Toyota Texas Bass Classic to Air on NBC Sports Network

QUITMAN, TX. (June 24, 2015) – A one-hour special broadcast of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic (TTBC) can be viewed on NBC Sports on Sunday, June 28, 2015.

TTBC brought 35 of the world’s best anglers to Lake Fork and the grounds of the Sabine River Authority in Quitman, TX on Memorial Day weekend, May 23 – 25, 2015.

Tune in to watch world class bass fishing and cheer on your favorite angler from 8:00am to 9:00am EST.

Keep up with 2016 TTBC information on our Facebook and Twitter.

Proceeds from the TTBC benefit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s youth and urban outreach programs. To date the TTBC has raised $2.25 Million. For more information click here to visit the Texas Parks & Wildlife page.

Current sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, NITRO Boats, Wood County Industrial Commission, Anheuser-Busch, LEER Truck Caps, The Coca-Cola Company, Tellepsen, GoPro, HOLT CAT, JBL, GEICO, Brookshire’s Grocery Company, Kim’s Convenience Store, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Allied Waste Systems, Peoples Telephone Cooperative, TLC Media, Tyler Morning Telegraph, 105.7 KYKX, The Ranch KKUS 104.1, KMOO 99.9 & Sabine River Authority.

TTBC Toyota Tundra Big Bass

QUITMAN, TX (May 25, 2015) – It’s hard to top a 10-pound, 1-ounce bass.  That is precisely what each of the anglers at the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic had been trying to do ever since Jason Christie posted his giant largemouth to the leaderboard on day one.  

In fact, the field fished for nearly two full competition days without being able to come within a pound of the days one and two leader.  It looked as though the Park Hill, Okla. Pro was going to drive the Tundra Big Bass prize home.

Then, the clock struck 12:48PM, as did Brent Ehrler.

With a little more than an hour and a half left in the final day, Ehrler hooked a 10-pound, 11-ounce largemouth bass that would eventually eclipse Christie’s bass, catapult him into the lead for the tournament, and earn a set of keys to a brand new 2015 Toyota Tundra for his efforts.

Ironically, Ehrler said that he told Christie he was gunning for his fish in the morning.  “I told him that I was going to catch a 10-2 because he couldn’t win everything,” said Ehrler.  “I knew there were big fish in the area I was going to, but you never know if you can get one of them to bite, and then if you can land them after.”

Ehrler said that he caught his truck winning bass on a six-inch hollow bellied paddletail swimbait on a 1-ounce FishBoss swimbait head.  He threw the lure on 16-pound-test Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon spooled on a 6.3:1 Daiwa Tatula reel and 7’6” Daiwa Zillion Flippin’ Rod. 

“I told my judge and my cameraman that I felt like I was gonna catch a big one anytime, and four casts later, I caught that one,” he said.  “It was really cool, I felt a little tick and the line went slack.  I set the hook and she came straight to the surface and jumped and felt like it took forever, but I put her in the boat; it was unbelievable.”

The bass not only earned him a new Toyota Tundra, but it anchored a 31-pound, 8-ounce limit that brought his total to 89 pounds, 12 ounces for the tournament; good enough for the win, the $100,000 and the Nitro Z21 / Mercury 250 Pro XS bonus prize. 

Day 3 Final Results





Brent Ehrler

89 lbs. 12 oz.


Jason Christie

87 lbs. 12 oz.


Andy Morgan

83 lbs. 12 oz.


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.


Randall Tharp

47 lbs. 4 oz.


Mark Rose

46 lbs. 12 oz.


Mark Davis

45 lbs.


Scott Martin

44 lbs.


Aaron Martens

44 lbs.


Gerald Swindle

42 lbs. 12 oz.


Jacob Wheeler

41 lbs. 8 oz.


Kelly Jordon

41 lbs. 8 oz.


Shinichi Fukae

41 lbs.


Matt Arey

39 lbs. 12 oz.


Bryan Thrift

38 lbs. 12 oz.


Jared Lintner

38 lbs. 4 oz.


Chad Morgenthaler

36 lbs. 12 oz.


Wesley Strader

34 lbs.


Dean Rojas

33 lbs. 12 oz.


Michael Neal

33 lbs.


Greg Hackney

31 lbs.


Cody Meyer

30 lbs. 12 oz.


