The 2013 FLW Forrest Wood Cup cranks up Aug. 15-18 on the Red River in Shreveport, with 46 anglers competing for the tour’s $500,000 top prize.
Each tournament day begins with a 7 a.m. takeoff from the Red River South Marina, and finishes up with the 5 p.m. weigh-in at CenturyLink Center.
The field will be cut to the Top 20 after Friday based on cumulative weight from days 1 and 2, and the the Top 10 anglers after Saturday will compete on Sunday for the grand prize. The winner will be determined by the heaviest cumulative weight from all four days of fishing.
“What I think will win it is around 56 or 57 pounds, in that range,” said Homer Humphreys, longtime BASS angler and current full-time guide on the Red River. “Ten pounds a day will have you locked into the Top 20. There were a lot of good fish in the river, but mud moved in and it’s not going to settle down in time.”
Humphreys said recent heavy rains in Oklahoma and Arkansas have muddied up the river, and will create different fishing conditions for the anglers who put in lots of practice time several weeks ago.
“To win it, they’re going to have to go in the oxbows,” said Humphreys, 62, of Minden. “They spent a lot of time on the river, and the fish were biting. Now they’re going to have to go hunting again.”
The dirty river water also will add an additional time pressure for the field, he said.
“It’s just as important to know how to get somewhere as it is to be on fish,” Humphreys said, “because every place you go off the river is at least 25 minutes in and 25 minutes out because there are no boat lanes. You’ll have to idle across those stumps.”
If he were fishing the river, a square-billed crankbait would be his first choice.
“That square-bill is going to about 3 feet deep,” he said. “These fish are going to be in 1 to 4 feet of water. I’d want that square-bill to go by those logs and cover a lot of water because that’s what it’s going to take.”
In the oxbows, he suggested Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver 4.20 soft-plastics on a Carolina rig, and a Texas rig for flipping and pitching.
“In the oxbows, these fish stay in about 1 to 6 feet of water, and all the rest of the water don’t count. That’s where they live,” he said.
In addition to the muddy water on the Red River, the heat of Shreveport in August also will wear on the field.
“(For) the older guys, that can be a mental game for them because everybody’s going to be moaning and groaning about the heat,” Humpreys said. “The hotter it is and the muggier it is, I loved it because they’re already disgusted, and it eliminates 70 percent of your field.”
For more information on the Forrest Wood Cup, and to watch streaming video of several daily events, click here.