UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

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/2019-02-12-montevallo-wins-on-seminole

Montevallo Wins on Seminole

The University of Montevallo duo of Justin Barnes of Monroeville, Alabama, and Adam Carroll of Carrollton, Georgia, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Seminole Saturday with a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 1 ounce. The victory earned the Falcon’s bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-12-mount-paran-christian-school-wins-on-seminole

Mount Paran Christian School wins on Seminole

The Mount Paran Christian School duo of Lee Rose Koza and Carter Koza, both of Marietta, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 23 pounds, 2 ounces to win the 2019 Bass Pro Shops FLW High School Fishing Lake Seminole Open. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-11-anders-chases-shad-for-keowee-w

Anders Chases Shad for Keowee W

Boater Joe Anders of Easley, South Carolina, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Savannah River division event on Lake Keowee presented by Navionics. Anders earned $4,164 for his efforts. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-10-toho-day-4-coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-10-gross-wins-second-tour-title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-09-gross-grabs-toho-lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-09-toho-day-3-coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-08-cox-stays-ahead-on-toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-08-toho-day-2-coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-07-cox-leads-toho-slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-07-toho-day-1-coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-04-flw-live-schedule-for-lake-toho

FLW Live Schedule for Lake Toho

Weigh-ins at the FLW Tour Lake Toho event will be broadcast daily at 3 p.m. ET days one and two and 4 p.m ET days three and four. The studio broadcast, with live in-the-boat streaming, airs Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hosts Travis Moran and Peter T. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-02-thliveros-brings-it-home

Thliveros Brings it Home

Nick Thliveros led after day two on Okeechobee and after weighing his lowest weight of the week, he was able to seal the deal for his first Costa FLW Series win as a pro. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-02-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 2

Fishing as a whole is still tough on the Big O, but there was definitely an improvement today – especially for the guys at the top of the leaderboard. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-thliveros-in-charge-on-okeechobee

Thliveros in Charge on Okeechobee

Nick Thliveros is one day away from taking the title in the Costa FLW Series event on Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

/news/2019-02-01-top-5-patterns-from-okeechobee-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Okeechobee – Day 1

Things are tough on Okeechobee, but these pros cracked some of the code to wrangle solid catches. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-31-roder-out-front-on-big-o

Roder Out Front on Big O

Okeechobee is normally the place of dreams. This week, however, it isn’t quite living up to its reputation. Day one of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division event on the Big O saw plenty of fish, though the quality bites were hard to come by. Troy Roder of Brookeland, Texas, set the pace early with a 19-pound, 15-ounce limit to grab the lead in the season opener – presented by Power-Pole – with a lead of over 4 pounds heading into Friday. READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-anderson-tops-on-tough-okeechobee

Anderson Tops on Tough Okeechobee

David Anderson of Fort Myers, Florida, caught five bass Saturday weighing 18 pounds, 1 ounce, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Gator Division opener on Lake Okeechobee. For his win, Anderson earned $4,479.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-28-pitt-wins-again-on-toledo-bend

Pitt Wins Again on Toledo Bend

Local angler Cody Pitt of Many, La., caught five bass Saturday weighing 24 pounds, 5 ounces, to win the 2019 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Cowboy Division opener on Toledo Bend Reservoir presented by Navionics. Pitt earned $6,349 for his efforts.  READ MORE »

/news/2019-01-14-bolton-hangs-on

Bolton Hangs On

With a 17-pound, 6-ounce bag on day four of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, which was presented by Polaris, the 24-year Tour veteran did something he’s been within ounces of doing so many times before: He won. He won his first Tour event, and he did it despite a handful of tremendous anglers — including standout rookie Nick LeBrun and the best angler on the planet, Bryan Thrift — breathing down his neck in a furious effort to outpace the Benton, Ky., pro. READ MORE »