FLW today announced it is moving its championship event in 2019 to Lake Hamilton after it had been originally scheduled to be back at Lake Ouachita, which hosted this year's Forrest Wood Cup.
Hot Springs, Ark., will remain the host city for the event with weigh-ins being held at Bank OZK Arena and the FLW Expo taking place at the adjoining Hot Springs Convention Center.
According to a release circulated by FLW about the move, the change was made due to superior cellular coverage around Hamilton, which will offer better coverage on FLW Live broadcasts, and "expected improved fishing conditions on the Ouachita River impoundment."
The Cup was last held at Lake Hamilton in 2005 when Hot Springs resident George Cochran claimed victory.
Hamilton's heavily-developed shoreline is a stark contrast to Ouachita's wild and natural environment and it's a much smaller body of water, too, checking in at 7,200 acres compared to Ouachita's 66,000-plus acres.
“We take great pride in providing the highest quality events for our anglers, sponsors and fans,” Bill Taylor, FLW senior director of tournament operations, said in the release. “In 2019 we will be visiting some of the nation’s top fisheries at peak times, so the catch at each stop should be extremely exciting. We are especially excited to announce that we are moving the FLW Cup to Lake Hamilton. The Hot Springs Convention Center, Bank OZK Arena and massive Hot Springs crowds provide the perfect setting to host the sport’s biggest event, and the improved cellular coverage on Lake Hamilton will ensure that fans around the world will have complete access to the show each day.”