COLUMBIA, S.C. â€“ Team Duracell pro Michael Bennett of Lincoln, Calif., caught a two-day total of nine bass weighing 24 pounds, 15 ounces to win $1 million in the Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol on Lake Murray on Sunday. Bennett is the youngest champion in the history of the Forrest Wood Cup and topped his closest rival, Team Kelloggâ€™s pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Penn., by more than five pounds to become the sportâ€™s second instant millionaire.
â€œThis hasnâ€™t sunk in at all,â€ said Bennett, who became the youngest angler to reach $1 million in career earnings and has banked $1.4 million in FLW Outdoors events. â€œI mean, Iâ€™m excited and have an unbelievable feeling inside, but overall it hasnâ€™t sunk in. Itâ€™s incredible.â€
Bennett said he had a solid pattern targeted in practice, but heavy rains before the tournament began changed his approach. Bennett said he decided to start the tournament by fishing shallow.
Bennett admitted to â€œjunk fishing,â€ or fishing without a pattern, although he said he fine tuned his approach to fit the situation. Bennett said he targeted clear, shallow water with a patient retrieve, but was not afraid to speed the retrieve if his method didnâ€™t produce. The last two days of competition Bennett said he refined his junk fishing and targeted specific midlake spots featuring structure or grass.
*****from Jim Modlin GREENSBOROSports.com*****