Ehrler Maintains Lead At Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, With Palaniuk Close Behind

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 Bass Ehler Toyota Bass Texas Fest
Brent Ehrler of Newport Beach, Calif., maintains the lead on the second day of the 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with a two-day total weight of 47 pounds, 11 ounces. 

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Brent Ehrler of Newport Beach, Calif., maintains the lead on the second day of the 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department with a two-day total weight of 47 pounds, 11 ounces. 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
May 18, 2017

Ehrler Maintains Lead At Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest, With Palaniuk Close Behind

LUFKIN, Texas — After two days, the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has turned into an all-out slugfest with some of the biggest names in professional bass fishing at the top of the leaderboard.
 
The Top 10 anglers have all averaged more than 20 pounds apiece the first two days on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, and the top two pros have averaged better than 23.
 
California pro Brent Ehrler holds the top spot for the second day in a row with a two-day mark of 47-11. He caught 22-5 Thursday in the 90-degree Texas heat to maintain that lead.
 
Idaho pro Brandon Palaniuk is just 2 ounces behind Ehrler with 47-9 after catching 23-2 during Thursday’s second round.
 
Ehrler still holds the lead in the race for Toyota Big Bass of the week with a 9-1 he caught Wednesday. The winner of that award will receive a Toyota Tundra pickup valued at $50,000.
 
“I didn’t really find any new stuff today,” Ehrler said. “I checked one spot where I thought I could catch a good one, and I caught about a 4 1/2-pounder later in the day. But I still didn’t get that real clear feeling for what I’m going to do the rest of the week.”
 
Like many of the 109 pros who started the event, Ehrler has been splitting his time between deep and shallow water, trying to stay in front of bass that are clearly in transition from the spring spawning areas to their summer haunts.
 
With the field now trimmed to the Top 51 for Friday’s semifinal round, Ehrler said he thinks the tournament’s $100,000 first-place prize will likely be won away from the shoreline.
 
“I still believe that the guy who wins this is going to have a couple of schools out deep,” he said. “They’ll have one or two spots out deep where they can pull up and catch a 4-, a 5- and then all of a sudden a 10-pounder.”
 
With the fish moving, Ehrler referred to the event as a “volatile tournament” and said he “wouldn’t be surprised to go out and catch 12 pounds Friday — or 25.”
 
Palaniuk still had a distinct air of confidence Thursday as he inched up the standings on Ehrler’s heels.
 
Under a catch/weigh/release format that is being used for the first time in an Elite Series event with a full field, the pros were only allowed to bring one bass to the scales — and it had to be at least 21 inches long. All other bass were weighed on the water by judges and immediately released.
 
Ehrler’s longest fish — a largemouth that weighed just over 5 pounds — measured only 19 inches. So he came to the weigh-in stand empty-handed.

Palaniuk had one fish over 6 pounds, and said the techniques he’s using seem to be holding up well, even as the lake changes.
 
“I have a general pattern that I feel like applies all the way from 3 feet out to 30 feet,” he said. “I had fewer rods on the deck of my boat today, so I’m slowly narrowing it down.”
 
One thing Palaniuk hasn’t been able to avoid is losing good fish. He said he’s probably losing “about a third” of the ones that he’s actually hooking.
 
He agreed with Ehrler’s assessment that many things are changing on the lake.
 
“All the fish right now are moving,” Palaniuk said. “They’re following bait, moving toward their summertime stuff. You can intercept them at any time, at any depth range.”
 
Indiana angler Jacob Wheeler caught 23-7 Thursday and jumped from 10th place into third with 44-14.
 
While Wheeler agreed the bass are in transition, he believes there is enough going on to keep plenty in the shallower depths where he has scored this week.
 
“You have bait that is still shallow,” Wheeler said. “You have grass that’s going to keep them there. You have bluegill spawning.
 
“Then on top of all that, two weeks before we got here, the water rose a foot, which pushed a lot of fish back to the banks.”

