John Cox Slips But Holds onto Lead at 2016 Forrest Wood Cup

Bucks Skeeter Yamaha

2016 Forrest Wood Cup, Day Three Leader John Cox - photo by Dan O'Sullivan

2016 Forrest Wood Cup, Day Three Leader John Cox – photo by Dan O’Sullivan

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Aug. 6, 2016) – Pro angler John Cox of DeBary, Florida, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 11 pounds even Saturday to hold his lead after Day Three of the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, on Wheeler Lake in Huntsville, Alabama. Cox will bring a slim 9-ounce lead over second-place angler Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, into championship Sunday, which will feature the final 10 pros casting for the $300,000 top cash prize.

“I headed south to the same creek arm that I’ve been hitting for the past two days,” said Cox, whose previous best showing at a Forrest Wood Cup was a 16th place finish in 2013. “I wanted to change things up at first, but I decided to return. So many anglers have won tournaments like this in one spot. For me, that is the spot.

“There’s a ton of laydowns and a little bit of duckweed in there,” Cox continued. “The duckweed moved around a bit in the current. It was a grind today. I only caught seven keepers – all before noon.”

Cox said he used a few different lures to entice his limit, including a frog, a buzzbait and a topwater.

“In the afternoon, I headed to another arm farther north that had bigger fish – I could see them,” said Cox. “I tried flipping and fishing shadier banks to really mix it up, but the water was too dirty. It just didn’t feel right, so I brought in what I had.

“Tomorrow I’m going to keep my head down and pray that I can get 12 or 13 pounds,” said Cox. “I think that’s what it will take for me to win.”

The top 10 pros that will continue to championship Sunday on Wheeler Lake are:

1st:          John Cox, DeBary, Fla., 15 bass, 43-5

2nd:         Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., 14 bass, 42-12

3rd:         Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 37-14

4th:         Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 37-13

5th:         Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 15 bass, 37-3

6th:         Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 15 bass, 36-9

7th:         Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C., 15 bass, 35-9

8th:         Joseph Webster, Fulton, Miss., 15 bass, 34-13

9th:         Chris Johnston, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, 15 bass, 34-3

10th:       Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., 14 bass, 32-15

Finishing 11th: through 20th are:

11th:       Yamamoto Baits pro Jimmy Reese, Witter Springs Calif., 15 bass, 32-7, $15,000

12th:       Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 32-3, $15,000

13th:       Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 15 bass, 32-2, $15,000

14th:       Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 13 bass, 30-0, $15,000

15th:       David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 29-14, $15,000

16th:       Shane LeHew, Mooresville, N.C., 15 bass, 29-13, $15,000

17th:       J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 11 bass, 29-5, $15,000

18th:       Bill Chapman, Salt Rock, W. Va., 15 bass, 29-3, $15,000

19th:       Brandon McMillan, Clewiston, Fla., 13 bass, 25-12, $15,000

20th:       Ray Hanselman, Del Rio, Texas, 13 bass, 24-0 $15,000

Final results for the remaining field can be found at

Overall there were 95 bass weighing 207 pounds, 6 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 17 five-bass limits.

The final 10 anglers will take off from the Ditto Landing located at 2963 Ditto Landing Road in Huntsville, at 7 a.m. Sunday at the Folger’s Morning Takeoff. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Propst Arena located at 700 Monroe St. SW, in Huntsville, beginning at 5 p.m.

Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo on Sunday at the Von Braun Center from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in. 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 Sunday the first 500 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a voucher to redeem for a free rod and reel combo courtesy of WHNT News 19 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 Mercury outboard motor courtesy of WAFF 48. 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.

FLW fans will be treated to the Bass & BBQ Festival in conjunction with the FLW Expo. The BBQ Festival, presented by WQRV 100.3 The River, will feature four award-winning BBQ teams offering delicious fare to visitors at the Forrest Wood Cup. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to local Alabama charities.

Country music superstar Dustin Lynch will perform a free concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at the Propst Arena on Sunday starting at 4 p.m., prior to the final weigh-in. The concert is presented by WDRM 102.1 radio. Lynch occupies a unique place in today’s country music. Thanks to his classic sensibilities, he’s been heralded as the heir to George Strait’s throne. Yet with one listen to, “Where It’s At” it’s obvious the young Tennessee native knows how to combine his traditional influences with an edgy intensity that places him at the vanguard of today’s contemporary country scene.

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

Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) when “FLW” airs October 18 from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. 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.

The 2016 Forrest Wood Cup at Wheeler Lake presented by Walmart is being hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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

About FLW

FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2016 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 235 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit and follow FLW at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat: @FLWFishing.