UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Ehrler captures FLW Tour title on Lake Hartwell

Brent Ehrler wrestles another one to the boat.

ANDERSON, S.C. - All week long, Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., said that he didn't want to be in first place until after the final day of competition on Lake Hartwell. Well, he lived up to his word. Using a whopping 20-pound, 5-ounce catch as a springboard during Sunday's finals, Ehrler effectively ran away with the title - boasting a total catch of 74 pounds, 13 ounces to walk away with the fourth FLW Tour victory of his career by out-fishing his next closest competitor by more than 3 full pounds.

If it wasn't clear before, it's certainly obvious now that Ehrler is fishing as well as anyone on the planet. And that's no exaggeration. In addition to today's Lake Hartwell victory, Ehrler has won the Forrest Wood Cup title (2006), the FLW Tour event on Lake Ouachita (2010), the FLW Tour Table Rock Lake contest (2010), two FLW Series titles (Lake Havasu in 2009 and Lake Shasta in 2010), and the 2004 EverStart Series Championship.

Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., holds up part of his winning catch at the FLW Tour Lake Hartwell event.In addition, Ehrler boasts 29 top-10 finishes in FLW events since 2003 as well as over $1.86 million in career earnings. He has recorded two angler-of-the-year titles (EverStart Series Western Division in 2003 and FLW Series Western Division in 2010), finished runner-up in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race in 2008 and 2011 and netted three top-10 finishes in the Forrest Wood Cup since 2006.

And as a final bonus, Ehrler managed to shrug off his second-place finish at the FLW Tour Lake Hartwell event just one year prior en route to full redemption in South Carolina in 2012.

Not bad for a few days work.

"It feels so good," said Ehrler, who netted $125,000 in first-place winnings at the Lake Hartwell contest this week. "I can't tell you how awesome it is to win this thing. I just had a very good day today."

Ehrler said that he had been mixing it up all week, fishing in depths ranging from 2 to 50 feet and employing multiple baits including everything from drop-shot rigs, to jigs, reaction baits to Picasso umbrella rigs. But today, Ehrler said he honed in on two key areas where he managed to do most of his damage.

"All of my fish came on two spots today," he said. "Basically, both of those spots had fairly big drop-offs from about 30 to 50 feet. This lake is fairly flat so when you find those deeper drop-offs, you can get those better quality bites. It took me awhile to get going. But when those spots turned on, it went fast. I had a limit by about 9:30 a.m."

Ehrler said that he targeted staging bass that were adhering to deeper drop-offs and content on feeding up on baitfish before moving onto the banks to spawn.

Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., shows off his first-place check after winning the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell."I pulled up on one spot and caught a 4- or 5-pounder right away," Ehrler said. "I had a dry spell in the middle of the day but I caught two good fish pretty late. I basically conserved both of my main areas today and that really paid off. I didn't fish one spot at all until today and the other one, where I caught most of my fish, I only fished a little bit on day three."

While Ehrler's arsenal was vast all week, the California pro said he concentrated mostly on fishing a Phenix football jig and Phenix casting jig equipped with a 5-inch twin-tailed grub. Then when he found the fish he was looking for, he often employed a drop-shot Senko rig.

But winning the tournament wasn't the only bonus for the young pro this afternoon.

"Today I got a text from my wife that my son just started crawling," said Ehrler, trying to hold back tears onstage. "This has just been an awesome week. It really has."

Frazier the next `young gun?'

Without a doubt, 23-year-old Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga., turned in the performance of his career in today's competition. Buoyed by the largest catch of the tournament - a behemoth 21-pound, 14-ounce sack during the final day of competition, Frazier leapfrogged from sixth to second place overall with an outstanding four-day total of 71 pounds, 11 ounces.

Micah Frazier of Newnan, Ga., proudly displays his second-place catch during the finals of the FLW Tour Lake Hartwell event."I managed to make it interesting," said Frazier, who looked like he could be in the driver's seat for his first FLW Tour title right until the closing minutes of final weigh-in. "But just to be up here with these guys is awesome."

