Top fish tourney starting Thursday

The biggest thing in bass fishing is coming to Gwinnett.

Starting Thursday, 78 of the world's best fishermen will be on Lake Lanier competing to reel in the biggest, baddest bass, bringing their catch back to Gwinnett Arena for nightly weigh-ins as they vie for the Forrest Wood Cup.

A culmination of a year's worth of competitions and points totals, "the Cup" is the ultimate prize in bass fishing.

"It is the Super Bowl, it is the World Series, it is the whatever-you-want-to-call-it of fishing," said veteran fisherman Tom Mann Jr., a Buford native.

Each day at Laurel Park on Lake Lanier, 78 fishermen will take off for a day's worth of casting, reeling and, hopefully, good luck. They'll spend the day on one of the top spotted bass locations on the circuit before bringing their days work back to Duluth for the spectacle that is the nightly weigh-in.

Thursday through Sunday, weigh-ins will be held at 5 p.m.

"Lake Lanier is probably the best spotted bass fishery in the country," FLW Outdoors spokesman Chad Gay said, "so we want a lot of fish to be weighed and make for a great show."

While the pros do what they do best, plenty of events will be held for fishing fans at the Gwinnett Center, including all kinds of giveaways, fishing seminars, equipment demonstrations and free concerts.

It's all part of the premier event in fishing.

"This is the big thing," Mann said. "This is it. It's the biggest thing in fishing."