Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Brent Ehrler

Pro Brent Ehrler's boat is prepped for his first year on the Bassmaster Elite Series.

After winning more than $2 million as one of the brightest stars on the FLW Tour, Brent Ehrler will be fishing this year for the first time on the Bassmaster Elite Series. He'll be riding in a Ranger Z520 perfectly equipped for a pro of his stature.
Photo: Seigo Saito - After winning more than $2 million as one of the brightest stars on the FLW Tour, Brent Ehrler will be fishing this year for the first time on the Bassmaster Elite Series. He'll be riding in a Ranger Z520 perfectly equipped for a pro of his stature.
Ehrler's Ranger Z520 is powered by a 250-horsepower Mercury Optimax ProXS.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ehrler's Ranger Z520 is powered by a 250-horsepower Mercury Optimax ProXS.
This season, for the first time, Brent is using lockable Ranger boxes on his trailer. He says they'll be good for carrying spare oil, extension cords and
Photo: Seigo Saito - This season, for the first time, Brent is using lockable Ranger boxes on his trailer. He says they'll be good for carrying spare oil, extension cords and "who knows what else."
The Rigid Industries LED headlight on Ehrler's trolling motor mount helps him when he's running in low-light conditions.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Rigid Industries LED headlight on Ehrler's trolling motor mount helps him when he's running in low-light conditions. "It’s really bright," Ehrler said. "The nice thing about it is that all channel markers have reflective strips on them, and the light helps you see them from a mile away. I always know if I’m in the channel or if I’m coming up on a hazard buoy. Those have reflective strips too."
Brent trolls with a Minn Kota 112 trolling motor.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Brent trolls with a Minn Kota 112 trolling motor.
On his front deck, Ehrler runs a Humminbird Onix graph. He keeps it on split screen most of the time with one side for mapping and one side on traditional 2D sonar. If he switches to 360-degree mode, he goes full-screen.
Photo: Seigo Saito - On his front deck, Ehrler runs a Humminbird Onix graph. He keeps it on split screen most of the time with one side for mapping and one side on traditional 2D sonar. If he switches to 360-degree mode, he goes full-screen.
The Rigid Lights on Ehrler's deck make it easier for him to see all of his gear in low-light conditions — and in blue LED, they look really cool.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Rigid Lights on Ehrler's deck make it easier for him to see all of his gear in low-light conditions — and in blue LED, they look really cool.
For any given tournament, Ehrler says he can find
Photo: Seigo Saito - For any given tournament, Ehrler says he can find "20 or just over 20 rods" in his rod locker.
He uses Pro Series Rod Gloves to keep his Daiwa rods safe.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He uses Pro Series Rod Gloves to keep his Daiwa rods safe.
Ehrler uses Daiwa rods and reels. He uses mostly the Tatula series with a few Steez and Zillions mixed in.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ehrler uses Daiwa rods and reels. He uses mostly the Tatula series with a few Steez and Zillions mixed in.
Plano Speed Bags house all of Ehrler's soft plastic baits in the center compartment.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Plano Speed Bags house all of Ehrler's soft plastic baits in the center compartment.
His Gamakatsu Hooks are kept in a special box inside the center compartment that he labeled himself with black magic marker to help with quick, easy access.
Photo: Seigo Saito - His Gamakatsu Hooks are kept in a special box inside the center compartment that he labeled himself with black magic marker to help with quick, easy access.
A closer, open-lid look at Ehrler's selection of Gamakatsu Hooks.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A closer, open-lid look at Ehrler's selection of Gamakatsu Hooks.
A box filled with jigs, jig bodies and extra skirts for every occasion is also housed in the center compartment.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A box filled with jigs, jig bodies and extra skirts for every occasion is also housed in the center compartment.
Ehrler keeps his soft plastics inside special bags made by Plano called
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ehrler keeps his soft plastics inside special bags made by Plano called "Speed Bags."
He leaves soft plastics in their original packaging and groups them into the Plano Speed Bags by style of bait. As he does with his hook box, he labels each bag with a magic marker.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He leaves soft plastics in their original packaging and groups them into the Plano Speed Bags by style of bait. As he does with his hook box, he labels each bag with a magic marker. "Every style of one worm will be in that one bag," Ehrler said. "I write on there 'Senko' or 'Flappin’ Hog' or whatever, so when I’m trying to find it I know exactly which bag it’s in. I can get the bait I want, the color I want and pull it out and start fishing."
A box with hooks, weights and
Photo: Seigo Saito - A box with hooks, weights and "a little bit of everything" from the realm of terminal tackle is found in the center compartment.