Frazier, who targeted bass in the back of a single creek all week, said he wasn't about to change things up too much on the final day of competition.

"I did the exact same thing I did all tournament; I fished quarter-mile stretches in the back of that creek," he said. "Today, the fished moved a little bit further back in the creek and it took a little bit to find them. But I probably had a limit by 10:45 a.m."

Frazier said that he specifically looked for "transition stuff" such as channel swings and other areas of the creek where bass were moving in and out in preparation for the spawn.

As for his bait of choice, Frazier kept it simple.

"I threw a Rapala Shad Rap all day," he said. "And all the fish I caught all week came on that bait."

For Frazier, the highlight of the day was when he hooked into a mammoth bass in the 7-pound range

"When I hooked my big fish I didn't think it was even a bass at first," he said. "It just started stripping my line. But then I saw it roll over and I realized what it was. I couldn't believe it. I was so happy to get it in the boat."

And that probably made all the difference between a fifth-place finish and getting his runner-up check worth $35,000.

"Man, it's just been an awesome week," he said. "It's been a dream come true."

Stone cements comeback

Marty Stone of Fayetteville, N.C., shows off his third-place catch during the finals of the Lake Hartwell contest.Marty Stone of Fayetteville, N.C., had an emotional rollercoaster ride of a tournament to say the least. After taking a two-year hiatus from the sport and struggling mightily during most of the first day of the tournament, Stone turned things around in a big way. Not only did he qualify for the top 10 and earn a well-deserved third-place finish in the final, but he also - and perhaps most importantly - demonstrated to himself that he still has what it takes to be on the top pros on tour.

"I exceeded all expectations this week," said Stone, who parlayed a total catch of 68 pounds, 5 ounces into $30,000 in winnings. "After taking that much time off I had a lot of self-doubt. And today was just another step in that journey. It's still a long journey but it's a good first step."

However, it was far from easy.

"I really enjoyed myself this week but today was very stressful" he said. "My bite really picked up later in the day and we lost an hour because of daylight savings time and that had me worried. By noon, I didn't have a fish in the boat and I had lost five good fish leading up to that point. So I was beyond frustrated."

But shortly thereafter, Stone's karma started to change for the better.

"From noon to 2 p.m. I had a great day of fishing," he said. "For me, the conditions had to be just right. I needed sunshine, some wind and baitfish. And once I had that combination, I was able to call my shots. I still lost a 5-pounder later in the day that hurt and I would have killed for another hour of fishing time, but that's just the way it goes."

Stone said that he caught "90 percent" of his catch came on a War Eagle double Colorado blade spinnerbait.

"I was basically fishing docks with that spinnerbait and fishing laydowns with a Bandit 200 crankbait," he said. "I really like Lake Hartwell. It really fishes to my strengths."

Marty Stone reveals his hand-inscribed tournament dedication to a friend who recently lost his life in a house fire.During final weigh-in, Stone regaled the crowd with an emotional story of his own, about the "real strength" of a friend he never met. The story revolved about a soldier named Duane who he had been trying to meet for the past year or so. However, he never got the chance because Duane recently perished in a house fire attempting to save his two daughters.

"He's my real hero," said Stone, barely able to fight back tears. "And I dedicated this tournament to him."

Auten nails down fourth

Using a total catch of 66 pounds, 1 ounce, Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C., finished the Lake Hartwell event in fourth place overall.

"This was a real good tournament for me," said Auten, who managed a fantastic finish despite battling a sinus cold throughout the final day of competition. "I did really well here last year but feel off on that third day. So it's just a pleasure being able to fish on day four."

Using a total catch of 66 pounds, 1 ounce, Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C., finished the Lake Hartwell event in fourth place overall.Auten said that he targeted channel swings and docks to land the majority of his catch, concentrating primarily on "dirty water" and suspended bass.

"I relied on a Phenix swim jig with a Zoom Super Fluke in white and chartreuse," he said. "And I caught all but one fish on it all week."

In the end, Auten said he had no complaints.

"Overall I'm happy," said Auten, who took home $25,000 in winnings. "I fished pretty well and had a good time. And anytime you make the top 10 you can't complain."

