March 9, 2013
Keystone Light pro Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif.,
caught five bass weighing 11 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to maintain his lead at the
Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude
. He now advances to the final day of competition with a commanding lead in a tournament that features a full field of the world's best professional anglers casting for the top prize of up to
Link to photo of leader Keystone Light pro Brent Ehrler
With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 45 pounds, 14 ounces, Ehrler holds a solid 6-pound, 4-ounce lead over second-place pro
Prince George, Va.
, who has a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 39 pounds, 10 ounces.
"It was a grind just like yesterday," said Ehrler, who has led all three days of tournament competition. "I was thinking I'm going to go from leading the tournament to not even making the cut. It's such an emotional roller coaster. I was finally able to get a limit mid-day. Once I got a limit, I was able to run around and culled up a couple of times. It started off really slow, though."
Ehrler remained tight-lipped about his bait selection, but said he is catching them deep and doing one thing different with his baits.
"I'm catching them deeper – from 30 to 40 feet," he said. "I'm doing one thing different, bait-wise, though. I feel like it's been the key to getting a lot of the better bites for me, and right now I need every advantage that I can get.
"I'm not going to sleep easy tonight," Ehrler went on to say. "If I could choose my conditions tomorrow, it'd be sunny and calm. From what I hear, we're supposed to be seeing the opposite. If it gets windy out there, it could really hurt my chances. My co-angler caught 12 pounds off of my key areas today, though, so that tells me that there are still a few fish around there. I'm just going to put my head down and if the wind doesn't affect me too much, I can catch another 12 pounds."