He also uses his center compartment as a utility box for storing
Photo: Seigo Saito - He also uses his center compartment as a utility box for storing "super glue, coloring markers and anything I might use on a daily basis for soft baits or just all-around fishing."
The starboard-side day box is used for spare clothes and other things that require dry storage like insurance papers.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The starboard-side day box is used for spare clothes and other things that require dry storage like insurance papers.
In the small day box, which is just in front of his console, Ehrler keeps all of his Plano boxes filled with crankbaits and jerkbaits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - In the small day box, which is just in front of his console, Ehrler keeps all of his Plano boxes filled with crankbaits and jerkbaits. "It’s a little bit more out of the way, and I know I’m not gonna be getting in there as much," Ehrler said. "When I have all my rods on the deck, I have to slide them over to get into that box. Usually when you’re running hard baits, you don’t have to go through them constantly. I put one on, I run it and I don’t have to worry about jumping down and grabbing a new one."
Ehrler's smaller crankbaits usually include the Lucky Craft 1.5 and 2.5.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ehrler's smaller crankbaits usually include the Lucky Craft 1.5 and 2.5.
When it's time to throw a larger crankbait, Brent prefers the Lucky Craft Big Daddy Strike 3 or BDS3.
Photo: Seigo Saito - When it's time to throw a larger crankbait, Brent prefers the Lucky Craft Big Daddy Strike 3 or BDS3.
The Lucky Craft 1.5 DRS.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Lucky Craft 1.5 DRS.
Brent's deep-diving jerkbait box is filled with Lucky Craft DD100s and DD78s.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Brent's deep-diving jerkbait box is filled with Lucky Craft DD100s and DD78s.
The Lucky Craft Pointer DD100.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Lucky Craft Pointer DD100.
Ehrler runs two Humminbird Onix graphs on his console.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ehrler runs two Humminbird Onix graphs on his console.
The special mounting he uses for the Onix units is from Bass Boat Technologies.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The special mounting he uses for the Onix units is from Bass Boat Technologies. "It’s a two-graph mount that bolts into your existing consoles," Ehrler said. "It’s real clean. They’re both bolted in nice and tight, right there in front of the steering wheel."
For the unit on the left, he uses a split screen with mapping and 2D sonar. For the one on the right, he uses split screen mode with Down Imaging and Side Imaging.
Photo: Seigo Saito - For the unit on the left, he uses a split screen with mapping and 2D sonar. For the one on the right, he uses split screen mode with Down Imaging and Side Imaging.
The view of his electronics that Ehrler sees when he's driving.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The view of his electronics that Ehrler sees when he's driving.
In the box between his seats, he keeps his cull tags, scale for culling fish, sunscreen and his tie-off rope for tying up to docks.
Photo: Seigo Saito - In the box between his seats, he keeps his cull tags, scale for culling fish, sunscreen and his tie-off rope for tying up to docks.
The box behind the driver's seat is where Ehrler keeps all of his
Photo: Seigo Saito - The box behind the driver's seat is where Ehrler keeps all of his "stuff that never leaves the boat" like his tool box.
In the same box he carries as many as five pairs of Oakley sunglasses at one time.
Photo: Seigo Saito - In the same box he carries as many as five pairs of Oakley sunglasses at one time.
Mapping materials like his Lakemaster chips for different lakes are kept in a waterproof box behind the seat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Mapping materials like his Lakemaster chips for different lakes are kept in a waterproof box behind the seat.
Cold-weather gear also has a place in waterproof boxes.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Cold-weather gear also has a place in waterproof boxes.
Ehrler uses three to four GoPro cameras per tournament, and he keeps them safe in a waterproof box that he removes at night when he's staying in hotel rooms on tour.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ehrler uses three to four GoPro cameras per tournament, and he keeps them safe in a waterproof box that he removes at night when he's staying in hotel rooms on tour.
One of several GoPro mounts Ehrler uses at various times during tournaments.
Photo: Seigo Saito - One of several GoPro mounts Ehrler uses at various times during tournaments.
The Ranger's battery box houses all of the usual stuff without taking much storage space away from the boat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Ranger's battery box houses all of the usual stuff without taking much storage space away from the boat.
Two Lithium Powerpack batteries weigh about 29 pounds apiece.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Two Lithium Powerpack batteries weigh about 29 pounds apiece.
Ehrler uses Talon shallow-water anchors to help him stay put when the shallow bite is on. Thanks for the tour, Brent!
Photo: Seigo Saito - Ehrler uses Talon shallow-water anchors to help him stay put when the shallow bite is on. Thanks for the tour, Brent!