UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Norman

Ehrler claims first win at EverStart Championship

Ehrler claims first win at EverStart Championship
Pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., shows off his first-place check after winning the 2004 EverStart Championship on Lake Cumberland.

SOMERSET, Ky. - Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., knows about heartache.

In the last two years in the EverStart Series Western Division, Ehrler has had a second-place finish and three third-place finishes.

When he led the top 10 anglers out on the water Saturday for the final day of competition in the 2004 EverStart Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, he was determined not to let this one slip away.

At about noon, he set the hook on what he thought was a good fish, and his line broke. Adding insult to injury, the evasive bass leaped victoriously - with Ehrler's jig still in its mouth.

"I saw it jump and try to shake my jig; it was good one, about a 3-pounder," Ehrler lamented in the boat yard just before weigh-in. "I've lost another one."

But Ehrler's dejected state waned a little under the EverStart Series weigh-in tent as he watched local favorite H.C. Sumpter of Nancy, Ky., fall short of taking away his slim lead.

Then, when Lloyd Pickett of Bartlett, Tenn., failed to bring up a fifth keeper bass to take the lead, Ehrler was left to bask in the glory of the limelight - finally.

Pro Brent Ehrler proudly displays part of his winning 10-pound, 10-ounce catch in the finals of the EverStart Championship.For the record, Ehrler brought another four bass to the scales today weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces for a two-day total of 10 pounds, 10 ounces.

"I just can't believe it," Ehrler gasped while realizing his win. "I thought for sure I had lost again. This is amazing. I think I might cry."

Ehrler adopted a run-and-gun approach to Lake Cumberland that involved running dozens of cuts and pockets on the main lake each day, fishing any piece of wood he could find.

He used a D&L jig in 3/8- and 5/16-ounce sizes with a Reaction Innovations Smally Beaver trailer. Both jigs were a brown and green color combination.

He fished the jigs on 12- and 16-pound-test Sunline Fluorocarbon.

"The key was to cast up as shallow as possible on the wood," he said. "Many of my bites today came out of 6 inches to 3 feet of water.

Brent Ehrler at Lake Cumberland"I would pull into a little cut or pocket, make a couple of casts to any piece of wood on the bank and then run to the next pocket. If the area looked really good, I might stay and grind around in there a while, but if it didn't feel right, I'd bounce over to the next place."

Since Ehrler is the original owner of a Ranger boat, his win garnered him a financial windfall. He was awarded a Ranger 519VS rigged with a Yamaha Outboard and $25,000 cash for his win. In addition, he received $10,000 from Ranger in contingency money and another $10,000 from Ranger for being Ranger Cup qualified. In all, Ehrler hauled in some $80,000 in cash and merchandise for his win.

Local favorite H. C. Sumpter of Nancy, Ky., finished in second place overall in the Pro Division during the finals of the 2004 EverStart Championship.Local favorite falls 7 ounces short

Every time H.C. Sumpter made a trip to the scales this week, the roar of the crowd that followed left little doubt as to who was the local favorite.

Sumpter made a hard charge at the win today by being the only pro to bring in a five-bass limit. But in the end, he fell 7 ounces short of victory with a two-day total of 10 pounds, 3 ounces.

In the qualifying rounds, Sumpter scored some big smallmouths on top-waters, but he could never get the smallmouth bite going again in the finals.

Today he had to resort to a spinnerbait and jigging spoon to catch his fish.

"I caught three on a jigging spoon in about 50 feet of water and two on a spinnerbait in a foot of water," he said.

Pro Lloyd Pickett Jr. of Bartlett, Tenn., used a catch of 9 pounds, 14 ounces to finish in third place at the 2004 EverStart Championship.Pickett charges to third

The comeback of the day belonged to Lloyd Pickett. Pickett charged from eighth place Friday to third today on the strength of the day's biggest catch - 8 pounds, 1 ounce - and combined for a two-day total of 9 pounds, 14 ounces.

Pickett fished a Carolina rig in the Conley Bottom area of Lake Cumberland.

"My main area was a gravel point that ran out to a creek bend in about 14 feet of water," Pickett said.

He Carolina rigged a Zoom Baby Brush Hog (green-pumpkin) in earlier rounds but switched to an 8-inch Zoom lizard (green-pumpkin) today.

"The big lizard was my big-fish bait," Pickett said. "My son and I fished over here a few weeks ago and caught some good 3- and 4-pound fish on it."

