Mark Daniels Jr. Previews Forrest Wood Cup



2015 is the first year running Garmin electronics for FLW Tour pro Mark Daniels Jr. and they have helped him land a berth in the Forrest Wood Cup. We recently spoke with Mark to get some insight on how he believes the Cup will shake out.

Garmin: How was pre-practice?

It was my first time to Lake Ouachita, so I was just trying to cruise around and get a feel for the lay of the lake and the different types of structure that will potentially be key players during the tournament. Ouachita is a really deep, clear lake, heavily influenced by man-made brush piles. In my opinion, brush is going to be the winning ticket. Guys that are able to locate what we in the fishing world call “green” brush piles, meaning recently placed, will probably outshine the competition.

There’s usually a pretty strong grass bite at Ouachita this time of year. Do you think grass will be a factor?

I was shocked to see how much grass there is in the lake. There’s quite a bit of hydrilla and milfoil mid-lake. I fished it for two days straight and couldn’t get a single bite out of it. I think maybe they just haven’t made the migration to the grass yet because it’s growing as we speak. I just don’t think it’s at its full potential just yet.

Were you fishing deep brush or shallow brush piles? 

The magic number seems to be 17-25’ on any point on that lake. You’re going to find brush piles on any contour and any break. It’s absolutely crazy – I’ve never seen that many brush piles in any lake throughout my entire life. You’ll idle around a point and there will be at least five brush piles. That lake doesn’t have a ton of natural habitat in certain areas of the lake, so of course the anglers and locals take it upon themselves to plant brush piles and the fish definitely get in them. Sometimes you’ll see multiple brush piles dumped on top of each other year after year in 25’ of water and it’s to the point where they are almost to the surface. The same people just keep dumping brush there every year. It’s just crazy.

Do you think anything is going change between pre-practice and tournament time?

I hope so, man. Fishing has been really tough. I hope we get a cooling trend of some sort. When I was up there, it was very hot and the fish were lethargic and didn’t want to bite. It was just tough. I’m really hoping it cools down so two things take place.

First of all, I’m hoping that the topwater bite gets a lot stronger. Secondly, I’m hoping that the fish start moving into the grass. I think that would change the game. I guarantee everyone is dead-set on brush piles right now. If something else were to change or become a factor, like grass, topwater, or something else, I think it would make things a lot more interesting.

How have your Garmin units helped you this year? 

My Garmin electronics have been absolutely key to my success all season. You have to have electronics, no matter who you are or what you do, but it helps to have really good electronics. The one thing that impresses me the most is the Garmin mapping. I was a little unsure at first because I was accustomed to using another brand, but I am very impressed with the level of detail that the Garmin LakeVü HD Ultra mapping has at a lot of different lakes. It allowed me to do some pattern-style fishing without even having to necessarily be on the lake. I could just look at the overview and see certain areas, contours, or ledges that I wanted to look at once I showed up for practice. I just marked all these areas before I even touched the water so I had a mental gameplan and when I launched the boat, I could just run those spots instead of having to stop and take the time to find something that looked good. It made things a lot smoother for me during the season. 

At Chickamauga, the MaxDef mapping was a huge help to finding some of the areas that I found offshore, which turned into big fish. Then when we headed to the Potomac River, I loved that my units had built-in tidal charts. I’m from the California Delta region and know that tides play a huge part into the bite back home. It was the same type of deal at the Potomac, so having those tide times right at my fingertips was a big help.

How many pounds do you think it will take to win?

52 pounds.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, and good luck at the Cup!

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The post Mark Daniels Jr. Previews Forrest Wood Cup appeared first on Garmin Blog.

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