We received some interesting feedback when we decided to include the PAA in our Majors World Ranking. Some adamantly opposed it, while others – particularly professional anglers – applauded the decision.
Regardless of your stance, one look at some of the names in our ranking and it’s clear that some serious talent from both other major tours fishes the PAA. Now, having looked back to see who were the movers and shakers on the 2011 BASS Elite Series and FLW Tour the last two weeks, it’s time to do the same for the PAA.
Our Majors World Ranking top 10 is a who’s-who of bass fishing. Ehrler. VanDam. Thrift. Rose. And then there is one name that sticks out: Todd Auten. Considering the Shelby, S.C., pro doesn’t yet have the name recognition of a Mark Rose or Edwin Evers, many probably see his name and ask who he is. Well, if his performance on the PAA is an indicator, who he is is someone to start taking notice of in 2012.
A year ago, Auten sat in second in the PAA World Ranking behind Takahiro Omori. Now, after an incredible 2011 where he bested 93.7-percent of the field on average, he has risen to No. 1 with an 878.304.
Speaking of Evers, he is the only pro challenging Auten for supremacy in the ranking right now. Fifth a season ago, Evers has risen to second with an equally impressive 857.195.
Then there is Ott Defoe. This season was a showcase of his talents both on the Elite Series and the PAA. He had the best season on the PAA with a 937.473, and he skyrocketed up the ranking from 23rd to 6th. Clearly, he’s a rising star in the sport.
Other notable rises in 2011 include Brian Snowden (29th to 10th), Mark Menendez (27th to 13th), Terry Butcher (47th to 16th), Lance Vick (46th to 18th), Matt Reed (53rd to 22nd), Greg Vinson (54th to 29th) and John Crews (62nd to 39th).
Unfortunately, if someone rises, another must fall. Sean Hoernke was just outside the top 10 a year ago, but he slipped to 34th after this season. Similarly, Derek “Duke” Jenkel went from just outside the top 20 to 41st.
Other notable descents in the rankings include Shinichi Fukae (24th to 32nd) and Craig Dowling (32nd to 49th).
Check back next week to see how the 2011 season shook up the Majors World Ranking.