Gagliardi nets top-five finish

If there was a crowd favorite it had to be Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C. And, in the end, he didn't disappoint. Using a catch of 61 pounds, 1 ounce, Gagliardi turned in a fifth-place performance to claim $20,000 in prize money.

Anthony Gagliardi of Prosperity, S.C., finished the FLW Tour event on Lake Hartwell in fifth place."I really feel like I made the most of what I had to work with," said Gagliardi. "I really milked my spots for everything they had."

Gagliardi, who had been fishing both deep and shallow all week, knew that he was in for a tough day right from the get-go.

"I started out deep and I could tell right away that the fish were acting differently and that it wasn't going to be as good as a few of the other days," he said. "So I started running around and wound up going shallow. I was throwing a swimbait and a Buckeye Spot Remover with a Senko but I just wasn't able to get the big bites I really needed."

Overall though, he said he was happy to have made the cut.

"When they first announced we're coming here I was really excited," he said. "When we came here last time, the lake really didn't show what it was capable of producing. But I think now all the anglers know what Lake Hartwell is all about."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro finalists:

6th: Jay Yelas of Corvallis, Ore., 61-0
7th: Dan Morehead of Paducah, Ky., 58-14
8th: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wisc., 56-6
9th: Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., 55-7
10th: Brett Hite of Phoenix, Ariz., 54-9

For a complete list of the day's results, click here.

FLW Tour Major competition resumes March 29-April 1 at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2012-03-08-lake-hartwell 

/news/2016-07-22-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-2

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 2

Strong winds limited competition to only the St. Lawrence River on day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands, but that was no problem for the majority of the top 10. Even though most of them fished Lake Ontario on day one, they were able to adjust and stay on the fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-dobson-extends-lead-at-1000-islands

Dobson Extends Lead at 1000 Islands

A windy day two of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands didn’t stop day-one leader Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., from sacking up the biggest bag of the day. Dobson threw down an impressive 22-pound, 3-ounce limit to extend his lead to 5 pounds over Cal Climpson – a noted Lake Ontario maestro. Dobson’s two-day total stands at 46-12, and with lighter winds tomorrow some big bags are expected. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-22-lake-ontario-out-for-day-2

Lake Ontario Out for Day 2

It is never good when you wake up the morning of a tournament and every flag you see is standing straight out at 3 a.m., but that was the case this morning for day two of the Costa FLW Series event on the 1000 Islands. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-top-5-patterns-day-1

1000 Islands Top 5 Patterns Day 1

Past experience on this fishery seems to be a big advantage for the top pros through one day of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands. Scott Dobson leads the way with 24 pounds, 9 ounces, yet there are some serious hammers right on his heels. Dobson fished both the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario for his limit, while others went straight to the lake and stayed there. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-dobson-drops-24-9

Dobson Drops 24-9

Despite the weights being dropped on the scale for the opening round of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event on the 1000 Islands presented by Mercury, it has actually been a tough day of fishing. Strong winds made it hard for the anglers regardless of if they were fishing the lake or river. Smallmouth guru Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Mich., sacked up 24 pounds, 9 ounces on day one to take a 1-8 lead over Canadian stick Cal Climpson. Dobson utilized both the river and lake for his limit, which could play to his advantage if the wind blows like the weathermen are forecasting tomorrow. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-professional-bass-fishing-s-forrest-wood-cup-set-to-visit-wheeler-lake

Professional Bass Fishing’s Forrest Wood Cup set to visit Wheeler Lake

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of professional bass fishing, will visit Wheeler Lake and the Huntsville, Alabama, area August 4-7 to crown bass fishing’s top angler of 2016. Hosted by the Huntsville/Madison County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the tournament will feature 50 of the world’s best bass-fishing... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-1000-islands-midday-update-day-1

1000 Islands Midday Update Day 1

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division event presented by Mercury at 1000 Islands hasn’t been about if the wind will blow, but when. Everyone knew the gales were coming eventually. Still, the majority of anglers hung a left out of the dock this morning and charged toward Lake Ontario into a steady breeze that turned into a howling wind by midmorning. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-2016-forrest-wood-cup-angler-intro-music

