ABT Angler Randy Gardner to Fish Forrest Wood Cup
Alabama Bass Trail has always been able to claim having some of the best amateur and semi-professional anglers amongst its ranks, and when one of our anglers qualifies to fish a world championship, we should celebrate.
This year, Randy Gardner, an ABT angler from Wetumpka qualified for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup as a co-angler through the Rayovac Series. Gardner finished the 2014 FLW Rayovac regular season in 10th place in the points and qualified for the championship event on Wheeler Lake. Qualifying for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup took a roundabout path.
“I started the first day by finishing in the in the 60’s in the standings,” said Gardner. “My first day boater apologized to me, but I told him that was the best position I’d been in on the first day all year; I told him I had them right where I wanted them.”
When he drew an angler who was fishing tight to bluff walls on the second day, he began searching for something he could do to get some bites. “I prayed to God to show me something in my box that I could do to get a bite or two,” he said. “I saw a big bladed spinnerbait and tied it on my cranking rod then made casts out the back of the boat at about a 45-degree angle, and slow rolled it.”
He only got two bites; one at ten o’clock, the other at two. Both fish were five pounders, moving him up to fifth place. He fished the next day and caught enough to move up to third place. “I was really excited to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup, and am excited to get there and fish hard,” he said.
Gardner, who fishes as a boater in Alabama Bass Trail events said that his experience in ABT this past year helped him have a broader repertoire of techniques with which to choose from. “I’ve learned so much from the guys in ABT, that it’s given me things to think about whenever I fish,” he said. “When we’re sitting around talking after an event, we share experiences and it helps all of us learn.”
He said that he spent a few days on Lake Ouachita prior to the off limits, and he knows what he thinks is going to win the event, and how he’ll fish if he draws a pro fishing shallow. “I expect that the tournament will be won fishing deep,” he said. “But, if I draw a pro fishing shallow bream beds, I know how I’ll fish to complement what they are doing, but stay out of the way and give myself a chance to be competitive.”
He said he is excited to get to Hot Springs and get the work underway. “I want to win, but more importantly I want people to see God through me and represent my state as well,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to being there; it’s really a dream come true for me.”
The sponsors of the 2015 Alabama Bass Trail include: Bill Penney Toyota, the Alabama Tourism Department, Phoenix Bass Boats, Inc., Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, T-H Marine Supplies, Inc., Alabama Power Company, Buffalo Rock, Inc., Jet-Pep, Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, and Frogg Toggs, Inc., HydroWaveTM, Alabama Foundation Specialist, Boat U.S., LEER, Vicious Fishing, E3 Sports, Inc., Costa Del Mar, Frogg Toggs, Inc., Power-Pole, Window World and Yeti Coolers.