UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

‘Rock’ star performance

‘Rock’ star performance
Pro winner Brent Ehrler holds up his biggest from day four on Table Rock Lake.

BRANSON, Mo. - Fresh off a victory at the FLW Series Western Division opener on Lake Shasta, Brent Ehrler arrived to a chilly Table Rock Lake and didn't initially like what he saw. For starters, the water was substantially cooler and clearer than last year's FLW Tour event. His concerns became very real as he failed to boat more than two keepers in any of the three practice days.

He did, however, identify one spot with potential. Ehrler found this spot accidentally as he began to run to the back of a creek. He saw a point on his graph and decided it was worth investigating. This area, located up the White River just above the Highway 39 Bridge, had classic prespawn written all over it.

Ehrler saw it as the inside turn of a creek-channel bend that formed a point. And surrounding it was a With trophy in hand, Brent Ehrler celebrates after winning the FLW Tour event on Table Rock Lake.bed of standing timber. While many pros fished similar areas, Ehrler's was different in that the timber was completely submerged. In other words, it couldn't be seen with the naked eye; he needed his Lowrance electronics to locate it.

"In the morning, those fish came up there to feed, and then they'd drop back down to the timber," said the 2006 Forrest Wood Cup champion. "They're staging in there, and in another two weeks, they will be up on the bank."

Ehrler didn't know what he had found until he fished it hard on day one. In practice he caught only one keeper there. Right after he got bit, Brandon Hunter, his practice partner, caught a quality largemouth. Not wanting to burn valuable weight, that was all he needed to know.

On day one he caught 16 pounds, 6 ounces. On day two he sacked 22-2, the heaviest limit of the entire tournament. Yesterday he calmly put 14-6 in the boat, and today he sealed the deal with 16-13.

"I've never found a spot like this before. It was just loaded, and it replenished each day. It wasn't just big fish either. There were a ton of 12-inchers too. I even caught a walleye one day. I've never been so excited to go fishing each morning. I've never had a tournament like this."

The lion's share of Ehrler's catch came on two baits - a 5-inch Yamamoto grub and a Yamamoto National Guard pro Brent Ehrler holds up his check for winning the 2010 FLW Tour opener on Table Rock Lake.Swimming Senko (smoke and natural-shad colors). He fished both on a regular 1/4-ounce jighead. Tied to the baits was 12-pound braided line and a 7-foot, 8-pound fluorocarbon leader. Occasionally, he would mix in a regular Senko, a Lucky Craft 2.5 deep-diving crankbait and a Lucky Craft Pointer 100DD jerkbait. These baits were presented over the trees on the deep side of the drop-off. His boat was sitting in 30 to 35 feet of water, and the fish were positioned in 15 to 25.

"This was their first stop on the way back to the creek."

For a total weight of 69 pounds, 11 ounces, Ehrler earned $100,000. He also earned $25,000 from the Ranger Cup program and $2,500 from the Cabela's Angler Cash program. His 13-pound, 2-ounce margin of victory is the second larges in FLW Tour history only to Brett Hite. Coincidentally, Hite also won FLW Tour and FLW Series events back to back. Ehrler's win was the fifth of his young career. And with each one, the 33-year-old begins to solidify his position as FLW Outdoors' best professional angler.

"The Cup was obviously an awesome tournament to win, but this is a big deal because I've never won a regular-season Tour event. And with the way the economy and everything is these days, the timing is great too."

Shuffield second

His main goal was not to catch Ehrler, but to retain his fragile second-place standing. And Ron Shuffield accomplished just that. The Bismarck, Ark., pro put his third limit of the week in the boat Pro Ron Shuffield caught a 17-pound, 10-ounce limit Saturday to finish the Table Rock event in second place.Saturday. This one weighed 17 pounds, 10 ounces and pushed his total weight to 56 pounds, 9 ounces.

Shuffield was the only finalist who fished the James River and not the White. Fishing fans may remember the James was an extremely popular arm in 2009. More specifically, Shuffield was in Ants Creek, a branch of the James. Shuffield actually started his tournament on the main lake in extremely deep water. He caught three right away Wednesday morning, but never got bit again. He eventually changed his entire strategy and ran to the river. There he worked a variety of jerkbaits on 10-pound fluorocarbon.

