Bass Ranking: First off, congratulations on being ranked as the No. 1 angler over the last two years in our Majors World Ranking.
Brent Ehrler: Thanks! I think it’s awesome to be recognized like that. My goal has been to make a name for myself and for my sponsors, and I strive to be the most consistent and best angler. So yeah, I think it’s very cool to have earned that ranking.
What does a ranking like that mean to you?
It makes me very proud. You know, there are two different circuits in our sport, and I think there is a perception that one tour is better than the other. So when I see my name there I take it as me representing the entire FLW Tour and saying there are some great anglers on our tour as well. And it’s good to see a site that shows that.
Did you ever think you would ever be considered one of the best anglers in the world?
I never expected that. I never even thought I would ever be a professional angler. I originally just thought of it as a hobby.
I started out west fishing regional events, and then the (FLW) EverStart Series came out west and I qualified to fish in the east. I had a great sponsor in Lucky Craft, and I figured if I was ever going to compete at the national level I had to do it then. But even then I just figured I would do it for a year just to cash a couple checks. I never looked at it as this is what I was going to do for a career.
When did that perception change?
When I won the Forrest Wood Cup. That was the turning point when I realized that I could make a living doing this.
What did you originally plan to do as a career?
I actually thought I would be a professional snow skier. Then I went to college and realized I probably couldn’t make a living doing that, and I didn’t want to have an office job. So I was kind of in limbo, and I figured I would do construction and get a general contractor’s license. I actually went to college, got a degree, walked off the stage and went to swinging a hammer for a framing company.
I figured the building and remodeling would pay for me to fish as a hobby. Turns out the fishing paid for me to give up construction.
Let’s talk about what has made you so successful. What is the one thing that has separated you from other anglers, especially when you were coming up on the west coast?
You always hear about the importance of decision-making, but for me it’s my focus. My wife will be the first to tell you that I’m a terrible multi-tasker. I do best when I focus purely on the task at hand, and that really helps me on the water to figure out the puzzle, especially the little things.
It’s funny, but so many tournaments revolve around those little things, and because I’m so focused I seem to pick up on them. I think of them as my own little tricks that no one else has in an event. Then, after the event I often hear that all the guys who were successful also found that one little key.
Is your focus why you have been so consistent?
That’s a great question. I think maybe it is, but I also think it’s because I’m always learning. I actually learn a lot more from my bad events than the good ones because I want to know why I did badly. I dissect everything about the event to figure it out.
I always want to be learning and improving. I never want to look at this sport as if I know what I’m doing.
Ten years from now, where do you see yourself?
I don’t know. I never feel like I’ve made it. I still go out and try and prove myself every day because I don’t consider myself the best. I don’t know if I ever will.
So how does it make you feel to be compared to a guy like Kevin VanDam?
It feels really good to be compared to a guy like that. He’s phenomenal. It’s unbelievable how he can catch them anywhere and everywhere, and he’s done it his entire career.
You asked where I want to be in 10 years. I want to be where he is. He is the best; the guy to beat.