Douglas Pro Brent Butler: FLW Champion | Photo: Justin Onslow, FLW
Husband, step father, high school teacher, angler, coach, and now…FLW Champion! We caught up with Douglas Pro Brent Butler from Vonore, Tennessee to talk with him about the Costa FLW Lake Chickamauga event he just won with a 68lb. 8oz. three-day total. We have been cheering Brent on since he first came on board with Douglas Fishing Rods. We have followed his path closely knowing it was only a matter of time. We asked him about the tournament, how he spends his time and where he plans to go from here. It was crystal clear that this FLW Champion is the real deal both on and off the water when it comes to everything that matters.
Brent has loved fishing his entire life and competing and succeeding on this level has been a long-time dream. From a young boy walking the banks of Tellico Lake watching tournaments to years of fishing his home waters, competing in countless amateur events and finding success at both. Make no mistake, Brent has many feather’s in his bass fishing cap to talk about, but that is not his style. His feet are planted firmly on the ground putting first his faith, family and giving back. He is genuine, humble and as kind as they come and when asked what his best fishing moment was, just after this big win, you may be surprised at what he said.
Brent responded without blinking an eye as he explained his personal favorite fishing moment recalling a C.A.S.T for Kids event a few years back. In this event bass anglers offer a day out on their boat with a special need’s child. Participants are able to select the pro they wish to go with. Brent was chosen and charged with the task of helping his guy catch a bass, a dream, borderline obsession for as long as his mother could remember. A fun day exploring the entire boat and waters of Douglas Lake were a huge hit. However, the event was winding down without having put a fish in the net. It was time to make some magic. A quick prayer and some experienced thinking brought a bass to hand with only minutes left. The shrieks of excitement, look of joy and a mother’s tears were the makings of Brent’s top spot of favorite fishing moment. Putting that bass in the hands of that kid is what it is all about.
A life changing experience can come in different ways. Spending the day learning the challenges of living with Autism can be one way. Winning an FLW tournament with a record setting Day 2 turn around bag (from 40th place to 1st) and going on to win that tournament, is another. For Brent, both have significant meaning and a place in his heart. When talking about the tournament, Brent shared his thinking, daily bait changes and the Douglas Rods he chose to use. He described ways he read and adapted to the weather and water conditions. He talked about his decision to change it up and trust his gut for the final two days, scrapping everything he had done during practice. He even shared with us his favorite go to rod, the Douglas XMatrix 765XF! Brent attributes his knowledge of Lake Chickamauga and trusting his instincts to produce exactly what he needed to pull out this victory.
For Brent, winning last week was the culmination and fulfillment of a life-long dream validating years dedicated to learning, building skills and turning challenges into motivation to push on and be better. He never gave up. This was exactly the attitude he brought with him to turn the tides on his record breaking second day. Brent’s passion, experience and determination came together to create the perfect storm for success. What does he plan to do with his winnings? Brent will probably pay off his wife’s car but will be conservative and thoughtful before spending his winnings. He hopes they will work to help propel him forward in his fishing career. What’s next? Brent will be coaching his high school team at Guntersville Lake this weekend for the Bass Master Southern Open. After that he will be at a Heartland Tournament and a series of Chattanooga Bass Association (CBA) tournaments beginning April 6th.
The bottom line is Brent loves his sport and is dedicated to sharing his passion with others. Whether teaching, coaching the High School Fishing Team or Volunteering for C.A.S.T for Kids, Brent is faithful to providing opportunities for others. A big heart, honed skills and a head filled with fishing know how are at the core of this angler’s assets. One thing is for certain, this Bass Pro is poised for more great things to come both on and off the water.