Matt Herren

30 lbs. 8 oz.


Kevin VanDam

29 lbs. 8 oz.


Todd Faircloth

28 lbs.


Justin Lucas

22 lbs. 12 oz.


Jacob Powroznik

20 lbs. 12 oz.


Terry Scroggins

15 lbs.


Brett Hite

11 lbs. 8 oz.



Brent Ehrler

10 lbs. 11 oz.

Brent Ehrler


Jason Christie

10 lbs. 1 oz.

Jason Christie


Shad Schenck

8 lbs. 14 oz.

Shad Schenck


John Crews

8 lbs. 7 oz.

John Crews


Mike Iaconelli

8 lbs. 2 oz.

Mike Iaconelli

Jason Christie Playin’ It Cool

QUITMAN, TX (May 25, 2015) – Maintaining composure is vital to any athlete being effective in pressure situations.  In bass fishing, one of the best at staying cool under pressure is Park Hill, Okla. Pro Jason Christie.

While he has led days one and two of the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic, Christie knows there is a target on his back, and he’s not really worried about it.  “I view this as a Championship event like a Bassmaster Classic or Forrest Wood Cup, and I want to add it to my resume as much as I would either of those,” he said.  “But, I tend to think of any tournament the same in function because I have to go out there and perform, and putting extra pressure on yourself is something that gets in your way.”

With that in mind, at the final day launch, the five-time tour level winner is focused and relaxed enough that he had yet to take his rods out of the rod locker. “Oh that’s the easy part, I’m only bringing two rods out,” he said.  “I’m bringing a big crankbait and a swimbait, and that’s it. 

“I’m just going to go out there  and ask them to eat instead of force them to eat, and if it goes right, I’ll be okay.”

TTBC Ashley on Coming Back

QUITMAN, TX (May 25, 2015) – Everyone loves the Cinderella story.  The come from behind win is revered as one of the true dream occurrences in sport.  The 2004 Boston Red Sox, the Miami Heat coming back to tie and go ahead in the final seconds of the Eastern Conference Finals, Jason Christie coming from 11 pounds back to win an Elite Series event at bull Shoals Reservoir.

Now, Christie is in the position of being the one everyone wants to overtake.

One of those looking to accomplish that is 2015 Bassmaster Classic Champion Casey Ashley.  The Donalds, S.C. pro started the day a little less than 10 pounds out of the lead in seventh place, but he knows there is hope.  “The thing about Lake Fork is that there’s enough big ones here to make it possible,” he said.  “I know that any cast offshore can produce a difference maker.  There are enough 10 pounders here that you’re really one big fish away from being back in the hunt.”

Ashley said that he has only a few areas, and he is having to change it up to get bites.  “I’ve got 14 or 15 rods on the deck, and I’m having to switch a lot to get bites,” he said.  “My main tool is stroking a big jig, but there are enough of our competitors and locals out there that you have to change it up.”

As far as his chances, Ashley feels optimistic.  “We’re weighing in at 2:30 today, and he only had three fish at 1:00 yesterday,” he said.  “You never know what can happen.”

TTBC Ehrler Solid All Week


QUITMAN, TX (May 25, 2015) – Every seasoned angler begins a tournament with a strategy.  If everything goes as planned, that strategy will carry them all the way through until the end with a victory.

While that thought is nice, the reality is, things rarely go as planned; for most anglers.

In the case of some, like Huntington Beach, Calif. Pro Brent Ehrler, adjustments to strategy are decisive, and usually quality.  Such was the case here at the 2015 Toyota Texas Bass Classic.  While many anglers try to step on the accelerator and keep moving forward to try and qualify for the next round; Ehrler was holding back on day two.

“I was in the positon where I felt pretty strongly that I was going to make the cut (to the Tundra 10), so I kind of backed off of them a bit,” said Ehrler.  “I wanted to save something in my best areas today and go after them hard.”

Ehrler said the real key has been bait rotation.  “I’ve been able to rotate between three different lures and keep showing them something different,” he said.  “I’m using crankbaits swimbaits and jigs, there’s nothing secret about it.  If I don’t get bites on one after a while, I switch up and get a bite immediately.”

He said he has two windows of time that are best, between 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning and then again in the afternoon.  So, far the theory has worked, Ehrler has produced over 23 pounds, and sits within striking distance of the win, and he still has the afternoon to go.

Ike’s Torrid Pace

Yesterday afternoon, Mike Iaconelli said that he figured something out on Lake Fork.  A review of his catches on the Live Leaderboard show that he wasn’t joking.  Over the course of the last five hours of competition (including the final hour of yesterday), Iaconelli has caught eight bass over 4 pounds, including three 6-pounders, an 8-pounder, and an 8-4.  

As of 11:07 p.m. cst on Monday, Ike has boated three bass for a total weight of 15 pounds.  It may not be enough to challenge for the lead, but if he keeps up the torrid pace that he has set recently, he could make things interesting if he’s able to catch a couple more 8-pounders in the final hours of competition.  


Christie Waiting it Out

Nearly four hours into the final day on Lake Fork, Day Two leader Jason Christie has boated just one keeper.  That one keeper, however, was a 7 pound, 12 ounce bass that he landed at 9:30 a.m. 

Throughout the week, many of the top anglers including Jason Christie, Shad Schenck, John Crews, Andy Morgan, Brent Ehrler, Casey Ashley, and Keith Combs have talked about is the fact that the high water, overcast conditions, and the fact that the gates have been open on the Lake Fork dam have prevented the bass from really ganging up offshore this week.  As a result, the typical pace for the offshore leaders this week has roughly been a quality bite every hour-and-a-half with one or two intermittent flurries of two or three fish over the course of the day.  

It’s more of a waiting game when it comes to getting five of the right bites from deep water.  That waiting game is nerve wracking when there’s less than four hours left to fish on the final day of the TTBC with $150,000 on the line.  


Schenck Willing to Finesse Fish on Monday

Shad Schenck is in 3rd place going into the final day on Lake Fork, and has relied on a single spot to produce nearly all of his 58 pounds, 12 ounces. 

On Monday morning, the Indiana pro had one rod on his front deck that looked a little out of place.  Mixed in baitcasting rods rigged with big jigs, magnum Zoom trick worms on ¾ oz. football heads, and 10”ribbontail worms, was a spinning rod rigged with a dropshot. 

“I’ve been one of the most consistent guys here this week, so I’m really not planning on changing anything today,” he stated. “I have one area that has been producing my big fish, but I’ve also caught a 5-pounder each day on a dropshot.   I know that a 5-pounder today may be the key to catching a 35 pound limit, so I’m not above breaking out the spinning rod.”

Schenck said that his success on Monday would boil down to how productive his big fish spot proved to be.  “It’ll be a good sign if I can pull up on my primary spot and catch two good ones early.  If that happens, I should be able to let it rest a little bit and then come back and catch a couple more good ones later in the day.  That’s kind of how I’ve been fishing all week,” he concluded.  

Ike Simplifying His Final Day

Going into a typical tournament day, the front deck of Mike Iaconelli’s boat looks like yard sale with upwards of 20 rods strapped to the front deck.  Just prior to launch on the final day of the TTBC, Ike’s boat was noticeably void of clutter.  The New Jersey pro had just six rods visible, suggesting that he is dialed in to a solid pattern on Lake Fork. 

“I can tell you that I had about 20 rods on the front deck on Saturday,” he admitted.  “Yesterday really clued me in on what I needed to be throwing, but I do have some additional rods rigged up in the rod locker.  I really feel like the thing to do is to keep it simple and build on what I learned yesterday.”

Entering the day in 9th place with a total weight of 44 pounds, 4 ounces, Iaconelli is nearly 20 pounds behind Jason Christie for the tournament lead. 

“I still have a chance,” said Iaconelli. “If I had to put a percentage on it, I’d say that it’s less than 10% – but it’s still a chance.  On a normal lake, I’d have no chance to win, but there’s still a chance to win here on Lake Fork.  I just need to find a school of giants that are biting, and I need to be in the 40 pound range to even start thinking about having a shot to win. 

“You hear guys talk about ‘pattern lakes’ across the country,” he continued.  “Lake Fork is a pattern lake.  I got a key bite at 11:00 yesterday and it really keyed me in on what I needed to do.  I literally looked at my Navionics chip, pulled out my paper map to for cross reference, and started running places that looked similar.  If you can fish the moment and pattern fish, it really helps you on Lake Fork.”