"The key wasn't brand or color," he explained. "The key was being around a fish that wanted to bite. I really thought they'd move shallower, but the fish clearly suspended. And you really had to slow down to get bites."

Shuffield would twitch the jerkbait twice and then pause it for five or six seconds before repeating the process. This successfully emulated a struggling shad. He focused on channel-swing banks and transition banks where one type of rock changes to another. Many of these banks had cedar trees and brush. While the other finalists targeted exclusively largemouths, Shuffield brought in mixed bags of all three Table Rock species.

"To finish second to Brent Ehrler, I have no problem with that whatsoever."

His consolation prize was $40,000. As dominant as Ehrler's tournament was, Shuffield actually would have won under the old zeroed-weight format.

Pro Mike Wurm finished the FLW Tour opener on Table Rock Lake in third place.Wurm climbs to third

After catching limits each of the first two days, pro Mike Wurm managed only three bass each of the last two days. His day-four catch weighed 8 pounds, 10 ounces and pushed his total weight to 46 pounds, 6 ounces. Two of the fish were largemouths - the other a spotted bass. For third place, Wurm earned $30,000.

"Overall, I'm pretty proud of myself," said the Hot Springs, Ark., native. "I found a real good pattern, and I executed every day. The last two days I think they started moving - probably up the creek. I could have depleted the area too."

Wurm dragged a small Eakins' jig with a Zoom Critter Craw on the bottom of the White River. At times he worked the jig so slow he was barely moving it. This was the exact method he used to win the 1999 FLW Tour qualifier on Lake Murray. One of his keys this week was using 10-pound braid with a 10-pound fluorocarbon leader. It helped him pull fish out of the timber and improved his hook-set ratio.

"It was really important to barely move the jig. If you so much as lifted it, that means you were fishing it too fast. You've got to remember these fish are cold. And when they're cold, they don't want to move very much - just like us."

Thrift fourth

Falling one place to fourth was Shelby, N.C., pro Bryan Thrift. After sacking 14-pound limits the first Bryan Thrift holds up his lone keeper bass from day four on Table Rock Lake. Thrift finished the event in fourth place.two days, Thrift caught four bass Friday. Today he managed only a single keeper, but it was a nice largemouth weighing 5 pounds, 3 ounces. Thrift finished the tournament with 44 pounds, 1 ounce - earning $20,000.

"I fished a deep (14 to 25 feet) point with timber," said Thrift. "But on this lake there's so much timber. The best one that I found had a sharp drop and a rock vein that ran through it. The vein is almost like a strip of rock. I found this honeyhole on the last day of practice at about 3 p.m."

Thrift used a 3/8-ounce Damiki Mamba jig with a craw trailer on 15-pound fluorocarbon. Like Ehrler, he occasionally mixed in a crankbait - his preferred model a Damiki DC200. His lone keeper Saturday came on a jerkbait - his only jerkbait fish of the week.

Thrift's primary area, located near Ehrler in the White, was phenomenal early in the week, especially in the morning. It got progressively worse though, and the young pro had nowhere else to turn.

"Everywhere else I went I didn't catch squat, so I didn't want to leave. I had a long, tough day today. I beat that area up for over two hours and only caught a couple shorts. I had to punt and scramble around just to get that one keeper."

Pugh blanks for fifth

Greg Pugh finished in 5th place with a four-day total of 38-8 worth $18,000.All week long pro Greg Pugh spoke about how gratifying it was to finally get some revenge on Table Rock, a lake he's struggled at in years past. Today Table Rock returned the favor as Pugh failed to catch a keeper bass. Pugh's four-day cumulative weight registered 38 pounds, 8 ounces, good enough for fifth place and $18,000.

"All week long I was having difficulty getting them out of the trees," said the Cullman, Ala., native. "Today I had a bunch of white bass fishermen near me. I think all the boat traffic finally drove them out."

While most fished deeper cedar trees, Pugh targeted oak trees over a flat in 9 to 14 feet of water. His best spot, located up the White River, was actually four overlapping oaks that have intertwined limbs. In those trees, Pugh used a black-and-blue 5/8-ounce Lunker Lures jig and Zoom Black Super Chunk Junior trailer.

"I'm happy to have finally done well on Table Rock, but the last few days were kind of aggravating."

Video coverage

For daily video coverage of the Table Rock event check out the Reeltime Report.

The next FLW Tour event is slated for Lake Norman in Charlotte, N.C., March 24-27.

