Dudley Claims Third Angler of Year Title
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – Earlier in the season, David Dudley told the crowd attending the FLW Tour at Beaver Lake to “watch out at Lake Champlain.” Dudley’s prophetic statement seems to have come true as he led a field of the bass pros in the world for the third straight day at the FLW Tour on Lake Champlain.
Dudley also cemented his third FLW Tour Angler of the Year title in five years Saturday. With the title, Dudley becomes the first bass fishing pro to win back-to-back AOY crowns. The title is determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors over the course of the season. Dudley earned $100,000 plus a berth in the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup in addition to the AOY title.
Dudley, who won previous Angler of the Year titles in 2011 and 2008, started the 2012 FLW Tour Major season with a 24th-place showing at Lake Hartwell. He followed that up 59th at Table Rock Lake. He went on a tear after that and won at Beaver Lake, finished third at the Potomac River and then posted a 14th-place finish at Kentucky Lake.
Dudley has won more than $2.9 million over the course of his FLW career, making him FLW’s leading money winner. He was the youngest angler to the $2 million mark. He has accumulated six FLW wins, 35 top-10 finishes and has qualified for 14 Forrest Wood Cup appearances in his 17 years as a pro. Key wins in his career include the 2003 Forrest Wood Cup on the James River, where he won $500,000, and the 2002 Ranger M1 Millennium that brought a $700,000 payday.
Dudley joins fellow FLW Tour angler Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, as the only Tour angler to win three Angler of the Year titles.
“We have a lot of fishing left to do and I’m looking forward to the Forrest Wood Cup,” Dudley said. “Clark is a great fisherman, and to tie with Clark is a great thing.
“My strength comes through my Lord and savior Jesus Christ,” Dudley added. “In an interview a guy asked me, ‘Do you see any difference in where you were at in 2008?’ I told him the skill level I was at in 2008 when I won Angler of the Year would not even make the (Forrest Wood Cup) in 2012. So you have to constantly be aware of what you’re doing and never be satisfied.”
The Lynchburg, Va., angler advanced to the top 10 as the No. 1 seed with a five-bass limit Saturday of 15-9. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 58 pounds, 8 ounces, he now holds a 2-pound, 2-ounce lead in the tournament going into the final day of competition.
Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., advanced to the final round of 10 pros in the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 56-6.
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition are:
1st: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 58-8
2nd: Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 15 bass, 56-6
3rd: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 55-15
4th: Joseph Thompson, Landenburg, Pa., 15 bass, 55-9
5th: Ron Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 15 bass, 54-4
6th: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., 15 bass, 54-2
7th: David Wolak, Wake Forest, N.C., 15 bass, 53-9
8th: Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 15 bass, 52-2
9th: Roland Martin, Naples, Fla., 15 bass, 51-15
10th: John Voyles, Petersburg, Ind., 15 bass, 51-11
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., 15 bass, 51-7, $10,226
12th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 15 bass, 51-3, $10,226
13th: Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla., 15 bass, 51-2, $10,226
14th: George Cochran, Hot Springs, Ark., 15 bass, 50-12, $10,226
15th: Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, 15 bass, 50-9, $10,226
16th: Craig Dowling, Nashville, Tenn., 15 bass, 50-9, $9,806
17th: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 15 bass, 50-8, $9,806
18th: Christopher Brasher, Spring, Texas, 15 bass, 49-8, $9,806
19th: Ray Scheide, Dover, Ark., 15 bass, 44-2, $9,806
20th: Spencer Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 10 bass, 36-13, $9,806
Overall there were 95 bass weighing 307 pounds, 1 ounce caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 19 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., was awarded the 2012 FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award Saturday, which is awarded to the rookie pro angler who finishes the season with the highest point total.
Chris Hall of Clarks Summit, Penn., won the co-angler division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 46 pounds even followed by Nick Hensley of Cumming, Ga., in second place with 14 bass weighing 44-4 worth $6,244.
“I didn’t think I was going to have it,” said Hall, who finished second at the 2011 FLW Tour event at Lake Champlain. “The first day I lost a couple of smallmouth that I that thought were going to come back to haunt me. But it worked out alright.”
Hall credited his day three pro angler (Nick) with helping him achieve victory. He said he used a variety of baits to catch his fish, including a jig and a Jackall IOBee frog.
The final top 10 co-anglers are:
1st: Chris Hall, Clarks Summit, Pa., 15 bass, 46-0, $25,000
2nd: Nick Hensley, Cumming, Ga., 14 bass, 44-4, $6,244
3rd: Doug Caldwell, Kane, Pa., 15 bass, 43-7, $4,144
4th: Marc Marsh, Prosperity, S.C., 15 bass, 43-5, $3,304
5th: Glenn Babineau, Mechanicville, N.Y., 15 bass, 42-15, $2,464
6th: Frank Divis Sr., Fayetteville, Ark, 14 bass, 39-14, $2,044
7th: Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., 12 bass, 39-6, $1,624
8th: James Schneider, Watervliet, N.Y., 15 bass, 38-9, $1,456
9th: Patrick Bone, Cleveland, Ga., 15 bass, 38-2, $1,372
10th: Jason Johnson, Gainesville, Ga., 15 bass, 37-14, $1,288
Overall there were 80 bass weighing 193 pounds, 4 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included 13 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify.
Anglers will take off from Dock Street Landing located at 5 Dock St. in Plattsburgh, N.Y., at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Plattsburgh State Field House located at 167 Rugar St. in Plattsburgh beginning at 4 p.m.