Forrest Wood Cup
Leaderboard, Day 3
1 Brent Ehrler 39 lbs., 3 oz.
2 Cody Meyer 38 lbs., 11 oz.
3. Larry Nixon, 37 lbs., 7 oz.
4 Kevin Hawk 36 lbs., 1 oz.
5 Ronald Hobbs 35 lbs., 3 oz.
6 Troy Morrow 35 lbs., 1 oz.
1 Dereal Rogers 27 lbs., 3 oz.
2 J.R. Wright 26 lbs., 13 oz.
3 Frank Divis 25 lbs. 9 oz.
4 Matt Peters 19 lbs., 14 oz.
5 John Niedosik 17 lbs., 15 oz.
DULUTH — Team National Guard professional Brent Ehrler, of Redlands, Calif., crossed the stage at the Gwinnett Arena with a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 4 ounces Saturday to lead Day 3 of the Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Lanier, putting himself in position to become the first angler to win the coveted title twice in the tourney’s 15-year history.
Ehrler, with a three-day total of 15 bass for 39-3, holds an eight-ounce lead over Cody Meyer, of Grass Valley, Calif., who caught five bass weighing 11-5 for a three-day total of 15 bass for 38-11. The Forrest Wood Cup, a tournament featuring 78 of the world’s best professional bass anglers, will be decided from the top-six pros fishing today.
“I’m fishing deep and going to some of the same spots,” said Ehrler, who won the Forrest Wood Cup in 2006. “I have a couple of core spots that I’ve been fishing and just catching one or two off of each spot. I have four spots that I really like and then I’ve been rotating through more than that.
“It’s not easy,” Ehrler added. “When you’re only fishing four spots a day and you’re only catching five or six fish a day, that’s not a good day. It’s not easy.
“It takes time to catch them.”
Ehrler said he fished a drop-shot rig 20-to 25-feet deep and is worried about catching one keeper at a time. Ehrler said the fish he caught were either good, solid keepers or short fish — nothing in between.
“If I could get those bites to happen faster, then I could relax a little bit and bounce around and be more open minded,” Ehrler said. “But when you only have two in the box or three in the box, you tend to kind of freeze up a little bit.”
Meyer said his half-pound deficit going into the final day of competition has him feeling confident.
“I started off fishing the same water that I’ve been fishing all week, and it was extremely tough,” Meyer said. “I had two small fish — two extremely small keepers at 9:30 a.m. (Saturday) and continued throwing the drop shot. That’s all I’ve been catching my fish on all week.”
Meyer said he struggled through the day and finally managed to catch his third keeper two hours later, then caught his final two keepers within the next 20 minutes. He has confidence that the area he’s fishing holds big fish, however, he said getting five to bite will be difficult.
“I’m pulling up on select brush piles and throwing the drop shot in there,” Meyer said. “Sometimes the first cast is right in there, and if I see fish suspended above it I’ll actually drop it on them and fish it vertically above them. It can be 10 feet off the bottom or three feet off the bottom.
“I would kind of rather be behind because you have nothing to lose,” Meyer added. “Brent is an amazing fisherman. In my opinion, he’s the best in the world. I fish against him all the time and he’s hard to beat. Any time I get to beat him back home is a privilege. It’s not very often, but he can be beat.
“Anyone can be beat.”