Tough Bite, Race Tightens

By Curtis Niedermier - Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, 11:26 AM

Lake Murray, known as the “Jewel of South Carolina,” is glimmering brightly under the hot August sun today during the second day of competition at the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup. currently lists the air temperature in Columbia, S.C., as 88 degrees, but the humidity and nearly flat-calm conditions are making the “feels like” temperature seem much higher.

FLW’s On the Water crew has reported only a handful of limits and just as few kicker bites thus far. Most of the action occurred early in the morning. Once the sun rose above the treetops, the eat switch flipped to the off position.

At takeoff, several pros predicted that the midday brush-pile bite was going to be the ticket around lunchtime and into the afternoon, but the trickle of fish-catch updates coming in midday seems to be generated by the anglers running and gunning the banks. It makes sense. Murray’s ample supply of docks, laydowns, shoreline grasses and other shallow cover cast just enough shady protection from the sun to support a population of resident shallow bass, and there are plenty of bluegills and other forage species for them to eat. If a pro can hit a hundred targets, odds are good he can get his topwater, fluke or jig in front of a few keeper fish.

Day-one leader David Dudley was working with only two keepers at 1 p.m. Local favorite Casey Ashley reportedly is mounting a run at the Castrol pro with a solid limit. Other dangerous anglers lurking behind Dudley have also landed kicker bites or limits approaching the double-digits. That group includes Anthony Gagliardi, Bryan Thrift and Jacob Wheeler.

Truthfully, this afternoon is opportunity time. No one is going to smash them, but with a head-down approach and steadfast determination, getting just one or two good bites could earn a pro a ticket to fish during the weekend.

It’s moving day here at the Forrest Wood Cup. Only 20 pros will fish tomorrow. Only a couple of hours of fishing remain. And at this point, it really seems as if every one of the 45 pros in this derby is still in contention. 

Rayovac pro Jacob Wheeler boating his first keeper of the day. It looks like second place co-angler Chris Burgan is a very capable net man.

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