Movers & Shakers: Ehrler’s Lead Shrinks, Simonton No. 1 in Minors


It’s been a busy week for those watching the rankings. Particularly for those watching the top spots.

Those waiting for the day Kevin VanDam takes the No. 1 spot in our Pro Anglers World Ranking will have to wait a little longer, but his deficit did shrink over the last week.

Brent Ehrler, the current No. 1- ranked angler, saw an 11th-place finish in an FLW Series event drop off Saturday. Losing that good tournament would have dipped his point total to mere percentage points ahead of VanDam. However, Ehrler quickly replaced the fallen event with a 23rd at the FLW Tour Open at Guntersville. The result was only a minor drop in points (803.224 to 801.493).

Meanwhile, Bryan Thrift used the Guntersville event to cement himself in the No. 3 position, thanks to his 5th-place finish and David Dudley’s 59th.

Then there was Paul Elias, who used the Alabama rig to win the event and jump from 145th to 127th. Other notable “movers” up the ranking included Jay Yelas (28th to 16th), Russ Lane (55th to 43rd), Troy Morrow (68th to 52nd), Kevin Hawk (121st to 102nd), Anthony Gagliardi (127th to 106th) and Chris Lane (136th to 116th).

As for the “shakers,” Dion Hibdon had the farthest drop, as his 130th finish dropped him from 96th to 123rd in the Majors World Ranking. Other notable slides include JT Kenney (21st to 29th), Brandon Coulter (48th to 67th), Keith Monson (104th to 129th) and Jimmy Houston (119th to 141st).

Minors: Simonton Takes Over

You might be asking where former No. 1 Trevor Fitzgerald went from the Minors World Rankings. Our answer: He no longer fits the criteria.

Fitzgerald saw a BASS Southern Open drop from his stats over the weekend. In the process, he failed to qualify for the Minors World Rankings because he hasn’t fished enough Minor-level events in the last two years. A major reason for that may be an upcoming jump to the Majors. Even if Fitzgerald qualified for the Minors World Ranking, he would be in the “All Level Boaters” ranking. When he fished the FLW Tour event at Guntersville this weekend, it marked his fourth Major-level event in the past year. In the process, it would exclude him from the regular Minor Level Boaters Only Ranking – a natural progression that will occur to anglers as they move up the ranks and put more focus on Major-level events.

With Fitzgerald seemingly moving to the next level, Michael Simonton now reigns as the top Minor angler.


About Author

Sean cut his teeth in the journalist world as an award-winning sports reporter, editor and freelancer for various Chicagoland newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times and Daily Herald, eventually crossing over into editing and freelance writing in the Outdoor industry. In addition to his position as Editor for, he is also a freelance outdoor writer and lure designer. He resides in the Chicago suburb of Lockport. An avid Bass and Muskie fisherman, his fishing influence began on ponds and lakes in northeast Illinois and has since expanded to a multitude of species across North and Central America. His passion for the sport is rivaled only by his love for building fishing lures, with a number of his designs being used by top professional anglers and produced by various lure companies today. Google+

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