We’ve looked back at the three major tours. Now it’s time for the grand finale – the Majors World Ranking.
When we created this ranking, we did so to showcase who is the best now. Not over a career or who got hot for one season – now. If a user wants that other information, it’s easily available via our Custom Search and one-year ranking. But to get a true scope on the top anglers in our sport, we felt a two-year time period was the most accurate criteria to amass enough events to establish a pattern of success or failure.
No angler showcases the importance of the two-year criteria more than Skeet Reese. A year ago today, Reese sat atop the Majors World Ranking with an 826.089. He was coming off a two-year stretch of dominance, in which he had a string of tournaments for the ages in 2010, finishing in the top 5 five straight events, winning two of them. He was on top of the fishing world.
Today, after finishing 54th on the Elite Series this season and the dropping off of his impressive 2009 season, he resides in 36th. It’s a significant drop, but nowhere near as significant as if we had used a one-year criteria. A one-year span ranks Reese 118th, which most of us would agree simply isn’t accurate.
Now that that’s out of the way, it’s time to look at the angler who replaced Reese atop the standings: Brent Ehrler. Say what you will, but in recent years there hasn’t been a more consistently successful angler than Ehrler. A year ago he sat in second with an 825.043. Now, he resides in first with a 797.701. While other anglers have had hot and cold streaks, or even fluke bad tournaments, Ehrler continued on a straight path of success, which is reflected in his No. 1 ranking.
As for the rest of the top 10, Mark Rose and Kevin VanDam both rose in the standings to second and third, respectively. Rose has always been an under-the-radar stick, but he has finally broken out in recent years. As for VanDam, the only thing holding him back is his slump at the beginning of the 2010 season. He was the best angler over the last year, and as those 2010 events drop off look for him rise even higher.
Then there is David Dudley, who rose from 40th to 4th on the wings of his Angler of the Year season on the FLW Tour and the dropping off of his mediocre 2009. If he continues to fish like he did in 2011, don’t be surprised if the winningest angler on the FLW Tour contends for the top slot in the near future.
Other notable rises this season include Edwin Evers (25th to 7th), Todd Auten (37th to 8th), Jason Christie (27th to 14th), Ott Defoe (52nd to 17th), Jay Yelas (51st to 19th), Stacey King (49th to 28th), JT Kenney (54th to 29th), Terry Scroggins (116th to 39th), Dean Rojas (85th to 47th), Glenn Browne (115th to 53rd), Greg Vinson (124th to 63rd) and Davy Hite (133rd to 68th).
Like Reese, 2011 wasn’t too kind to Cliff Pace. The 7th-ranked angler a year ago fell to 33rd after a lackluster season. Also dropping from the top 10 was Clark Wendlandt. However, his descent from 5th to 25th is mainly about his AOY 2009 season dropping off, as he had a solid 2011 campaign.
However, as was mentioned in a previous article, 2011 was especially hard on Rusty Salewske. The 15th-ranked angler from a year ago plummeted all the way to 99th after he finished 120th on the FLW Tour in 2011.
Other notable descents include Andy Montgomery (13th to 35th), Takahiro Omori (24th to 46th), Tommy Biffle (12th to 54th), Greg Hackney (34th to 58th), Tom Mann Jr. (20th to 65th), David Walker (32nd to 78th), Justin Kerr (26th to 92nd), Gary Klein (42nd to 109th), Mike McClelland (44th to 113th), George Cochran (38th to 125th) and Larry Nixon (35th to 131st).