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.”
So how does a recent Forrest Wood Cup champion gauge what a successful season is just one year after his career-defining achievement?
Some may think Anthony Gagliardi’s idea of a successful tournament season may have gotten skewed after he won the Cup in dramatic fashion to cap off his 2014 season. He’s been around long enough to realize that that was a rare opportunity in which the stars aligned in his favor at his home lake for a 4-day period. He wasn’t so naïve to think anything short of another Cup triumph would be deemed a failure. He knew it would be hard to win at a game of “Can You Top This?” during the 2015 FLW Tour season.
He held his own by posting two Top-20 finishes and finishing 16th in points, his best showing since 2009, all the while handling the duties that come with being the reigning Cup champ and trying to get his new rod company off the ground.
“It was successful,” he said. “I had a pretty good year. When you end a year like I did (in 2014) and I think this is true for anyone after an Angler of the Year or Cup win, the biggest thing was to make sure I didn’t have a let down.
“It’s the same as football where a team comes off a big win they let off gas after that emotional high and then has a letdown against a team they shouldn’t lose to. I wanted to have the same focus and have a great year and I felt like I did that for the most part. I had a couple tournaments that got away from me, but I still wanted to finish as high as I could.”
Looking back, he was mostly pleased with how his year as the reigning Cup champion played out.
“I didn’t put much thought into what I expected it to be, but it was good,” he said. “I guess I could’ve used it to my advantage more in certain ways, but I’m pleased with how the year went.” Read more