The Top 51 will fish Friday’s semifinal round, and the field will take a break Saturday for a special event that will feature seminars, boat demos and an outdoors expo. Only the Top 12 remaining anglers will compete on Championship Sunday. A special Get Hooked On Fishing program will take place Friday, when hundreds of area schoolchildren will be bused in to the George H. Henderson Jr. Expo Center in Lufkin.
 
Daily takeoffs will be at 7 a.m. CT at Cassels-Boykin Park in Zavalla, Texas. The weigh-ins and Saturday activities will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the Expo Center.

The event is hosted by the Lufkin Convention and Visitors Bureau. 
 
2017 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Platinum and Title Sponsor: Toyota

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Shell Rotella, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Phoenix Boats, Shimano, T-H Marine, Advance Auto Parts, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance

2017 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest Beneficiary: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

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Media Contact: JamieDay Matthews, 205-313-0945, jmatthews@bassmaster.com or Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, dprecht@bassmaster.com

2017 Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department 5/17-5/21
Sam Rayburn Reservoir, Lufkin  TX.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 2
Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$1.  Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA       10  47-11  110
Day 1: 5   25-06     Day 2: 5   22-05
2.  Brandon Palaniuk       Hayden, ID              10  47-09  109
Day 1: 5   24-07     Day 2: 5   23-02
3.  Jacob Wheeler          Indianapolis, IN        10  44-14  108
Day 1: 5   21-07     Day 2: 5   23-07
4.  Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL        10  43-12  107
Day 1: 5   23-15     Day 2: 5   19-13
5.  Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL            10  43-01  106
Day 1: 5   21-02     Day 2: 5   21-15
6.  Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC             10  42-08  105
Day 1: 5   18-09     Day 2: 5   23-15
7.  Hank Cherry Jr         Lincolnton, NC          10  42-03  104
Day 1: 5   23-08     Day 2: 5   18-11
8.  Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA         10  41-15  103
Day 1: 5   23-01     Day 2: 5   18-14
9.  Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ             10  40-10  102
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   23-07
10. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL          10  40-08  101
Day 1: 5   20-07     Day 2: 5   20-01
11. Alton Jones Jr.        Lorena, TX              10  40-01  100
Day 1: 5   13-07     Day 2: 5   26-10
12. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL           10  40-01   99
Day 1: 5   21-09     Day 2: 5   18-08
13. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL        10  39-11   98
Day 1: 5   21-14     Day 2: 5   17-13
14. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL               10  39-07   97
Day 1: 5   22-10     Day 2: 5   16-13
15. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           10  39-02   96
Day 1: 5   20-13     Day 2: 5   18-05
16. James Elam             Tulsa, OK               10  38-10   95
Day 1: 5   20-06     Day 2: 5   18-04
17. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY           10  38-05   94
Day 1: 5   20-01     Day 2: 5   18-04
18. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL          10  37-09   93
Day 1: 5   17-12     Day 2: 5   19-13
19. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN           10  36-15   92
Day 1: 5   19-08     Day 2: 5   17-07
20. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK             10  36-11   91
Day 1: 5   16-05     Day 2: 5   20-06
21. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN           10  36-10   90
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   22-08
22. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL            10  36-07   89
Day 1: 5   11-14     Day 2: 5   24-09
23. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              10  36-06   88
Day 1: 5   22-03     Day 2: 5   14-03
24. Mark Daniels Jr.       Tuskegee, AL            10  36-06   87
Day 1: 5   17-03     Day 2: 5   19-03
25. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR           10  36-00   86
Day 1: 5   20-14     Day 2: 5   15-02
26. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC             10  35-15   85
Day 1: 5   19-13     Day 2: 5   16-02
27. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS               10  35-15   84
Day 1: 5   18-11     Day 2: 5   17-04
28. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              10  35-15   83
Day 1: 5   17-08     Day 2: 5   18-07
29. Dustin Connell         Clanton, AL             10  35-13   82
