
Confession: Troy Morrow is our darkhorse favorite this week. Not necessarily because we think Wheeler sets up well for him, but because he squeaked into this event … and that’s all he needed. Morrow shows out at the Cup, with three Top 10s in the four he’s fished. Photo by Joel Shangle.
If Garmin pro Scott Martin is in the Cup field, he’s automatically a threat to win. Doesn’t matter what fishery it’s on. The 2011 FWC champ has matured into maybe the best “big-game player” on Tour, with four Top 10s in the last five FWCs. Photo by Joel Shangle.
… and the longtime fans of the FLW Tour went “Chis WHO?!?” this season. Johnston. As in, the guy who damn near knocked off Andy Morgan for AOY honors. The young Canadian has proven to be a top-shelf pro. Photo by Joel Shangle.
If it’s on the Tennessee River, it’s in 5 x 3 pro Michael Neal’s wheelhouse. Even though we’re a few pools away from his home water (Lake Chickamauga), you can bet your last dollar that Neal will be in the mix this week. Photo by Joel Shangle.
There are about 1,000 reasons to pick Mercury pro Mark Rose to win this whole thing, but here are the two most compelling: he’s won on Wheeler (in 2012), and he’s going to find some deep fish that nobody else does. Count on it. Photo by Joel Shangle.
How bad does Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan want to win the Forrest Wood Cup? Bad. Like, grizzly-with-a-toothache bad. I don’t care if it’s an ice-fishing competition, I’m never betting against the G.O.A.T. Photo by Joel Shangle.
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – Judging by the social media of many of the 50 anglers getting ready to throw down at the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup on Wheeler Lake in northern Alabama, there’s not a single keeper bass in the entire 60 miles between Guntersville Dam and Wheeler Dam.
Oh, but we all know how this will go. Somebody will show up at the Von Braun Center on Day 1 and drop 20 pounds on the scale, and the race will be on.
Regardless of who finally hoists the Cup over their head on Championship Sunday, it’ll be an intriguing event. Above are 12 stories Bass Nomad will be following this week on the Tennessee River.