BRANSON, Mo. – National Guard pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win $125,000 at the FLW Tour event presented by Cabela’s on Table Rock Lake with a four-day catch of 20-bass weighing 69-11.
The catch gave him the win by a solid 13-pound, 2-ounce margin over Ron Shuffield of Bismarck, Ark., who caught a total of five bass weighing 17-10 and earned $40,000. For the tournament, Shuffield caught 18 bass for a total weight of 56-9.
“I found a magical spot,” said Ehrler, who is on fire with back-to-back wins having won at Lake Shasta in January. “I was in a creek on the White River and it was a perfect pre-spawn area. It was the first creek bend the fish came to and the fish seemed to be suspended there just above the trees. I was keeping my boat in 30-35 feet of water and then casting to about 12-15 feet.
“I caught the majority of my fish using a Yamamoto Curly Tail Grub. I was experimenting a little bit with Lucky Craft DD jerkbaits, which is what I caught my six-pounder on Thursday with, but the majority came using the grub.”
Colder than normal water temperatures made the fish do strange things and hide in strange locations making one of the best fishing lakes in the country an even bigger challenge for some of the best anglers. Ehrler was the only angler at Table Rock to catch a limit each day.
Ehrler opened the tournament in third place Wednesday with five bass weighing 16-6 while fishing in the White River. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 22-2 using a Lucky Craft DD 100 jerkbait to catch his six-pounder to capture the lead. He then caught five bass weighing 14-6 on Friday to make the crucial top-5 cut in first place. On Saturday he sealed his victory using the same 5” Yamamoto grubs he used throughout the tournament.
The remaining top-5 pros finished the tournament in:
3rd: Mike Wurm, Hot Springs, Ark., 16 bass, 46-6, $30,000
4th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 44-1, $20,000
5th: Greg Pugh, Cullman, Ala., 13 bass, 38-8, $18,000
Overall there were 14 bass weighing 48 pounds, 4 ounces caught by five pros Saturday. The catch included two five-bass limits.
Shane Melton of Greentown, Ind., won the Co-angler Division and $25,000 Friday with a three-day total of nine bass weighing 26 pounds, 10 ounces followed by Brad Roberts of Nancy, Ky., in second place with eight bass weighing 26-1 worth $9,862.
National Guard pro Brent Ehrler and co-angler Brad Roberts each won a $2,500 gift card as part of the new Cabela’s Angler Cash program. In 2010, Cabela’s is offering pro and co-anglers the opportunity to register and win a $2,500 gift card for being the highest qualified finisher in each division at all FLW Tour events, making the stakes even higher in an already rich payout.
In FLW Tour competition, anglers and co-anglers are also vying for valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup, where they could win up to $600,000 and $60,000 respectively.
The Table Rock Lake event, hosted by Branson/Lakes Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, was the first of five FLW Tour tournaments that will be held in 2010. The next event will be March 24-27 on Lake Norman in Charlotte, N.C. The event will be hosted by the Cabarrus County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Charlotte Sports Commission, Visit Charlotte, and Visit Lake Norman. Boats will launch from Blythe Landing in Cornelius, N.C.
The remaining tournaments are scheduled for:
April 21-24 Ft. Loudoun/Tellico Lakes Knoxville, Tenn.
May 26-29 Lake Ouachita Hot Springs, Ark.
June 23-26 Lake Guntersville Huntsville, Ala.
2010 Forrest Wood Cup
Aug. 5-8 Lake Lanier Atlanta, Ga.
Coverage of the Table Rock Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors,” will air April 18 from 12:30 to 1:30 ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper, is broadcast to approximately 500 million households worldwide.
About FLW Outdoors
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 189 tournaments in 2010. FLW Outdoors has also taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing awarding the largest prizes in the history of fantasy sports. FLW Outdoors memberships are available featuring numerous benefits including Player’s Advantage. For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, browse FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FantasyFishing.com.