Pugh `shakes' for fourth

Pedigree pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., had to break out the spinning rod and a 1/4-ounce Shaky Head rig with a 6-inch finesse worm today to collect four bass weighing 3 pounds, 12 ounces for a two-day total of 8 pounds, 5 ounces to finish fourth.

"Earlier in the week I had been fishing a Suddeth Little Earl crankbait and a Fat Free No. 5 crankbait on creek bends in the back of Otter and Beaver Creeks," he said. "They wouldn't bite the crankbaits today, so I had to get out the finesse stuff to get them to eat."

Pro Warren Wyman of Calera, Ala., used a catch of 8 pounds, 3 ounces to finish the EverStart Championship in fifth place.Wyman slips to fifth

Warren Wyman of Calera, Ala., added one nice 3-pound largemouth to his two-day total of 8 pounds, 3 ounces to finish fifth.

The bass fell victim to a 4-inch Zoom finesse worm (green-pumpkin) pinned to a Spot Sticker jig head.

Rest of the best

Rounding out the top 10 in the EverStart Series Championship are Ramie Colson of Cadiz, Ky., with a two-day total of 6 pounds, 7 ounces (6th place); Mark Fletcher of Palmetto, Ga., with a two-day total of 5 pounds, 13 ounces (7th); Dion Hibdon of Stover, Mo., with a two-day total of 5 pounds, 9 ounces (8th); Pete Gluszek of Franklinville, N.J., with a two-day total of 5 pounds, 3 ounces (9th); and Scott Emery of Livonia, Mich., with a two-day total of 1 pound, 10 ounces (10th).

Tags: rob-newell  headline-story  2004-11-03-lake-cumberland 

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Au Rallies for Clear Lake Win

Steadily climbing the leaderboard all week, Tai Au dropped 26 pounds, 4 ounces today – the biggest bag of the week – to jump from fourth and claim his second title of the 2020 Toyota Series Western Division season. With 63-3 overall, Au wraps a phenomenal season where he won on Havasu back in March, placed 10th on the California Delta in August and closed the season with yet another win this week on Clear Lake. In winning, Au also wrapped the Strike King Angler of the Year title for the Western Division for the first time in his career. READ MORE »

White Rolling at Clear Lake

White Rolling at Clear Lake

Fishing was still good on day two of the Toyota Series Western Division finale at Clear Lake, though there were notably less 20-pound bags brought to the scale. Still, day-one leader Tom White managed 19 pounds, 5 ounces today to back up his 24-12 weight from Thursday and will carry a 5-10 lead heading into Saturday’s final round. This would be White’s first FLW win if he can fend off the nine other hungry pros behind him. READ MORE »

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

White Drops 24-12 at Clear Lake

Tom White of Costa Mesa, Calif., fished the first two events of the Toyota Series Western Division season as a co-angler where he found decent success. Now, in the final event of the season White stepped up to the boater side and took the lead on Clear Lake after day one with a 24-pound, 12-ounce limit. The former Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI angler will hold close to a 5-pound lead over Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour pro Jared Lintner heading into day two. While 4 pounds would be a decent lead on a lot of fisheries, this is Clear Lake, and anything can happen tomorrow. READ MORE »

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

Big Bags on Deck at Clear Lake

The Toyota Series Western Division wraps its season this week on famed Clear Lake in California. The lake is frequently noted as one of the best bass fisheries in the country and Clear Lake is shaping up to kick out plenty of bass this week. READ MORE »

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Whitehead Tops on Pickwick

Boater Christopher Whitehead of Tupelo, Miss., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 1 ounce to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Mississippi Division Super-Tournament at Pickwick Lake. For his victory, Whitehead earned $5,942. READ MORE »

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Tramel Rolls at Old Hickory

Boater Josh Tramel of Smithville, Tenn., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Music City Division Super-Tournament at Old Hickory Lake. Tramel earned a total of $5,540 for his victory.  READ MORE »

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Topwater Gives Trim the W

Boater Nick Trim of Galesville, Wis., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 9 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division Super-Tournament at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Trim earned $6,690. READ MORE »

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Langford Wins on Smith Mountain

Boater Todd Langford of Great Falls, Va., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 4 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Piedmont Division Super-Tournament at Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Langford earned $5,065. READ MORE »

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Rockefeller Frogs on Clarks Hill

