There’s always been the lingering debate… which organization has better pros?… B.A.S.S. or FLW? I’ve been in these conversations a few times. The big “debate” is rather pointless because both sides are chock full of awesome anglers.
However, you wouldn’t know it by judging the MLF (Major League Fishing) field.
Does anyone else find it strange that Major League Fishing only has one FLW pro in the field? Really? Yep… just one, single, solitary, lone, Brent Ehrler… the only angler carrying the FLW banner in a field of 24 “major league” level anglers.
I’ll spell it out in a different way. Only 4% of the MLF field comes from the FLW camp.
Do you mean to tell me that out of all the FLW pros, only one of them is good enough to be an MLF competitor? Does having only one FLW angler in the mix represent an honest snapshot of the industry’s finest?
What are we supposed to take from this?… I guess Bryan Thrift is minor league. I guess David Dudley is minor league. Maybe Larry Nixon is teeball league along with Luke Clausen, Scott Martin, Randall Tharp, etc…
There are at least two possibilities… both of which could be flat wrong, but these are obvious guesses.
1) Either the deck was stacked on purpose… the organizers issued invitations to their inner circle, throwing Brent Ehrler a bone so they can claim multi-organizational diversity…
2) There were a slew of top notch FLW pros who received invites and declined.
I’m not sure how it worked and don’t really want to speculate too much. I’m not trying to propose any conspiracy theories. That’s not my goal here. I’m just pointing out the seriously out of whack imbalance in the MLF field. I’ve yet to hear anyone comment on this.
Eeny Meeny Miny Mo
Seriously, though… how did they come up with the 24-man field anyway? How did they decide who is “major league” and who isn’t?
Was this just a random invite? Was there some sort of ranking system or set criteria used to qualify the field? Was this just some kind of inner circle thing where whoever happened to be the most chummy and tight with the organizers were shoo-ins?…
I don’t know, but I think these are reasonable questions considering the imbalance of the field.
According to the MLF website, MLF was formed to play a “complementary role” to B.A.S.S. and FLW, but how much of a complement can it be to FLW when there are 23 times more B.A.S.S. anglers in the field?
Who knows. For all I know, sponsors could have had a lot to do with the angler selection. They seem to have a lot of say in things these days.
KVD vs Ehrler
However it came to be, it looks like it’s down to “KVD vs. Ehrler” for the title at Amistad. If you are of the “which organization is the best” mindset, I guess you can say it’s down to “B.A.S.S. vs. FLW”.
One thing is for sure… KVD will fight tooth and nail to win it and retain his hard-earned and widely presumed status as the best bass angler on earth.
But… Ehrler is no slouch and will be bringing his best game.
In addition, Ehrler could be fighting extra hard due to an entirely different level of motivation.
The Way I See It
The National Guard pro will not only be fishing strong to win for his own sake, but for the sake of claiming the title on behalf of FLW as a whole — the lowly 4%. He could win one for the team, so to speak, and put a feather in the FLW cap as proof that FLW anglers should not be overlooked in a fishing outlet like MLF.
Ehrler has already beat the odds to get this far against a highly stacked deck chock full of B.A.S.S. guys. If this reality sinks in, he will have an unstoppable drive to win and KVD will have to settle for 2nd best this time.
The “Major” Conclusion
Either way, Ehler is a beast of a fisherman and so is KVD, of course.
Wouldn’t it be funny if out of all 24 anglers, the one and only FLW guy in the field ends up winning at Amistad and beating not only 23 other B.A.S.S. sticks, but also their #1 prodigy and all-time money winner.
KVD, I love ya man, but you better not get too confident on this one. Brent is “in it to win it”.