Every year, 150 professional fishermen enter the four-day Forrest L. Wood Tour in hopes of earning the first place prize of $100,000. After placing sixth in the points at the 2011 EverStart Series, Todd Hollowell, 35-year-old insurance agent and eight-year Fishers resident, qualified to join the bass fishing tournament for 2012 while representing Red Gold Tomatoes of Elwood.
“For race fans, it is the analogy of a stock car driver qualifying to race at the NASCAR level,” said Hollowell. “It is the highest level of the sport.”
The tour will be making stops at various lakes across the nation, including South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Washington D.C., New York, Kentucky and Michigan. The starting event takes place on March 7 at Lake Hartwell in Greenville, S. C.
Tournaments are multi-day events in which the participants have the ability to catch as many as five bass within an eight-hour fishing period. Afterward, the pros take their fish to the on-site weigh-in. Whoever caught the most weight determines how each individual finishes for that day.
“It’s really about consistency and being able to have a consistent catch with five bass in each day of competition that will move you up the leader board,” said Hollowell. “If you finish anywhere in the top 50, you are guaranteed at least a $10,000 prize; the goal is to make the top third in the field.”
While awaiting the starting tournament date, Hollowell made a connection with Red Gold at their headquarters in Elwood. Late last summer, there were discussions regarding a partnership between the two. At the end of October, an agreement was made, announcing Red Gold as Hollowell’s title sponsor for 2012.
During the months of January and February, Hollowell spends time promoting his sponsors. He has been working at boat dealers’ and tackle shop open houses. He spent a weekend at the Indiana Fishing Expo in Franklin, and he spent a few days at the Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show.
“I was really looking for a somewhat local company that could benefit from marketing through me as an angler,” said Hollowell. “We travel all over the nation and everywhere I go, people are going to see the Red Gold boat. It will get them some exposure outside the Indiana area.”
Hollowell said he is excited to be working with Red Gold. He has received an overwhelming response the first couple of months while showing the Red Gold boat. He has been very proud to be representing them and is looking forward to taking that pride across the nation.
“I’m really excited to compete at the highest level of the sport. It has been a dream of mine since I was about 7 years old,” said Hollowell. “I’m pretty sure I learned how to cast before I learned how to ride a bike.”