Pro angler Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces to take the lead after day three of the Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Murray presented by Walmart. Ehrler, with a three-day total of 15 bass for 39-1, holds a 3-ounce lead over Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., who has a three-day total of 15 bass for 38-14 in professional bass fishing’s world championship that features 45 of the best professional anglers from across the country casting for the sport’s top cash award of $500,000.
“I’m catching fish doing a number of different things,” said Ehrler, who is poised to become the first ever two-time Forrest Wood Cup champion after winning the event in 2006. “I’m catching some moving fast and covering the bank; I’m catching some schooling fish and I’m catching some fish deeper with bottom baits. The bite seemed to be a little bit better today. I think the clouds this morning definitely helped.”
Ehrler said that it took him until 1 p.m. to catch his limit during the first two days of competition, but he had his limit today by 8:30 a.m. He said that he caught his fish that he weighed in on three or four different baits and thinks that he has saved a few of his areas for the final day.
“Today was strange because I ran some areas where I didn’t catch them in practice and I was able to catch a few,” Ehrler said. “I did lay off some areas where I think I can catch them tomorrow. I’m not sure how many fish are there, but I’m going to run the areas that I really believe are holding fish and hopefully there will be a good enough stringer there to finish things off.
“I’ll definitely have some butterflies in the morning,” Ehrler continued. “When I won back in 2006, it wasn’t even a goal of mine to win the tournament. It was my first Forrest Wood Cup appearance and I was just happy to be there. Now that I’ve done it I feel like I can actually win, so that will definitely add to the stress a little bit more because I feel like I have a great opportunity.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition are:
1st: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 15 bass, 39-1
2nd: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 38-14
3rd: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 14 bass, 37-4
4th: Straight Talk Wireless pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 14 bass, 37-3
5th: Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., 15 bass, 36-7
6th: Matt Herren, Ashville, Ala., 15 bass, 33-1
7th: Michael Wooley, Collierville, Tenn., 12 bass, 32-13
8th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 32-7
9th: Rayovac pro Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 12 bass, 31-4
10th: Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala., 15 bass, 30-5
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Castrol pro Philip Jarabeck, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 30-4, $15,000
12th: Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 13 bass, 28-13, $15,000
13th: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 12 bass, 27-14, $15,000
14th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 12 bass, 26-10, $15,000
15th: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Tenn., nine bass, 25-5, $15,000
16th: Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 23-7, $15,000
17th: James Biggs, Euless, Texas, 10 bass, 23-3, $15,000
18th: Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., nine bass, 22-8, $15,000
19th: George Foreman pro Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., 11 bass, 22-6, $15,000
20th: Brad Knight, Wartburg, Tenn., nine bass, 21-8, $15,000
Final results for the remaining field can be found on FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 68 bass weighing 172 pounds, 1 ounce even caught by pros Saturday. The catch included eight five-bass limits.
Bryan New of Belmont, N.C., won the co-angler division and $50,000 Friday with a two-day total of seven bass weighing 15 pounds, 14 ounces followed by Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., in second place with six bass weighing 12-8 worth $10,000.
The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup at Lake Murray presented by Walmart is being hosted by Capital City/Lake Murray Country Regional Tourism.
The final 10 anglers will take off from Dreher Island State Park located at 3677 State Park Road in Prosperity, S.C., at 7 a.m. Sunday. Weigh-in will be held at the Colonial Life Arena located at 801 Lincoln St. in Columbia, S.C., beginning at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center located at 1101 Lincoln St. in Columbia, S.C., on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. prior to the weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the Chevy Truck Tour, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy games, activities and giveaways provided by more than 40 sponsors, shop the latest tackle and outdoor gear, and learn more about the sport from more than 100 exhibitors. All activities are free and open to the public.
FLW has teamed up with the South Carolina Barbeque Association to feature the “Bass & BBQ” festival presented by The State. Fans will be able to visit their favorite pit masters and enjoy some delicious award-winning BBQ on Sunday during the FLW Expo. Country music artist John Wesley Satterfield will perform on the outdoor stage in the “Bass & BBQ” festival at 2 p.m.
Also on Sunday, 500 free rods and reels will be given away to the first 500 children 14 years and under who are accompanied by an adult. The rod and reel giveaways are courtesy of WLTX News 19. One lucky fishing fan will win a Ranger Z521C powered by a 250-horsepower Mercury outboard. The Ranger boat giveaway is courtesy of 97.5 WCOS-FM and is free to enter, but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Prior to Sunday’s final weigh-in, country music superstar Rodney Atkins will perform a free live concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage, starting at 4 p.m. The Curb Records recording artist has six No.1 hits, including “These are My People,” “Cleaning this Gun” and “Take a Back Road.”
Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC when “FLW” airs Oct. 5 from 2-3 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
Image courtesy FLW Outdoors