Performance Profile: Brent Ehrler - Major League Fishing

Performance Profile: Brent Ehrler

Ehrler is coming off best season in abbreviated career as pro
Image for Performance Profile: Brent Ehrler
EverStart Series Western Division wizard Brent Ehrler Photo by Yasutaka Ogasawara. Angler: Brent Ehrler.
April 6, 2004 • Mark Taylor • Archives

Brent Ehrler’s fishing career got off to a slow start.

“I gave him a fishing pole for Christmas when he was 3,” recalls Butch Ehrler, the fisherman’s father. “He fished in the swimming pool all winter long.”

The younger Ehrler may not have pulled any fish from the pool that winter, but his angling fortunes have been on the upswing ever since.

Just 27, Ehrler – pronounced “AIR-ler” – is coming off the best season in his short career as a pro fisherman.

The Redlands, Calif., resident easily won the EverStart Series Western Division points race in 2003 and scored more than $20,000 in winnings in just five events. He clinched the title in remarkable fashion, finishing third in three of the division’s four tournaments. He also finished 31st at the EverStart Series Championship on Tennessee’s Old Hickory Lake.

“I couldn’t complain one bit,” said Ehrler of his rookie EverStart Series season.

This year, Ehrler is again fishing the EverStart Series Western Division, and he is out to prove last season was not a one-time deal.

He has to be considered one of the favorites in the Western Division. Veteran pro Rich Tauber knows better than to think Ehrler has had his moment of glory.

“He’s not a fluke,” said Tauber, who lives in southern California and competes on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. “He’s highly skilled.”

Tauber has had a unique view of Ehrler’s progression.

2003 EverStart Series Western Division points champion Brent EhrlerWhen Ehrler was a bass-crazed preteen, his father hired Tauber to guide the aspiring bass fisherman for two days on Lake Mead.

“Until then I’d never been in a bass boat,” Ehrler said. “To get in the boat with all the tackle and gear was just crazy. It opened up a whole new world.”

At least for now it appears that Ehrler and Tauber, who kept in touch and remain friends, will not have to fight it out on the FLW Tour. Although his phenomenal EverStart Series performance earned him a spot on the 2004 Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Ehrler is content to focus on the EverStart Series for another season.

“It’s a goal of mine to fish the FLW Tour,” said Ehrler, who works as a building site supervisor for a contractor when he is not fishing. “I’d eventually love to go east and test new lakes.”

Ehrler got his first big taste of Eastern bass fishing this past fall during the EverStart Series Championship. He boated seven bass during the qualifying rounds and did not advance to the finals, but instead of letting the experience get him down, Ehrler said it motivated him. He knows that local knowledge of Western lakes and the resulting tournament consistency have been keys to his success in that region, but Ehrler said he knows the mark of a truly great angler is being able to catch fish in unfamiliar waters.

Ehrler said he would not mind being a little less consistent in 2004.

“I still haven’t won a big tournament,” Ehrler said. “If I win one this year, I’d be happy with 100th place in every other tournament.”