HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — FLW Outdoors and the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Tuesday Hot Springs would once again host the Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, Aug. 11-14, 2011, on Lake Ouachita. The last time the Forrest Wood Cup, the sport’s premier event, was held in Hot Springs was 2007 and Scott Suggs of Bryant, Ark., made professional fishing history winning the first $1 million first-place cash prize.
“We couldn’t be happier about returning to Hot Springs for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup,” said Charlie Evans, President and CEO of FLW Outdoors. “The then-record attendance we had at the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup and FLW Outdoors Expo speaks volumes about the enthusiasm for bass fishing that fans have throughout the state and the entire region.”
Hot Springs isn’t a new venue for FLW Outdoors’ championship tournaments. The 2005 Forrest Wood Cup and FLW Outdoors Expo was held on Lake Hamilton, a sister lake to Lake Ouachita, and drew a then-record crowd of 40,671 fans to the Hot Springs Convention Center and Summit Arena over the course of four days. Those same fans ultimately witnessed Hot Springs resident and bass-fishing legend George Cochran reel in $500,000. The Forrest Wood Cup returned to Hot Springs and Lake Ouachita in 2007 where many of those same fans and more, 61,967 to be exact, saw Suggs make history.
“The 2007 Forrest Wood Cup was by far the largest and most successful event we’ve ever held in the Hot Springs Convention Center since the construction of Summit Arena in 2003,” said Steve Arrison, executive director for the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Hot Springs is a bass-fishing town situated along some fantastic lakes and full of fishing fans. There’s no better place to hold the most lucrative event in the history of the sport.”
In addition to the tournament and the international media coverage it will receive, the FLW Outdoors Expo, which will feature hundreds of exhibits and activities, will be held at the convention center and the live weigh-ins will be held at Summit Arena. Visitors from around the globe will not only catch the world’s best bass-fishing action, they’ll also receive great buys on everything from crankbaits to bass boats at the outdoor show.
Hot Springs is currently hosting two FLW Outdoors tournaments – the FLW Tour Chevy Open and the BFL All-American presented by Chevy. The Chevy Open is being held on Lake Ouachita and the All-American is being held on DeGray Lake. Fans can enjoy the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Hot Springs Convention Center on Friday, May 28 from 4 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 29 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The final weigh-ins will be at 3 and 4 p.m., respectively, on Saturday at Summit Arena.