Day 1: 5   16-08     Day 2: 5   19-05
30. Robbie Latuso          Gonzales, LA            10  35-12   81
Day 1: 5   19-09     Day 2: 5   16-03
31. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX          10  35-09   80
Day 1: 5   16-08     Day 2: 5   19-01
32. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                 10  35-02   79
Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   16-13
33. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN           10  34-14   78
Day 1: 5   20-15     Day 2: 5   13-15
34. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX               10  34-14   77
Day 1: 5   17-01     Day 2: 5   17-13
35. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA             10  34-12   76
Day 1: 5   18-07     Day 2: 5   16-05
36. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL        10  34-11   75
Day 1: 5   19-11     Day 2: 5   15-00
37. Edwin Evers            Talala, OK              10  34-03   74
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   19-11
38. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR         10  34-01   73
Day 1: 5   17-15     Day 2: 5   16-02
39. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               10  33-14   72
Day 1: 5   17-08     Day 2: 5   16-06
40. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL        10  33-12   71
Day 1: 5   16-11     Day 2: 5   17-01
41. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL         10  33-11   70
Day 1: 5   13-15     Day 2: 5   19-12
42. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK             10  33-11   69
Day 1: 5   16-07     Day 2: 5   17-04
43. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC          10  33-10   68
Day 1: 5   20-00     Day 2: 5   13-10
44. Fred Roumbanis         London, AR              10  32-15   67
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   18-07
45. Jacob Powroznik        North Prince George, VA 10  32-13   66
Day 1: 5   12-11     Day 2: 5   20-02
46. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA       10  32-13   65
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 5   19-02
47. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI           10  32-11   64
Day 1: 5   14-08     Day 2: 5   18-03
48. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL        10  32-10   63
Day 1: 5   16-06     Day 2: 5   16-04
49. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC               10  32-08   62
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   17-14
50. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL        10  32-04   61
Day 1: 5   18-05     Day 2: 5   13-15
51. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ              10  32-04   60
Day 1: 5   14-14     Day 2: 5   17-06
52. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI           10  32-03   59
Day 1: 5   13-15     Day 2: 5   18-04
53. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA               10  32-01   58
Day 1: 5   11-12     Day 2: 5   20-05
54. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ    10  32-01   57
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   16-09
55. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR         10  31-12   56
Day 1: 5   18-03     Day 2: 5   13-09
56. Gary Klein             Mingus, TX              10  31-10   55
Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   20-06
57. Brandon Card           Knoxville, TN           10  31-10   54
Day 1: 5   11-15     Day 2: 5   19-11
58. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ             10  31-06   53
Day 1: 5   12-03     Day 2: 5   19-03
59. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT           10  31-04   52
Day 1: 5   18-15     Day 2: 5   12-05
60. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL            10  31-02   51
Day 1: 5   14-04     Day 2: 5   16-14
61. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL            10  31-02   50
Day 1: 5   16-13     Day 2: 5   14-05
62. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL           10  30-15   49
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 5   17-12
63. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL        10  30-15   48
Day 1: 5   13-08     Day 2: 5   17-07
64. Stetson Blaylock       Benton, AR              10  30-15   47
Day 1: 5   14-00     Day 2: 5   16-15
65. Seth Feider            Isle, MN                10  30-14   46
Day 1: 5   16-14     Day 2: 5   14-00
66. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  30-13   45
Day 1: 5   14-15     Day 2: 5   15-14
67. David Walker           Sevierville, TN         10  30-12   44
Day 1: 5   13-03     Day 2: 5   17-09
68. Gerald Spohrer         Gonzales, LA            10  30-06   43
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   16-12
69. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL              10  30-06   42
Day 1: 5   14-10     Day 2: 5   15-12
70. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ            10  30-04   41
Day 1: 5   15-03     Day 2: 5   15-01
71. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA       10  30-02   40
Day 1: 5   13-09     Day 2: 5   16-09
72. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  30-02   39
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   14-06
73. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO        10  29-11   38
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   13-15
74. David Fritts           Lexington, NC           10  29-08   37
Day 1: 5   16-00     Day 2: 5   13-08
75. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                10  29-07   36
Day 1: 5   15-08     Day 2: 5   13-15
76. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL         10  29-05   35
Day 1: 5   14-03     Day 2: 5   15-02
77. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN        10  29-03   34
Day 1: 5   17-09     Day 2: 5   11-10
78. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS        10  29-03   33
Day 1: 5   15-10     Day 2: 5   13-09
79. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                 10  29-02   32
Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 5   13-13
80. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ         10  29-01   31
Day 1: 5   14-11     Day 2: 5   14-06
81. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI             10  28-09   30
Day 1: 5   14-12     Day 2: 5   13-13
82. Jesse Wiggins          Cullman, AL             10  28-06   29
Day 1: 5   15-12     Day 2: 5   12-10
83. John Murray            Spring City, TN         10  28-05   28
Day 1: 5   15-03     Day 2: 5   13-02
84. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN      10  28-00   27
Day 1: 5   14-07     Day 2: 5   13-09
85. David Williams         Newton, NC              10  27-13   26
Day 1: 5   14-09     Day 2: 5   13-04
86. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX              10  27-09   25
Day 1: 5   13-02     Day 2: 5   14-07
87. Jesse Tacoronte        Orlando, FL             10  27-08   24
Day 1: 5   17-04     Day 2: 5   10-04
88. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX               10  27-08   23
Day 1: 5   16-02     Day 2: 5   11-06
89. Jamie Hartman          Newport, NY             10  27-05   22
Day 1: 5   08-13     Day 2: 5   18-08
90. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC          10  27-05   21
Day 1: 5   15-13     Day 2: 5   11-08
91. John Hunter Jr         Shelbyville, KY         10  27-03   20
Day 1: 5   11-10     Day 2: 5   15-09
92. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL             10  27-02   19
Day 1: 5   11-13     Day 2: 5   15-05
93. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR         10  26-11   18
Day 1: 5   14-01     Day 2: 5   12-10
94. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH    10  26-07   17
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   14-01
95. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS        10  26-06   16
Day 1: 5   13-02     Day 2: 5   13-04
96. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY             10  25-15   15
Day 1: 5   11-04     Day 2: 5   14-11
97. Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO        10  25-06   14
Day 1: 5   10-15     Day 2: 5   14-07
98. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV            10  24-15   13
Day 1: 5   10-12     Day 2: 5   14-03
99. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA              10  24-07   12
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   10-13
100. Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL           10  24-03   11
Day 1: 5   11-14     Day 2: 5   12-05
101. Skylar Hamilton        Dandridge, TN           10  24-01   10
Day 1: 5   10-05     Day 2: 5   13-12
102. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL         10  23-05    9
Day 1: 5   09-07     Day 2: 5   13-14
103. Tyler Carriere         Youngsville, LA         10  23-01    8
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 5   10-03
104. Chad Grigsby           Maple Grove, MN         10  22-14    7
Day 1: 5   12-06     Day 2: 5   10-08
105. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS              10  22-14    6
Day 1: 5   11-09     Day 2: 5   11-05
106. Darrell Ocamica        New Plymouth, ID         9  21-06    5
Day 1: 4   07-15     Day 2: 5   13-07
107. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL       10  20-13    4
Day 1: 5   07-10     Day 2: 5   13-03
108. Brett Preuett          Monroe, LA              10  20-01    3
Day 1: 5   09-12     Day 2: 5   10-05
109. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC          10  20-00    2
Day 1: 5   08-14     Day 2: 5   11-02
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1       108       544      1725-00
2       109       545      1787-09
———————————-
217      1089      3512-09
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