DUDLEY CLAIMS AOY AND STILL LEADS ON CHAMPLAIN
Story and photo courtesy of FLW Outdoors Communications
PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. - Earlier in the season, Castrol pro David Dudley told the crowd attending the Walmart 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 Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Champlain Presented by Chevy.
Dudley also cemented his third Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year presented by Kellogg’s title in five years Saturday. With the title, Dudley becomes the first 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.
Snapple pro 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: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 58-8
2nd: Snapple pro 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: EverStart pro 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: Straight Talk pro 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
For complete standings, visit www.flwoutdoors.com