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The Lake News Online
  • Sykora will try to catch fish, fire

  • Osage Beach resident will compete for purse and trophy
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  • The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing, will return to Lake Murray and the Columbia, S.C. area Aug. 14-17 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2014. Hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism, the tournament will feature 45 of the world’s best bass pros and co-anglers casting for the sport’s biggest awards – $500,000 cash in the pro division and $50,000 cash in the co-angler division.
    Local angler Marcus Sykora of Osage Beach, Mo., will be one of the 45 anglers competing in the championship event. Sykora qualified after winning the BFL All-American tournament held on Wilson Lake in June. Competing against 49 of the best weekend anglers in the country, Sykora led wire-to-wire in a dominating performance and punched his ticket to the most lucrative bass tournament in the world.
     One of the anglers competing against Sykora is Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, who lives on Lake Murray and is considered an early favorite.
     “The most exciting thing about this tournament is that it’s being held in my backyard,” said Gagliardi. “I disappointed myself the last time that the Cup was held here in 2008 and I didn’t think that I would ever have this opportunity again. To get another chance to possibly win $500,000 in front of my hometown crowd is a dream come true.”
     Gagliardi said that he expects this tournament to play out very similar to the last time the Forrest Wood Cup was held on Lake Murray and that the tournament could be won with a variety of different tactics, allowing competitors to fish to their strengths.
    “Some guys will be catching fish shallow, some guys will be catching them out deep,” Gagliardi said. “I think that the majority of the field will most likely be fishing a combination of both. There will be a lot of junk fishing going on. You can look at the results from the last time and get a really good idea of how this one will play out.”
     The 2008 Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Murray was won by California pro Michael Bennett, who “junk-fished” for the first two days of competition, moving down the bank casting to “junk” – lay-downs, trees, grass, docks or anything else that could hold fish. Bennett then moved shallow for the final two days of competition and fished a topwater frog around docks with grass to seal his win and earn the title of Forrest Wood Cup champion.
     “I think that if a guy can catch 11 pounds a day, he’ll make it through to the weekend top-20 cut,” Gagliardi said. “I think the winner is going to have a four-day total right around 60 pounds.”
    Page 2 of 2 -  Fishing fans that can’t make the trek to South Carolina can still follow along with all of the tournament action at ForrestWoodCup.com. Live on-the-water tweets, updates and videos will be posted throughout the four days of competition as well as a live streaming video feed of the weigh-in held at 5 p.m. each day.
    Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC when “FLW” airs Oct. 5 from 2-3 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

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