Tags: brett-carlson  headline-story  2010-03-03-table-rock-lake 

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Even some of the best locals were driving the struggle bus all day trying to find ways to adapt to fish that moved thanks to the heavy storms. Yet, some guys did adapt well, with the best being Ladd Shannon and his 19-pound, 6-ounce tournament-leading bag. READ MORE »

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

Shannon Leads the Ozark Charge

After losing over an hour of fishing time due to a massive thunderstorm that rolled through the area early this morning causing a lightning delay, day one of the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks looked to be a grinder of an event. The tournament, which is presented by Evinrude, saw plenty of fish catching by midday, but no size to speak of. Ladd Shannon of Atkins, Ark., managed to scrape up a limit worth 19 pounds, 6 ounces by the end of the day and sits in first by 1-11 over FLW pro Greg Bohannan. READ MORE »

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

Rampey Stays Red Hot on Hartwell

After winning a T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell a few weeks ago, Jayme Rampey of Liberty, S.C., was certainly one of the favorites heading into the BFL Regional on the same pond this past weekend. Lo and behold, he wouldn’t disappoint, and notched his 11th career BFL win – five of which have come on Hartwell – and won a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower motor, plus $20,000 cash for his efforts. READ MORE »

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Warren Mounts Furious Comeback on Grand

Curt Warren was a paragon of consistency over three days at Grand Lake, and the result was a victory in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine. Warren turned in limits of 14-5 on day one and 16-9 on day two, but it was his day-three limit of 15-9 that was the most impressive – no other pro even cracked the 13-pound mark battling the tough post-frontal conditions Grand had to offer on day three. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 2

When conditions changed, Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas completely scrapped his day-one pattern, caught a limit that weighed 13-11 and took over the lead of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event, presented by T-H Marine, with a two-day total of 32-14. Here’s what the rest of the top five was up to on day two. READ MORE »

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

Bird Moves Ahead on Grand

After his sizzling day-one pattern fizzled, Cody Bird adjusted his focus to a completely different scenario and sacked up a limit of 13-11 on day two to take over the lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine, with a two day total of 32-14. Going into Saturday’s final round, Bird holds a 7-ounce lead over day-one leader and Grand Lake stick Jason Christie. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake - Day 1

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., leveraged his intimate understanding of Grand Lake’s tendencies to catch a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces to take the lead on day one of the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division event Presented by T-H Marine. Here are the details of the rest of the top five. READ MORE »

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Christie Blasts 22-10 on Grand

Oklahoma stick Jason Christie overcame the unsettling effects of a passing cold front to sack up a five-bass limit that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces for the day one lead in the Costa FLW Series Southwestern Division finale, presented by T-H Marine on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. READ MORE »

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

Grand Lake Midday Update - Day 1

After several weeks of hot, sunny conditions, anglers launched with cloudy skies, stout winds and air temperatures in the low 60s. By midday, the temperature rose into the mid to upper 60s and the wind started to subside, however, the first couple of hours saw Grand Lake’s temperamental side. READ MORE »

Beavers Focused on Bluebacks

Beavers Focused on Bluebacks

FLW Tour pro Bradford Beavers of Summerville, South Carolina, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 28 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division super-tournament on Lake Hartwell Sunday. Beavers earned $6,345 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Sac State Wins on the Delta

Sac State Wins on the Delta

The Sacramento State University duo of Ilya Guryanov of West Sacramento and Will Karnthong, of Antioch, California, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on the California Delta presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces. The victory earned the Hornets’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Carolina Rig Carries Lewellen

Carolina Rig Carries Lewellen

Kyle Lewellen of Byhalia, Mississippi, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 34 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Mississippi Division super-tournament on Pickwick Lake Sunday. Lewellen earned $5,690 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Stracner Wins Again, Clinches AOY

Stracner Wins Again, Clinches AOY

Josh Stracner of Vandiver, Alabama, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 35 pounds, 12 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bama Division super-tournament on Lake Eufaula Sunday. Stracner earned $6,694 for his efforts. READ MORE »

Turner Ran Brush on Lanier

Turner Ran Brush on Lanier

Brock Turner of Jasper, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 33 pounds, 7 ounces, to win the two-day T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Bulldog Division super-tournament on Lake Lanier Sunday. Turner earned $8,266 for his efforts. READ MORE »