Boater Joshua Rockefeller of Harlem, Ga., brought a two-day total of nine bass to the scale weighing 21 pounds even to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine South Carolina Division Super-Tournament at Clarks Hill Lake. For his victory, Rockefeller earned $4,668. READ MORE »

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Strong Day One Carries Sifers

Boater Jeramiah Sifers of Sellersburg, Ind., brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale this weekend weighing 22 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Hoosier Division Super-Tournament at the Rough River. Sifers earned a total of $6,917 for his victory. READ MORE »

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Lieblong Again at Dardanelle

Jason Lieblong is no stranger to Toyota Series titles on Lake Dardanelle. He claimed his first back in August of 2015 and five years later thanks to a final-day bag worth 15 pounds, 15 ounces (the biggest of the event) Lieblong added his second Series trophy to the mantle. The Conway, Ark., pro finished the event with 40-9 overall, moving up the leaderboard every day of the tournament. For winning the Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel, Lieblong took home over $70,000 thanks largely to the FLW PHOENIX BONUS, which earned him and extra $35,000. READ MORE »

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Dobson Grabs Second Toyota Series W

Weighing 18 pounds and 9 ounces on day three for a 59-3 total, Scott Dobson moved from second to first to win the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River. The win is Dobson’s second in Toyota Series competition and his eighth overall with FLW. For the win, Dobson takes home $27,534 and further burnishes his record as one of the best smallmouth anglers on the planet.   READ MORE »

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Bennett Takes Dardanelle Lead

Backing up his day-one weight of 13 pounds, 6 ounces, Joe Bennett brought 13-14 to the scale to take the lead at Lake Dardanelle in the Toyota Series Plains Division opener presented by Fish-Intel. Bennett will carry 1-1 lead into Saturday’s final round over Kevin Riney as he looks to grab his first victory with FLW. READ MORE »

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Burton Edges Ahead at the Detroit River

Day two of the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River saw the pros stuck in the river itself again due to the wind. Moving up from fourth place into the lead, Wilson Burton weighed 20 pounds, 4 ounces to get up to a 40-11 total. With the only 20-pound bag of the day, Burton slipped past Scott Dobson by just one ounce, who weighed 19-12 and sits behind him with a 40-10 total. READ MORE »

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

Montevallo Takes College Open Title

As tough as Kentucky Lake was fishing this week in the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open, Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo leading after day one and finishing the job on Thursday resulted in one of the more impressive wins you’ll see. After weighing in a day-one best 12-13, the duo backed it up with another 12-7 on day two for the victory, displaying the kind of consistency it takes to grind it out in tough fishing conditions. For their efforts, Morris and Pfundt were awarded a new Phoenix 518 Pro bass boat with a 115-hp Mercury outboard. READ MORE »

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

King Tops Day 1 at Dardanelle 

Zach King of Clarksville, Ark., used a Heddon Zara Spook to catch 14 pounds, 11 ounces claim the day one lead in the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake Dardanelle presented by Fish-Intel. King will take a 6-ounce lead over Matt Wood of Jessieville, Ark., into day two.  READ MORE »

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Dardanelle Midday Update – Day 1

Thursday’s opening round of the Toyota Series Plains Division opener at Lake Dardanelle followed the script many anglers predicted. Despite many favorable conditions at the beginning of a peak fishing season, muddy water and bright sunshine made fishing difficult across the 34,000-acre Arkansas River impoundment. READ MORE »

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Stokes Leads on the Detroit River

Strong winds kept the pros in the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River pinned to the actual river, but the fishing was still very good. Plenty of anglers brought in 17 pounds or more, and the leaders are all concentrated around the 20-pound mark. In first, Troy Stokes of Brownstown, Mich., weighed 21 pounds, 4 ounces to kick things off. READ MORE »

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Detroit River Midday Update – Day 1

Right off the bat, the anglers in the field at the Toyota Series Northern Division event on the Detroit River were thrown a curveball by the weather. This morning, with increasing wind forecasts, tournament officials made Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair off-limits, thereby penning up the 87 pros and co-anglers on the American side of the Detroit River. READ MORE »

Montevallo Leads College Open 

Montevallo Leads College Open 

As expected, weights were down across the board on day one of the Abu Garcia College Fishing presented by YETI Open on Kentucky Lake. With high water during what’s typically a tough transitional time of year, it took just 12 pounds, 13 ounces for Grayson Morris and Jacob Pfundt of the University of Montevallo to grab the lead. READ MORE »