Off again to vie for the Forrest Wood Cup

As the Kenora Bass International tournament goes into its 31st year this weekend on Lake of the Woods, I will be down in Arkansas once again competing in the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita.
While I will miss fishing the KBI and competing against all of my buddies, getting to fish in Arkansas this week is something I worked towards all season on the FLW Tour so it’s all good.
Some 56 anglers will be fishing in the Forrest Wood Cup this week and the winner is going to take home a $300,000 payday!
All of the anglers who qualified for this event take home some money so there won’t be nearly as much pressure as there is in the regular-season events. Then again, it’s not every day that we get to fish for that kind of money, either. It’s life-changing.
If I was ever going to get lucky in a fishing tournament, this is the one I would like it to happen in!
We get four days to pre-fish this week on Lake Ouachita before the three-day tournament starts on Friday. It will be a challenging tournament because the weather in Arkansas right now is very hot (temperatures will be in the mid-30s C each day but the brutal humidity will make it feel like the mid-40s!)
The hottest day of the summer in Northwestern Ontario won’t even be close to what it is down here all week! I can tell you that it makes me appreciate how beautiful our summers are at home!
Because of the high temperatures, the fishing will be tough. Ouachita is known as a good bass lake through the winter and spring months, but simply catching a five-fish limit this week probably will put an angler in a good position at the end of the weekend.
It certainly will be a grind to stay focused all day in the excessive heat.
The entire field will fish the first two days, then it will be cut to the top 10 for the final day. I’m going to work my butt off this week because I want to be in that final group come Sunday!
The FLW will have great coverage of the event all weekend on its website so be sure to follow along to check out how things are going.
Back in Kenora, meanwhile, the KBI looks like it is going to have a full field of 130 boats for the first time in several years, which is a reflection on the awesome group of directors that are running that event. They meet several times throughout the year to make this tournament happen every year, so it’s great to see such a good turnout.
These directors are all volunteers so if you see any of them around the tent this weekend, make sure to thank them!
The weather looks great this week in Kenora, so that should make the fishing really good. The light winds will help some of the anglers making the big run to the south end of the lake.
Several people have asked me whether I think smallmouths or largemouths will win the tournament this year. Over the past decade, it’s probably been a 50/50 split on which species has taken home the title.
Based on the nice weather forecast for later this week (it’s supposed to be hot with light winds), my prediction is that smallmouths will be the big player. They love the hot weather and I expect many teams will catch big limits of them this week.
Good luck to all of the anglers fishing in the KBI this week. I will be following along down in Arkansas!