The Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will return to Lake Murray Country, August 11-13, to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2017. Hosted by the Capital City Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism Board, the tournament will feature 53 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for the sport’s biggest award – $300,000 cash.

Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi delightedly hoists the Forrest Wood Cup!

Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi delightedly hoists the Forrest Wood Cup!

The Forrest Wood Cup has been held at Lake Murray, the Jewel of South Carolina, twice, in 2008 and 2014. Michael Bennett of Lincoln, California, won the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup fishing with a frog. He ran all around the lake, targeting shade and a variety of shallow cover, fishing new water each day. The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup went to local favorite Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, South Carolina, who fished points and some upriver brush the first couple of days, but relied mostly on offshore schooling bass to earn the win.

Blueback-chasing schoolers and shallow bluegill eaters dominated the 2014 event, and topwater baits were the predominant tactic, but a few other patterns emerged, including drop-shotting, dragging on offshore structure and fishing a mayfly hatch far up the Saluda River.

Will it be three consecutive Cups won up a shallow creek? Will topwater win again? Or will the offshore bite reclaim its place as a late-summer winner in the South? There are a lot of patterns in play in this one. The one certainty is that no matter what patterns emerge, the weights are always close at Lake Murray in August. Expect several anglers to average 10 to 12 pounds a day and to be in the hunt.

Anglers will take off from Dreher Island State Park located at 3677 State Park Road in Prosperity, at 7 am EDT each morning at the Folger’s Morning Takeoff. Each day’s weigh-in will be held at the Colonial Life Arena located at 801 Lincoln St., in Columbia, beginning at 5 pm.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center located at 1101 Lincoln St. in Columbia, each day from 10 am to 4:30 pm prior to the weigh-ins. The Expo includes games, activities and giveaways provided by more than 40 FLW sponsors, the opportunity to shop the latest tackle and outdoor gear from more than 100 exhibitors, Ranger boat simulators, a casting pond and a trout pond for children, as well as the opportunity to meet and interact with top professional anglers, including Hank Parker, Jimmy Houston and Byron Velvick. FLW’s namesake Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, will also be greeting fans.

On Saturday and Sunday the first 500 children 14 and under each day who are accompanied by an adult will receive a voucher to redeem for a free Kid Caster’s no-tangle, rod-and-reel combo courtesy of WLTX after the evening’s weigh-in. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a brand new Ranger Z521C bass boat with a 250-horsepower Evinrude outboard motor courtesy of 97.5 WCOS radio. The Ranger Boat giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.

Also on Saturday and Sunday, FLW fans will be treated to the Bass & BBQ Festival in conjunction with the FLW Expo. FLW and the South Carolina BBQ Association have partnered to feature award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup Expo. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to local South Carolina charities.

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Country music superstar Easton Corbin will perform a free concert on the weigh-in stage at Colonial Life Arena on Sunday starting at 4 pm, prior to the final weigh-in. The concert is presented by 97.5 WCOS radio. With two No. 1 singles, multiple awards and nominations, plus performances on some of the biggest stages in the world, Mercury Nashville’s Corbin has made a lasting impression on the country music landscape. He is lauded for his traditional country sound, authentic lyrics and mastery of understatement. American Songwriter says, “Easton Corbin has one of those rare, glorious voices that was made – just made – for singing country music.”

The Folger’s Morning Takeoff, FLW Expo, Bass & BBQ event, live concert and weigh-ins are all free and open to the public.

Television coverage of the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) Sept. 27 from Noon -1 pm EDT. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

For a full schedule of events, complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing