Ehrler and TPWD Outdoor Programs Big Winners at Toyota Texas Bass Classic

Ehrler and TPWD Outdoor Programs Big Winners at Toyota Texas Bass Classic

Brent Ehrler of Redlands, California, won the Toyota Texas Bass Classic on Lake Fork over the Memorial Day weekend, taking home a check for $100,000, a fully rigged bass boat and a 2015 Toyota Tundra.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department also came away a big winner. For the ninth year in a row, Gulf States Toyota donated $250,000 to TPWD in support of such programs as Neighborhood Fishin’ and the Texas State-Fish Art Contest. This year the total amount donated reached $2.25 million.

Ehrler said that it was hard to put into words what the TTBC title meant to him. “I’m still kind of shocked. I really didn’t think that I had a great chance to win today, because I was so far behind,” he explained. “This win ranks way up there for me. At Media Day on Thursday, they presented Keith Combs with his 2014 championship ring, and I remember thinking, ‘It would be really cool to have a ring like that.’ I never expected that it would actually happen.”

Ehrler entered the final day of competition Monday in fifth place with a total weight of 58 pounds, 4 ounces. Despite averaging over 29 pounds a day for the first two days of competition, the California pro had yet to catch a bass surpassing Lake Fork’s 24-inch slot length.

That changed shortly before 1:00 p.m. on Monday, when Ehrler boated a 10-pound, 11-ounce bass to take over the top spot on the leaderboard. The Lake Fork giant proved to be the Tundra Big Bass of the tournament, earning Ehrler a 2015 Toyota Tundra valued at $35,000.

For much of the tournament Ehrler fished offshore with a trio of baits including a Lucky Craft 3.5XD crankbait in shad color, a 6-inch hollow-bodied swimbait in shad color on a ¾-ounce BOSS Swimbait Jig Head, and a ¾-ounce BOSS Football Jig Head tipped with a Yamamoto trailer. He used Daiwa rods and reels spooled with Sunline fluorocarbon for all of his presentations.

He caught the bulk of his weight slow-rolling the swimbait, but he also caught several fish on the crankbait and two key fish on the football head jig, including his biggest fish on Sunday and a 6-pounder on Monday.

Ehrler said that the key to his victory was using his Humminbird graph to find the winning school of fish early on the first day of practice. “I saw some fish down there, and on one of my first casts I hooked a 6-pounder. When I was reeling it in, I noticed a bunch of other big ones following the hooked fish back to the boat,” he explained. “I immediately knew that I’d found a spot that could be very productive.”

On Monday, he caught a limit weighing 23 pounds off his primary area and then boated the 10-pounder and a 6-pounder off his secondary area in the afternoon. “Both areas that I fished were basically points that extended out into the lake and then dropped off,” he explained.

In total, five of the 35 competitors including Jason Christie, John Crews, Mike Iaconelli, Shad Schenck and Brent Ehrler, caught a Lake Fork bass surpassing the 24-inch slot length.

Jason Christie of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, won the LEER Heavyweight award for his 37-pound, 4-ounce limit on Saturday.

Due to severe storms and heavy rainfall, the weigh-in venue and activities were closed to the public on Sunday and Monday.

For complete tournament results, visit

For information on TPWD programs benefiting from the Toyota Texas Bass Classic, visit and