Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 Forrest L. Wood Cup Lake Ouachita Day 2: Colson Takes Lead as Field Cut to 20!

Big bass key for leader
At about 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, Ramie Colson Jr.’s life might have changed forever. It was at that point that Colson cast into a brush pile on Lake Ouachita, felt a tug, set the hook and battled to the boat a fish that weighed nearly 6 pounds.
Now, normally, catching a 6-pound bass is not that big of a deal, unless of course you are fishing the Forrest Wood Cup for $500,000 and the big bass anchors the biggest limit of the tournament, putting you in the lead.
Welcome to Ramie Colson's world.
“After I caught that bass, I had to drift over to the bank, Power-Pole down, and just sit down and take a drink of water for about 15 minutes,” Colson recalls. “And those thoughts start popping up in your mind … about possibly winning. I had to take a few minutes to sort of recompose myself and get focused again.”
For the record, Colson’s day-two limit weighed 17 pounds, 14 ounces, giving him a two-day total of 31 pounds, 1 ounce for nearly a 3-pound lead going into the third day of the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, which is hosted by Visit Hot Springs and the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism.

Top 20 Below

“It’s just a blessing; that’s all I can say,” Colson says. “But we still have two more long days ahead.”
Colson, however, might have some favorable tailwinds helping push him along to victory lane the next two days. For one, he is fishing in an area where no one is competing for the same fish. This is critical because two of his closest pursuers – Brad Knight (second place) and Brandon Cobb (fourth place) – are sharing the back end of a creek and sort of splitting up their fish.
Second, Colson has a place where catching a solid 11-pound starter limit happens pretty quickly, allowing him to settle down and really milk brush piles for quality bass the rest of the day.
Third, all of Colson’s fishing is being done in one particular creek, keeping him from having to run all over the lake as some others on the leaderboard are doing.
Finally, there seems to be better quality fish in the piles, as Colson has upgraded his limits both days from them. Today he upgraded three times from the piles. He says he’s locating fish with his Garmin Panoptix and then fishing extremely slowly to catch them.
“I mean, I’m really soaking my bait in the brush,” Colson adds.
Also helping Colson are the numbers. He says he has about 40 brush piles located, some of which he has not yet fished. Also, his number of keeper fish per day, 12 to 15, seems to be higher than some others who are trying to track him down.
Tomorrow, we’ll see if any of Colson’s competitors have what it takes to do just that.
 Top 20 Pros
1. Ramie Colson Jr. – 31-01 (10)    
2. Brad Knight – 28-04 (10)          
3. Jacob Wheeler – 27-01 (10)
4. Brandon Cobb – 25-12 (10)
5. Chris Baumgardner – 25-10 (10)
6. Todd Auten – 24-13 (9)
7. Scott Martin – 24-09 (10)
8. Mark Daniels Jr. – 23-04 (10)
9. David Dudley – 21-11 (10)
10. Bryan Thrift – 21-10 (10)
11. Luke Clausen – 21-08 (9)
12. Larry Nixon – 21-07 (10)
13. Zack Birge – 20-09 (10)
14. Dave Lefebre – 20-06 (10)
15. Matt Arey – 20-01 (10)
16. Stetson Blaylock – 20-00 (10)
17. Clark Wendlandt – 19-15 (9)
18. Wesley Strader – 19-13 (10)
19. Ishama Monroe – 19-12 (7)
20. James Biggs – 19-04 (9)

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