UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

All but over for Ehrler

Pro leader Brent Ehrler holds up his two biggest bass from day three on Table Rock Lake.

BRANSON, Mo. - Despite being only 33, Brent Ehrler is wise beyond his years. This week at the FLW Tour opener on Table Rock Lake, Ehrler has located a prespawn staging area that has winning potential. And he knows it too. So he's carefully managed it all week to ensure he heads back to California with yet another six-figure payday. So far the plan has worked brilliantly. After catching 16-6 and 22-2 on days one and two, Ehrler calmly corralled his third limit of the tournament - this one going 14-6. He started the day with an 8-pound lead and ended it with a 14-pound lead. If he wanted to, Ehrler could sleep the whole day tomorrow and possibly still take home the title. The amazing thing is that the National Guard pro's best day of practice consisted of only two keepers. And only one of them came from this magic area up the White River. National Guard pro Brent Ehrler shows his day-three kicker off to the cameras. "I didn't really know what I had until I fished it hard the first day," Ehrler explained. Although this spot has been unbelievable, the pro leader has actually culled one fish from a different area each day. That trend ended today however. As for tomorrow, Ehrler is looking for a strong start that will essentially seal the deal. "I've never been in this situation before. I tell you what I'm still nervous though. If I could just catch a couple early that would help take the pressure off." With only five boats fishing tomorrow, Ehrler was willing to provide details about this classic prespawn area. "It's a point that has a soft ledge and below it there is some timber. Usually, I'm not casting into the timber; I cast above it on the ledge. I think the fish come up there in the morning to feed." Today Ehrler had his limit at 9 a.m. But he didn't get another bite until noon. He's beginning to believe that after the first few hours of daylight, the fish retreat back into the timber. That's where he caught his only upgrade fish. "I think they're staging in there and that's all there is to it. In another two weeks, they will be up on the bank." Shuffield second Rising to second place was Bismarck, Ark., pro Ron Shuffield. Shuffield is about the only pro who has found success in the James River, a popular creek arm in 2009. Today, he managed a 14-pound, Second-place pro Ron Shuffield has a three-day total of 38 pounds, 15 ounces.4-ounce limit to push his total to 38 pounds, 15 ounces. Shuffield actually began his tournament fishing in water 35 to 45 feet deep. He caught three right away Wednesday morning and then never got another bite. Yesterday he started deep and then retreated to the mid-depths of the James. He upgraded there and then today decided to fish it exclusively today. "I'm fishing just about every piece of structure I can find in 15 to 35 feet," he said. "I really thought they would be shallower today but it didn't happen. Clearly, the fish have pulled off and suspended and where I'm at it's a mix of largemouths, smallmouths and spots." Shuffield said he caught every one of his fish on a jerkbait. "The issue is not brand or color. I've used a Spro, a Lucky Craft and a Megabass. The issue is being around a fish that wants to bite." With that in mind, Shuffield is doing more running than most of the four other finalists. "I'm fishing everything from chunk-rock banks to bluff banks to cedar trees to brush. Just not points." Thrift third Rising one place to third was Shelby, N.C., pro Bryan Thrift. After sacking 14-13 and 14-3, Thrift managed four keepers today from the same area that weighed 9 pounds, 14 ounces. He had a fifth Third-place pro Bryan Thrift holds up his two biggest bass from day three.keeper hooked up but lost it in the trees. His total weight is now 38-14 with one day remaining. "I'm fishing a deep (14 to 25 feet) point with timber," said Thrift, who is also up the White River. "But on this lake there's so much timber. The good ones that I've found have a sharp drop and a rock vein that runs through it. The vein is almost like a strip of rock." Thrift also revealed the specific baits he's using. "I'm using a 3/8-ounce Damiki Mamba jig with a craw trailer. If the wind blows I'll upgrade to a 1/2-ounce jig, but I'd rather use the 3/8-ounce." However, his fourth and final keeper came on a Damiki DC200 crankbait. Thrift has entertained the idea of leaving his best area. He thinks it's basically depleted, but he doesn't know where else to go. "I don't think I can bring myself to leave because everywhere else I haven't caught squat." Pugh fourth Six ounces behind Thrift is day-one leader Greg Pugh. Similar to yesterday, Pugh managed four bass Pro Greg Pugh caught four bass Friday that weighed 9 pounds, 5 ounces. Pugh is in fourth place with one day of competition remaining.that weighed 9 pounds, 14 ounces - bringing his total weight to 38 pounds, 8 ounces. "I'm still having difficulty turning them out of the trees," said the Cullman, Ala., native. "And I'm using 20-pound fluorocarbon and a big 7-11 Fenwick flipping stick." Whereas most of the other pros acquired their weight early in the day, Pugh had better luck late. "The sun broke through at noon and the bite improved. The sun brings them into the trees in my area." Instead of fishing cedar trees, Pugh is targeting oak trees. His best spot is actually four overlapping oaks that have intertwined limbs. In those trees, Pugh is working a 5/8-ounce Lunker Lures jig and Zoom Black Super Chunk Junior trailer. "If I lose this tournament, it's not because I didn't find the fish." Wurm falls to fifth After three days of competition, Mike Wurm sits in fifth place in the Pro Division.After demonstrating remarkable consistency each of the first two days, pro Mike Wurm fell back a bit today and caught only three bass for 7 pounds, 9 ounces. With one day remaining, his total weight stands at 37 pounds, 12 ounces. "I only had three keeper bites today," said Wurm, who also caught five short fish. "I think they started moving - probably up the creek. I could have depleted the area too." Wurm is dragging a small Eakins' jig with a Zoom Critter Craw on the bottom of the White River in a painfully slow fashion. His area is large and within it he has four different points and banks he focuses on. One of his keys this week has been using 10-pound braid with a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader. It has helped him pull fish out of the timber and has improved his hook-set ratio. Day four of the FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake will begin Saturday at 7 a.m. at the Table Rock State Park Marina, located at 380 State Park Marina Road in Branson, Mo.

