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Hot Springs and Lake Ouachita will host 56 of the best anglers on the FLW Tour competing for $350,000 today through Sunday at the Forrest Wood Cup.

The Forrest Wood Cup honors Forrest L. Wood of Flippin, founder of Ranger Boats. The Cup is the championship event of the Fishing League Worldwide tournament system. It includes the top 40 anglers from the FLW Tour, the top 10 anglers from the Costa FLW Series, the BFL All-American champion, The Bass Federation national champion, the college national champion, the 2017 Angler of the Year and the defending 2017 Forrest Wood Cup champion.

Representing Arkansans will be Mark Rose of West Memphis and Greg Bohannan of Bentonville.

Also in the field will be Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla., the 2015 Angler of the Year and winner of the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. He said that no matter how many tournaments and honors an angler wins, a Forrest Wood Cup championship defines a career.

"The Forrest Wood Cup is the fishing tournament that nobody forgets," Martin said. "I've had other major victories in my career, and some people may remember them, but no one forgets the Forrest Wood Cup."

Justin Atkins, who won the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C., during his rookie season, said he hopes to become the first two-time champion. He also said he expects the fishing to be tough, and that it will take 12-14 pounds per day to stay in contention.

"Lake Ouachita is a really good fishery and is a perfect venue to host the Forrest Wood Cup," Atkins said. "I've been there twice and caught quite a few big fish. This event should be a little tougher, but it's during the dog days of summer. Fishing is tough right now all over the country. I love a good slugfest, but I really enjoy the tough tournaments for our championship event."

Takeoffs are at 7 a.m., today through Sunday, at Brady Mountain Resort and Marina near Royal, west of Hot Springs. Weigh-ins will be at 5 p.m. daily at the Bank of the Ozarks Arena, formerly Summit Arena, in Hot Springs.

Off the water, fans can enjoy the FLW Expo at the Hot Springs Convention Center, which houses Bank OZK Arena. It will be held all three days from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will feature displays by more than 100 exhibitors.

On Saturday and Sunday, fans may attend the Bass & BBQ Festival. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Arkansas charities.

Justin Moore, who was named the 2014 New Artist of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, will give a free concert Sunday at Bank OZK Arena at 4 p.m., before the final weigh-in.

FLW will hold a free outdoor expo all four days at the arena where vendors will sell tackle, boating gear, electronics and other gear.

Sports on 08/10/2018

Print Headline: Lake Ouachita hosts Forrest Wood Cup

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