SHREVEPORT, Louisiana Port St. Joe professional angler Randall Tharp won the Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of bass fishing, and $500,000.
Tharp beat out 45 of the best professional bass anglers from across the county to win the four-day tournament in Shreveport/Bossier City, Louisiana.
Tharp took an early lead on Day 1 when his five-bass limit weighed 18 pounds, 8 ounces. That gave him a slim, 1-ounce lead over Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C.
“Believe it or not, it started off pretty badly for me today,” said Tharp, who finished in second place at the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup. “I had been catching them really quick in practice, but today I didn’t put my first fish in the boat until 10:30 a.m."
Tharp widened the lead with an 11 pound 3-ounce total on Friday.
“I caught two decent fish right away and it really settled me down,” said the pro known as the honey badger. “It wasn’t fast and furious, but I had my limit today by 9:15 a.m., and it was pretty close to what I weighed in."
Thrift and Tharp flip flopped places on Saturday when Thrift weighed in at 9 pounds, 15-ounces, good enough for a 4-ounce lead.
Despite losing the lead going into the final today, Tharp remained confident.
“Things got a little more clear for me today,” said Tharp. “I know exactly what I need to do win to this tournament and I know exactly where I’m going.”
Tharp did just that Sunday. His 5 bass limit of 14 pounds gave him a four-day weight total of 53 pounds, 2 ounces.
“Two years ago at the Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Ouachita, I fished what I thought was the most perfect tournament of my life and came up second,” said Tharp, who has now accumulated more than $1.25 million dollars in his FLW career. “If I said that one didn’t sting a little bit, it would be a lie. Last year when the schedule came out and I saw that the Cup was going back to the Red River and Shreveport, I knew that it was going to be my time.”
Top 10 Results
1st: EverStart pro Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, Fla., 20 bass, 53-2, $501,000
2nd: Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 20 bass, 49-2, $75,000
3rd: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 20 bass, 46-1, $60,000
4th: Kerry Milner, Bono, Ark., 20 bass, 44-7, $55,000
5th: Chevy pro Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 20 bass, 44-44, $50,000
6th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 20 bass, 44-2, $45,000
7th: Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 15 bass, 43-7, $40,000
8th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., 20 bass, 41-8, $35,000
9th: Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, Wis., 20 bass, 41-2, $30,000
10th: Robbie Dodson, Harrison, Ark., 19 bass, 37-11, $25,000