Tags: headline-story  brett-carlson 

/news/2015-07-31-browne-crushes-again-leads-by-6-

Browne Crushes Again, Leads By 6+

Averaging 20 pounds or more is a difficult thing to do in a multi-day tournament on Lake Champlain, but Glenn Browne might be on his way to doing it in the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano. After two days, the Ocala, Fla., pro has run to Ticonderoga twice and sacked up nearly identical bags for a total of 45 pounds, 8 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-31-top-5-patterns-from-champlain-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Plano on Lake Champlain definitely shook up the leaderboard. While Glenn Browne took a huge lead, the rest of the pack swapped around and remained pretty tight. Browne is catching his fish down south near Ticonderoga, but the north end has also produced very well for the rest of the field. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-31-champlain-midday-update-day-2

Champlain Midday Update Day 2

While day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was wracked by high winds and rain in the morning, day two has been almost as good as Champlain can be. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-cioppa-leads-on-champlain

Cioppa Leads On Champlain

David Cioppa of Hopkinton, Mass., weighed 22 pounds, 13 ounces late in the weigh-in to grab the lead after the first day of the Rayovac FLW Series event on Lake Champlain. Cioppa weighed all largemouths and says that he caught the entirety of his weight by about 9 a.m. from one location in the northern end of the lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-top-5-patterns-from-champlain-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Champlain Day 1

Lake Champlain was rough and wild on day one of the Rayovac FLW Series event presented by Plano, and a bunch of the anglers still got it done in a big way. David Cioppa caught largemouths in the Inland Sea, but the rest of the top guys spread out all over the massive lake. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-30-champlain-midday-update-day-1

Champlain Midday Update Day 1

Takeoff was placid enough, with a beautiful sunrise and a light breeze in the slightly protected corner that is Plattsburgh. By about 6:30 a.m., day one of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Plano on Lake Champlain was already beginning to get rough. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »