S2-D6-JoshGassmann_Postgame-5It has been a BUSY few weeks in our sport!

Since our last story update, there have been five major-level events:

  • MLF Bass Pro Tour on the Kissimmee Chain, won by Jordan Lee
  • BASS Elite Series on the St Johns River, won by Rick Clunn
  • FLW Tour on Lake Toho/Kissimmee Chain, won by Buddy Gross
  • MLF Bass Pro Tour on Lake Conroe, won by Edwin Evers
  • BASS Elite Series on Lake Lanier, won by Paul Mueller

Needless to say, there’s been plenty of shuffling in our rankings. Almost no angler is in the same spot as he was a couple weeks ago. We say “almost” because there are two who haven’t changed, and they happen to be at the top.

Bryan Thrift and Jacob Wheeler continue to hold down the top two spots in both our one- and two-year rankings. Thrift finished 26th while continuing his record-setting streak of consecutive limits. Meanwhile, Wheeler has a had a slightly tougher go in the transition to the BPT format, finishing 27th and 64th, respectively. So he’s lost some ground on Thrift for the top spot.

At the same time, Brent Ehrler (third), Evers (fourth) and Lee (fifth) continue to gain ground. The three have combined for two victories and five top 10s, with the “worst” finish between them being Ehrler’s 21st at Kissimmee. Needless to say, the three have acclimated quite well to the new format.

They aren’t the only ones whose tournament-organization switches have proved to be the right moves thus far, particularly when it comes to former FLW Tour pros. Jeff Sprague is currently third in BPT standings (and ranked 38th), while Chris Johnston, Scott Canterbury and Brandon Cobb are first, second and seventh in the Elite Series standings (and ranked 84th, 60th and 20th), respectively.

To say this offseason was noteworthy is an understatement. The creation of the Bass Pro Tour and the subsequent shifting of anglers between the now three major-level tours was something that shook up the entire sport. Everyone has needed to evolve and adapt, Bass Rankings included. The three-major-level-tours landscape has added a new dynamic to

Terry Bolton nearly quit tournament fishing after 23 years without a major victory. Good thing he decided to give it a 24th shot. Buoyed by a behemoth 33-pound, 9-ounce bag on day two of the FLW Tour opener on Sam Rayburn, Bolton finally hoisted to trophy he’s long chased. He did the bulk of his


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