Brent Ehrler came through on the final day and – in fact – the last hour of the day Monday to win the Toyota Tundra Big Bass prize by landing a whopping 10 lbs. 11 oz. bass. Fittingly, that last and biggest fish also landed him on top of the leader board – winning the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) with 89 lbs. 12 oz. of fish boated on Lake Fork at Quitman, Texas over the three days of a wet and windy Memorial Day Weekend.
As the winner of the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic, Ehrler receives the coveted TTBC trophy along with the prized TTBC Championship ring. On a more practical basis, he also wins the $100,000 top prize check along with a Nitro Z21 bass boat and trailer. The only thing missing was a truck to pull his new boat and trailer, and with the Toyota Tundra Big Bass win, he was given the keys to a brand new Toyota Tundra pickup truck.
Brent Ehrler hails from Redlands, California and has been a professional bass angler for 11 years with 8 wins prior to the 2015 TTBC – winning $2,266,235 in his career. Ehrler fishes professionally in the FLW (Fishing League Worldwide) and has finished in the top ten in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race most of the years he has been on tour. It is said that he is an avid skier and reportedly once commented that he only chose fishing over skiing as a career because he thought more money could be made in fishing. Memorial Day, he added another $150,000 cash and prizes to his total.
The Toyota Texas Bass Classic is the premier event of professional bass fishing pitting the top 30 anglers from the FLW and the Bass Elite Series in what many consider to be the world championship of bass fishing. This year’s angler field boasted a combined 190 wins, 19 Angler of the Year Awards, 19 Majors and over $56 million in career earnings. In addition to 30 professional anglers from the FLW and the Bass Elite Series, there were 5 sponsor exemptions which include Mike Iaconelli, Kelly Jordon, Terry Scroggins and Kevin VanDam and defending TTBC champion, Keith Combs.
The TTBC was moved to Memorial Day Weekend this year to allow more fans and families to attend the event and enjoy all of the activities along with cheering on their favorite anglers. The recent weather changes resulting in heavy rains and winds beginning before the weekend, continued through the weekend forcing cancellation of the Day 2 and 3 public events. The TTBC has announced that they will be refunding all tickets pre-purchased by the public those days.
The rains created challenges to the anglers not only from the stormy weather on the lake at times, but also the changes in the normal behavior of the bass due to the lake having filled to overflowing requiring that the spillways be opened creating flow and water temperature changes not normal at Lake Fork. At the end of the event, most of the anglers noted that – though challenging – the circumstances were a part of their professional experience and they adjusted accordingly.
The inclement weather continued right up and into the final weigh-in on Monday when – under a tornado alert from the weather bureau – TTBC officials expedited the ceremony so that all participants could get to safety before the weather front arrived.
Due to the generosity of Toyota and the other sponsors – the Toyota Texas Bass Classic is a no-entry-fee event and every one of the 35 anglers invited goes home with prize money.
The three day event is an elimination with only the top ten anglers fishing on the final day. The Day 3 final results are:
- Brent Ehrler – 89 lbs. 12oz.
- Jason Christie – 87 lbs. 12oz.
- Andy Morgan – 83 lbs. 12oz.
- Chris Lane – 83 lbs. 8 oz.
- Shad Schenck – 81 lbs. 4 oz.
- Casey Ashley – 79 lbs. 4 oz.
- John Crews – 78 lbs. 8 oz.
- Mike Iaconelli – 72 lbs. 8 oz.
- Keith Combs – 65 lbs. 12 oz.
- Brandon Palaniuk – 51 lbs.
The, new for 2015, Toyota Tundra Big Bass award for the biggest fish on a single day of the event went to Brent Ehrler – 10 lbs. 11oz. Ehrler wins the 2015 Toyota Tundra truck.
The LEER Heavyweight award for the heaviest total weight of fish from any one of the three days went to Jason Christie – 37 lbs. 4oz. Christie wins a LEER truck cap.
Source: Toyota Texas Bass Classic