2016 Forrest Wood Cup Angler Intro Music

Each season, the anglers that make the Forrest Wood Cup get to choose the intro music that will play when they walk out on stage at weigh-ins. Naturally, the selections vary as widely as the anglers’ personalities and backgrounds – David Dudley once selected the Chicken Dance song, if that tells you anything. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-21-transition-time-at-1000-islands

Transition Time at 1000 Islands

The second tournament of the Costa FLW Series Northern Division kicked off on 1000 Islands in an event presented by Mercury this morning out of the Clayton Village Ramp. The 137 pros and co-anglers are challenged with the tough task of dissecting not only the massive St. Lawrence River but also Lake Ontario in search of jumbo-size smallmouths. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-20-solving-the-1000-islands-puzzle

Solving the 1000 Islands Puzzle

For its second stop, the 2016 Costa FLW Series Northern Division heads back to the 1000 Islands region of upstate New York for the first time since 2012. The 1000 Islands region includes the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario and produces some of the best smallmouth fishing on the planet with 4- and 5-pounders being the norm, not the exception. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-forrest-wood-cup-attractions-

Forrest Wood Cup Attractions

Fifty FLW anglers all taking a run at the most coveted title in bass fishing will without doubt take center stage over the course of the four-day Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart in Huntsville, Ala., Aug. 4-7, but fans won’t have to wait for the daily weigh-in times to soak up all the action. FLW and its sponsors and partners put together a full schedule of additional events to coincide with the 2016 Cup. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-19-2016-icast-wrap-up

2016 ICAST Wrap-up

Even at a distance, ICAST can be a blur of new fishing stuff. Below, we’ve gathered everything we published from the week at ICAST – if you missed something, you can find it here. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-sisk-by-ounces-on-ohio-river

Sisk by Ounces on Ohio River

Marty Sisk of Evansville, Indiana, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 13 ounces, Saturday to win the third FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Illini Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Sisk took home $7,456. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-boggs-flipped-shallow-wood-for-title

Boggs Flipped Shallow Wood for Title

Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home $3,028 for his victory. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-profile-jeremy-lawyer

Profile: Jeremy Lawyer

A year ago, Jeremy Lawyer endured a harsh reality as the door to a Forrest Wood Cup berth slammed shut on his runner-up finish at the BFL All-American on Kentucky/Barkley lakes. Flash-forward to June 11 and the boater from Sarcoxie, Mo., saw life come full circle with his All-American win on Barkley. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-poffenberger-found-the-right-four

Poffenberger Found the Right Four

Jake Poffenberger of Brookville, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 9 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Poffenberger earned $4,684. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-ohio-s-poffenberger-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-buckeye-division-event-on-ohio-river

Ohio’s Poffenberger Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division Event on Ohio River

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (July 18, 2016) – Jake Poffenberger of Brookville, Ohio, weighed four bass totaling 9 pounds, 7 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Buckeye Division tournament of 2016 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Poffenberger earned... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-scattered-weeds-bring-greene-the-gold

Scattered Weeds Bring Greene the Gold

Kyle Greene of Ortonville, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds even Saturday to win the second FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament of 2016 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Greene took home $6,155. READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-lebanon-s-boggs-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-music-city-division-event-on-old-hickory-lake

Lebanon’s Boggs Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Music City Division Event on Old Hickory Lake

GALLATIN, Tenn. (July 18, 2016) – Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Saturday to win the fourth FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Music City Division tournament of 2016 on Old Hickory Lake. Boggs took home... READ MORE »

/news/2016-07-18-ortonville-s-greene-wins-flw-bass-fishing-league-michigan-division-event-on-lake-st-clair

Ortonville’s Greene Wins FLW Bass Fishing League Michigan Division Event on Lake St. Clair

HARRISON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (July 18, 2016) – Kyle Greene of Ortonville, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds even Saturday to win the second FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Michigan Division tournament of 2016 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Greene took... READ MORE »