I’ve rechecked the standings sheet half a dozen times, just to make sure I’m reading it correctly. Seems it really says what I thought it said. Not only did Anthony Gagliardi beat Scott Canterbury by only 1 ounce to win the title of Forrest Wood Cup champion and the prize of half million dollars, but the top 5 pros in the standing were separated by less than 1 pound (11 ounces, to be exact).
We’re talking about an 11-ounce spread from four days of competition on South Carolina’s Lake Murray, and the pros tallied those weights in very different ways. Steve Kennedy came into the final day in tenth place, nearly nine pounds off the lead, but he brought in the biggest sack of the tournament to put himself in that mix. Third place finisher Brent Ehrler was the most consistent, with four days’ weights that varied by less than two pounds.
The pros also did things totally different ways on the water. Gagliardi mixed it up himself, catching fish both deep and shallow, but he caught his final-day limit casting to fish that were relating to herring and schooling in deep water near the lake’s dam. Steve Kennedy, on the other hand, ran many miles up the Saluda River from the lake and caught all of this fish shallow. The top five collectively fished all over the lake and used a huge range of strategies to end up with such close weights.
I got to watch much of action from the water, and even saw Gagliardi catch his Sunday bag. I had a pretty good idea from the rumblings I heard that the weigh-in would be close, but I never would have guessed that five anglers would have ended up quite that close!
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