South Carolina’s Cobb grabs lead at professional bass fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published August 13, 2017
FLW Tour pro Brandon Cobb of Greenwood, South Carolina, continued his momentum Saturday at the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray , the world championship of professional bass fishing, weighing in a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 4 ounces - his second straight day with a 19-plus pound limit. With a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 39 pounds even, Cobb will lead the final 10 pros who will fish Sunday for $300,000 cash - the top award in professional bass fishing.
Anglers began competition Friday in Columbia, South Carolina, with the full field of 53 anglers competing. Tour rookie Justin Atkins of Florence, Alabama, jumped out to the early lead Friday with a 21-pound, 5-ounce limit, with local anglers Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, South Carolina, and Cobb of Greenwood, South Carolina, close behind. Saturday, Cobb (39-0) jumped to the top of the leaderboard while Atkins (37-3) slipped to second and Gagliardi (36-1) fell to third.
Brandon Cobb. (FLW Fishing)
"This is pretty crazy," said Cobb, who is appearing in his third-career Forrest Wood Cup after finishing third in 2015 and ninth in 2016. "I'm really amazed, because I had no idea that I had that much weight today. I really thought that I had about 16 pounds and I thought that I'd be in third place. To be leading the Forrest Wood Cup going into the final day - it really hasn't sunk in, yet.
"Today actually seemed bad," Cobb continued. "I know 19 pounds doesn't seem bad, but I kind of got in a bad rotation today. Yesterday I caught between 20 and 25 fish, and I left them biting. Today, I caught seven. I'm hitting around 40 different places, but I've got about 20 areas where I'm pretty confident that I can get a bite. The other areas have fish but they don't always bite."
Cobb said that all of his fish have come via topwater baits. He said he's fishing three different hard baits and a fluke, changing things up based on the weather conditions.
"Yesterday I was throwing popping-style baits, and today I fished a couple of places with it and didn't catch any. I knew they were still there, so I picked up a Yo-Zuri Saltwater Pencil - a bigger pencil-walking bait, but it's a saltwater size - and I caught a few on it. It's really a conditional thing.
"I'm really excited to get back out there tomorrow and see if I can finish this," Cobb went on to say. "I love August fishing and I love high-pressure tournaments - I always have."
The top 10 pros that advanced to the final day of competition on Lake Murray are:
1st: Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 10 bass, 39-0
2nd: Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., 10 bass, 37-3
3rd: Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 36-1
4th: Travis Fox, Rogers, Ark., 10 bass, 35-0
5th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 33-13
6th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 31-14
7th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 30-14
8th: Aaron Britt, Yuba City, Calif., 10 bass, 29-10
9th: Scott Suggs, Alexander, Ark., 10 bass, 28-8
10th: Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-4
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Bradford Beavers, Ridgeville, S.C., nine bass, 26-0, $15,000
12th: Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 10 bass, 25-15, $15,000
13th: Lowrance pro Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., 10 bass, 25-8, $15,000
14th: Quaker State pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 25-0, $15,000
15th: Andrew Upshaw, Tulsa, Okla., nine bass, 23-15, $15,000