The eyes of the bass fishing world will be on Georgia's Lake Lanier as the nation's top fishermen arrive to compete in the 17th annual Forrest Wood Cup, Aug. 9-12, 2012. The four-day championship tournament draws professional anglers and co-anglers from throughout North America to compete for more than $1 million in purse money and the title of FLW's top angler of the year.
Each morning, anglers will put in at Lake Lanier's Laurel Park mega ramp for up to 8 hours of fishing before trailering and hauling their boats (and live catches) caravan style 35 miles to the Gwinnett Civic Center for the daily weigh in.
A catch-and-release program, FLW regulations call for each competitor to take special care handling their fish, and points are deducted for any which die prior to weigh in. The last day of competition, the final 10 anglers' weigh in will be broadcast online at FLW Live. Prizes are awarded for 1st-46th place and range from the sport's biggest award of $500,000 to $2,000.
Spectators and fans of these top fishermen will scramble to catch a glimpse of the action, and Laurel Park is open to the public throughout the tournament, as are the lake's waters. However, the best seat in the house is just that. Inside the Gwinnett Center where, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Aug. 10-12, a free EXPO will be going on with hundreds of exhibits showcasing the latest in fishing equipment and technology, boats and boating gear, outdoor sports seminars, fishing tips and talks from well-known professionals, family fun, interactive kids' displays and $100,000 in fishing gear and sponsor samples to be given away. Big screens will broadcast the latest updates from six cameras out on Lake Lanier, and the final day's weigh-in will take place here on Sunday, Aug. 12.
Special events will take place throughout the four days. A complete schedule is online at http://www.flwoutdoors.com/bassfishing/flw/tournament/2012/6746/forrest-wood-cup-event-schedule/.
Only two other lakes besides Lake Lanier can boast of hosting more than one Forrest Wood Cup, so this year's championship has special significance, bringing back the superstars of bass fishing to Georgia for the second time in three years. Lake Lanier hosted the prestigious event last in 2010, when some 60 anglers experienced its challenging waters and almost 60,000 fans attended the EXPO at the Gwinnett Center, generating more than $23.2 million for the local economy.
The gateway to the Northeast Georgia Mountains, Lake Lanier hosts eight million water enthusiasts each year and is the largest man-made lake in the Southeast with 692 miles of shoreline, popular aqua blue water and stunning views.
For complete information about the FLW Cup and Lake Lanier, contact the Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau at 678 943-3477. Touring, accommodation, shopping, dining and other information is available at www.LakeLanierCVB.com. Media questions should be directed to Ruth Sykes, LRC-Media, 478 952-9023; RuthSykes@LRC-Media.com or to Jennifer Z. Norman, Vice President at the Lake Lanier Convention & Visitors Bureau, 770 328-2486; Jennifer@LakeLanierCVB.com.