The first day of the Forrest Wood Cup in Hot Springs, Arkansas on Lake Ouachita ended with National Guard pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., bringing in a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces leading the way.
Martin now holds a 1-pound, 1-ounce lead over Diet Mt. Dew pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., who weighed five bass weighing 18-1 in a tournament featuring 58 of the world’s best professional bass anglers.
Luke Clausen of Spokane is in 11th place with five bass weighing 13-pounds, 15-ounces, and Ronald Hobbs Jr. of Orting is in 42nd place with five bass weighing 7-pounds, 12-ounces.
Martin’s smallest fish in his limit was a 3 1/2-pounder and he didn’t want to “burn” any more quality fish, so he spent the rest of the day looking for new areas to fish and scouting the amount of fishing pressure his other areas were getting.
Martin said his first-day catch and cooler air temperatures have boosted his confidence about the rest of the tournament.
“I think (the weather) helped everybody,” Martin said. “Any time you have a cloudy, cool day in August when it’s been 110 degrees it’s going to be beneficial. Hopefully the weather will stay like it was today for the next few days. We’ll see what happens.
“I feel like in the area I’m fishing right now I can catch another bag like the one I caught today or even a third-day bag like that,” Martin added. “I feel like there’s the opportunity for that. That being said, I have quite a few more areas that had fish in them that I didn’t even get to fish today. I’m not out of fish and I’m not out of spots to look for them.”
Rounding out the top-10 pros after day one on Lake Ouachita are:
3rd: Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., five bass, 18-0
4th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., five bass, 17-5
5th: EverStart pro Randall Tharp, Gardendale, Ala., five bass, 16-0
6th: National Guard pro Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., five bass, 14-14
7th: Jon Strelic, El Cajon, Calif., five bass, 14-12
8th: Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., five bass, 14-10
9th: National Guard pro Mark Rose, Marion, Ark., five bass, 14-9
10th: Cody Meyer, Grass Valley, Calif., five bass, 14-2
Overall there were 244 bass weighing 588 pounds, 9 ounces caught by 56 pros. The catch included 39 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for the title of Forrest Wood Cup champion, the most prestigious award in professional bass fishing, as well as a top award of up to $600,000 — the sport’s biggest award.
Anglers will take off from Brady Mountain Resort & Marina located at 4120 Brady Mountain Rd. in Royal, Ark., at 6:30 each morning. Daily weigh-ins will also be held at Summit Arena & Hot Springs Convention Center located at 134 Convention Blvd., in Hot Springs beginning at 5 p.m.
For more information visit the FLW Outdoors website.