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Anthony Gagliardi 

Anthony Gagliardi won the Forrest Wood Cup in 2014 on Lake Murray, and he’s in great position after day one to be the first to win two. Weighing 21-1, which was amazingly the biggest bag Gagliardi has weighed all season, he sits in second place just 4 ounces behind Atkins.

Fishing a lot like he did on the final day of his 2014 win, Gagliardi leaned hard on the offshore schooling bite to accumulate his catch. Unlike in 2014, he spent most of the day actually casting, not simply waiting for fish to surface on blueback herring. Throwing just a topwater plug and a soft-plastic jerkbait, the South Carolina pro says he’s only caught about eight keepers on the day, but he caught a lot of quality and one near-6-pounder for a kicker.

“That was probably the biggest fish I’ve ever caught fishing like I do out there,” says Gagliardi. “I’m probably not going to catch one like that tomorrow, but I still have some stuff left. I can get bites, and when I get bites a lot of them have been quality bites. If things work out like I envision I think I can have five good fish, but maybe not with a kicker like that.”

As a veteran of Lake Murray, Gagliardi admits that his weight on day one surprised him, but he’s not entirely shocked to see the bite as good as it is. He says the water temperature has dropped about 10 degrees over the past three weeks, and that slim hint of fall-ish weather has the offshore fish chasing more willingly than they did in 2014.

AnthonyGagliardiPhoto/Story Joe Cook, wltx COLUMBIA, SC - One of the biggest fishing tournaments in the country will be taking place right here in the Midlands this week. The Fishing League Worldwide Forrest Wood Cup tournament will be held at Lake Murray.

The last time this event was in Columbia was in 2014 and that's when local angler Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, SC won the championship. He's back in the tournament this year.

Newberry based company Falcon Boats is one of his sponsors and and he has a good chance to become the first angler to win two Forrest Wood Cup titles. This year's contest will be on his home lake and he'll have to beat out 53 other fishermen to accomplish the feat.

"It'd be awful nice to accomplish something that's not been done but honestly just winning it again in front of a home crowd that's what would be special to me," Gagliardi said.  "It's in my backyard and I will have a lot of fan support, a lot of family and friend support but then to be able to be the guy-I was first guy to win two that'd be pretty cool. That'd be a pretty good feather in your hat but that's not what's driving me, that's not my motivation going into this one." Full Story


The Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will return to Lake Murray Country, Aug. 11-13, to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2017. Hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board, the tournament will feature 53 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for the sport’s biggest award – $300,000 cash.

The Forrest Wood Cup has been held at Lake Murray, the Jewel of South Carolina, twice, in 2008 and 2014. Michael Bennett of Lincoln, California, won the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup fishing with a frog. Bennett ran all around the lake, targeting shade and a variety of shallow cover, fishing new water each day. The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup went to local favorite Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, South Carolina, who fished points and some upriver brush the first couple of days, but relied mostly on offshore schooling bass to earn the win.

“The key factor in this year’s event will be catching a 5-pounder every day,” Gagliardi said. “The lake is fishing really good – similar to 2014 – but there are also some differences. There is a lot more grass and vegetation this year. The fish are a little bigger, and there won’t be co-anglers fishing in this tournament. But the patterns will be similar to 2014, and guys will be doing a lot of the same things to catch fish.” Full Story


FLW Tour angler Anthony Gagliardi, the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup winner and 2006 FLW Tour Angler of the Year, has signed with Falcon Boats, the company announced this week.

The move gives the 2-year-old boat company based in Newberry, S.C., an established veteran to anchor its pro staff.

“We could not be more excited about having Anthony join our team," said Falcon Boats co-founder Stephen Waller. "Anthony is not only an extremely accomplished angler, but he is also a fantastic person away from the water. We are looking forward to tapping into his engineering background to help us to continue to improve the products we build.”

Gagliardi added that he was impressed with how Falcon boats ride and is excited to be involved with a new company which has its manufacturing facility located just 20 minutes from his house.

“I am so excited to partner with Falcon Boats," Gagliardi said. "Ride quality, performance, fishability – everything that is important to me as a professional, Falcon delivers on. And the fact that they are right here in my backyard makes it even better. I am happy to be a part of the Falcon family, and the growth that will undoubtedly arise as Falcon makes its mark on the bass fishing world.”

In addition to Gagliardi, the 2017 Falcon Pro Staff Team includes the following anglers: John Hunter; Michael Murphy; Brett Preuett; Chris Blanchette; Patrick Walters; and Torica Whitty.


LIVETARGET today announced it has added 2014 Forrest Wood Cup champion Anthony Gagliardi to its pro staff.

“Anthony is a highly proven angler with 17 years of experience at the pro level and both an FLW Angler of the Year and Forrest Wood Cup titles to his credit," said Gary Abernethy, marketing manager at LIVETARGET. "We’ve talked to Anthony over the years, and with our ongoing growth at LIVETARGET, it was the right time to add Anthony onto our team.”

Abernethy believes Gagliardi's fishing style will pair nicely with LIVETARGET's new Swimbait Series that was introduced last summer.

"We also like the fact that he is involved with the selling side of the tackle industry via his rod brand Level that he operates," Abernethy added. "He will be able to effectively coach anglers on what rod actions and types work best with specific techniques and applications for all the LIVETARGET lure products.”

Gagliardi is excited about the new relationship with LIVETARGET.

“I’ve been looking at LIVETARGET for a good while and as a Tour angler we face conditions that require a full portfolio of lure products to match the forage types and fisheries we visit in a season and LIVETARGET definitely has that depth of product line," he said. "I’m so impressed with their degree of detail in lures and unique offerings that I look forward to using them for the over the full fishing season. The new Swimbait Series has some very unique and appealing designs.”