12 19 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

While many get on Lake Murray for leisure, there was fierce competition out there. The Forrest Wood Cup Tournament " whittled down the top 20 to just 10.

"Everybody wants to be on the home team," Anthony Gagliardi said.

For about 9 hours, the best anglers in the country went head-to-head.

Anthony Gagliardi, a Clemson graduate and Prosperity resident, said fishing in a familiar place gave him an advantage.

"Anytime you're fishing on your home lake there's just a certain comfort level. It may not be that you know where all the best spots are but there's just a comfort level when you fish your own lake," Gagliardi said. "You're able to pick up on changes that the fish may be going through, you're able to pick up on that a little bit quicker and make an adjustment maybe faster than someone who doesn't have that experience on the lake."

Gagliardi has been fishing for over 15 years and has quite the fan base, a couple boats got just close enough to watch the him.

He said Friday and Saturday's waters were a little rough.

"No matter how much you know the lake or how good you are, you're going to go through periods where it's hard and I had a couple of those yesterday. It wasn't that good of a day for me, I only caught 4 fish, but I had a big one that helped me out," he said.

Around 3 p.m., anglers hauled their catches back to the Colonial Life Arena and at one time Gagliardi took the Number 1 spot.

"Just by making the cut I'm going to be happy but don't get me wrong that doesn't mean I'm going to take it easy on them, I'm going to go out there and try to win," he said.

Another South Carolina angler, Casey Ashley, made the top 10 as well.

The winner of the Forrest Wood Cup will win $500,000.

12 19 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://on.wltx.com/VvGq04