HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Fifty of the best professional bass anglers in the world continued their four-day competition for the top cash award of $300,000 at the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing, at Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Alabama, on Friday.
After the last fish had been brought to the scale, John Cox of DeBary, Florida, extended his Day One lead Friday by weighing in a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 10 ounces. Cox’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 32-5 gives him a 6-pound, 7-ounce lead heading into Day Three, with Jacob Wheeler of Indianapolis, Indiana, in second place with 10 bass weighing 25-14.
“Today was pretty good for me,” said Cox, who has already earned more than $144,000 this season in FLW competition. “I caught seven keepers out of the same hole that I was in yesterday. I went past where I stopped yesterday – I hit a couple of logs running in and a couple of logs running out – and I thought it was going to be better, but the fish that I thought were in the back were making their way out.”
Although he was not ready to get specific, Cox said that he caught his fish Friday on two different baits – a topwater and a plastic worm. He said that he planned to start tomorrow in the same location, but wouldn’t hesitate to change things up if he has to.
“Things are going pretty good right now, but you never know what’s going to happen and things could change tomorrow,” he said. “I’ve only fished that one spot so far. I’ve got a backup spot, but I’m going to wait and see. It’s similar, but it’s a different tributary and I’d rather not use it right now if I don’t have to.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow,” Cox continued. “We’re on the Tennessee River and there are a lot of big fish in this place. I’m going back to the same spot tomorrow and we’ll see what happens. I think that if I can catch 15 (pounds) tomorrow and 10 (pounds) the last day, it ought to be enough to get it done.”
The top 20 pros that will continue to Saturday’s competition on Wheeler Lake are:
- John Cox, Debary, Fla., 10 bass, 32-5
- Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 10 bass, 25-14
- Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 25-14
- Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 10 bass, 25-3
- Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., nine bass, 25-2
- Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 24-10
- Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 10 bass, 24-4
- Bill Chapman, Salt Rock, W. Va., 10 bass, 22-5
- Yamamoto Baits pro Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs, Calif., 10 bass, 22-3
- Walmart pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 21-11
- Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 21-10
- Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 21-9
- Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 10 bass, 21-8
- Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 21-6
- Ray Hanselman, Del Rio, Texas, 10 bass, 21-3
- Joseph Webster, Fulton, Miss., 10 bass, 20-15
- Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 10 bass, 20-15
- J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., six bass, 20-13
- Shane LeHew, Mooresville, N.C., 10 bass, 20-8
- Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., eight bass, 20-7
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWFishing.com.