By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor
Ask any of the 46 competitors in this week's Forrest Wood Cup who they'd like to see win, and each would naturally choose himself. But what if that wasn't an option?
What if it was preordained that they weren't going to win, but whomever else they chose would?
Who would they pick under that scenario, and why? Their reasoning didn't have to pertain to fishing whatsoever. It could be their best buddy, a guy who gave them a tip one time that led to a big paycheck or a veteran angler they felt deserving of winning one of the sport's major titles.
BassFan posed that question this week to a dozen Cup competitors this week, and here are the answers we got.
"I think I'd like to see Jacob Powroznik win. He's a good friend and he's come close to winning tournaments a couple times this year, so he's kind of overdue."
"Cody Meyer. He's been close in this thing before and it's his style of fishing. Plus, I like him and he's a good kid."
"I'd pick Chris Baumgardner. Everybody says you can't win this thing shallow, but I know he's going to fish shallow because that's what he does."
"Brent Ehrler, for sure, just because he's a really good guy. He's also an awesome offshore fisherman and he knows what to look for and how to catch them."
"Jim Moynagh. He deserves a great showing because, one, he has the longest hair on tour, and two, because he was a true professional in the way he handled the Potomac River incident (when a co-angler's inadvertent placement of a fish into his side of the livewell cost him a couple of pounds and may have prevented him from winning)."
"Jay Yelas. He's won just about everything there is except this tournament, and this would complete that list. He's still as tough as anybody out there."
"Jay Yelas would be my pick to win. He's been a great mentor and friend since I started out there, and he's my roommate and we share information. He's been real good to me, and I know he would use the win to glorify God with it."
Jim Moynagh is David Dudley's sentimental pick – partly because he's impressed with Moynagh's super-long hair.
"Cody Meyer's an all-around outstanding guy and this tournament does set up for him. He's still young, but anytime you flirt with a bunch of Top 10s, you're eventually going to win. He doesn't run around and gloat about everything – he's just a really good guy."
"I'd probably say J.T. Kenney. He's just been fishing off the charts – I think the only bad tournament he's had all year was at Okeechobee, and about half of the rest have been Top 10s. He's got a lot of confidence right now and I feel good about him. He gets along with everybody, he's a straight-up guy and he tells it like it is."
"Terry Bolton. We're super-good friends and he's had some rough luck in some tournaments in the past – he's been close, but he's never won one. He's a great guy and I'd really like to see him win."
"Andy Morgan. He catches them no matter where we go. I think he's got gills behind his ears."
"Cody Meyer, no questions asked. He's one of the best out here in my opinion and he's gotten really close before, and he's one of my best friends and I really like him. If I can't win, I'd rather seem him do it. Not to mention that he probably will win."
"Maybe Jacob Powroznik. He came close a couple of times and he had such a good year. I feel bad about the way things happened for him at Champlain. He went in there in 2nd place (in the points race), and to do what he did against that field, more times than not you're going to win Angler of the Year, but Dudley was just fishing out of his mind. This would be a good consolation for him."