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So who is the hottest angler in professional bass fishing? You’ll probably get no argument if your answer to that question is Major League Fishing pro Brent Ehrler.
Ehrler, a 36-year-old Californian with a winning smile and a humble personality, has started this year’s FLW season with a second-place finish at Lake Okeechobee and a recent victory on Alabama’s Lewis Smith Lake.
At Lewis Smith, Ehrler captured the $125,000 first-place prize by notching the largest stringer on three of the four days of competition. His 60-pound, 9-ounce total gave him a more than seven-pound margin of victory, but Ehrler said the victory didn’t come easily.
“I was really concerned. It was hard, because I didn’t know if I was going to catch them every day,” Ehrler said. “I just wasn’t ever completely sure where I was going.”
Ehrler said that after catching limits sometime around mid-day for three straight days, the championship round offered a different scenario.
“The final day I started close to the off-limits area, and by nine o’clock I had a limit. I had nine pounds, and I felt like I probably had won the tournament, because I figured it would take 15 pounds to beat me. I didn’t think that was going to happen,” Ehrler said.
Ehrler’s victory comes on the heels of a difficult 2012 season. Ehrler suffered significant rib injuries during an early summer automobile accident and has been in pain since the accident.
“But I feel better now, definitely better,” Ehrler said. “I’m almost back to 100 percent.”
One part of Ehrler that is 100 percent, however, is his confidence level.
“You know, I’d never even cashed a check in Florida, so to get second place at Okeechobee was great. Then I got on some big fish (at Lewis Smith), and that helped. So getting a win was big,” Ehrler said.
“I have to admit that my confidence level is high right now. But I’m realistic about it. You never know what’s going to happen next time.”