FLW Tour, you’re up.
Last week we looked back to see who where the movers and shakers on the 2011 BASS Elite Series. Now it’s time to do the same for the FLW Tour, and again, we have a battle for the top spot.
Coming off arguably the best full season for a pro we have seen in history, Bryan Thrift was No. 1 in our FLW World Ranking a year ago, with Brent Ehrler in second (858.611 to 813.249).
Now, after a solid 2011 season for Thrift and another stellar one for Ehrler, the two have flip-flopped spots. Yet, it’s a neck-and-neck race at best. Ehrler has a score of 820.223, while Thrift is nipping his heels at 815.952.
However, it’s the hard-charging pros behind them they both may want to worry about.
Mark Rose moved from 10th to 3rd over the course of 2011, and if Ehrler and Thrift is neck-and-neck, then Thrift and Rose is a photo finish. Rose currently has a score of 814.856, just 1.094 behind Thrift. In other words, this is shaping up to be quite a battle in 2012.
Don’t discount David Dudley from the melee either. He sat in 38th at the start of the 2011 season, a product of a poor 2010. Then he went and won the 2011 Angler of the Year award, as he amassed the second best score for a single season in the last five years – 890.492. The only better season in our records was Thrift’s 951.777 in 2010. Now, Dudley resides in fourth with a 788.758, and if he keeps fishing well, he will again contend for the top slot.
Other notable rises in 2011 include Randall Tharp (35th to 8th), Scott Canterbury (44th to 15th), JT Kenney (84th to 17th), Stacey King (43rd to 25th), Scott Martin (69th to 31st), Tim Klinger (60th to 34th) and Clifford Pirch (78th to 45th).
Unfortunately, not everyone celebrated in 2011. Clark Wendlandt, the 4th-ranked angler a year ago, slipped to 19th in the current ranking, and a similar decline happened to Ish Monroe. While he rose in the BASS Elite Series ranking, he fell from 6th to 26th on the FLW Tour.
Yet, no one had it worse than Rusty Salewske. The 8th-ranked angler a year ago plummeted to 80th, the farthest drop over the course of the FLW Tour season.
Other notable descents in the rankings include Tom Mann Jr. (28th to 52nd), George Cochran (24th to 75th), Larry Nixon (26th to 81st), John Devere (48th to 89th), Greg Bohannan (47th to 92nd), Ramie Colson Jr. (45th to 106th) and Randy Blaukat (52nd to 108th)
Check back the next few weeks to see breakdown of the 2011 PAA, and how the 2011 season shook up the Majors World Ranking.