DUDLEY STILL IN COMMAND ON CHAMPLAIN
Story and photo courtesy of FLW Outdoors Communications
PLATTSBURGH, NY - Rough winds and extreme heat greeted the best bass-fishing professionals in the world as day two of the Walmart FLW Tour Major on Lake Champlain presented by Chevy continued Friday. Anglers launched into one of the finest fisheries in the United States as they continued the competition for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
Castrol pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va. all but locked up the 2012 Angler of the Year race, and continues to lead the event after he brought a five bass limit to the scales Friday weighing 18 pounds, 15 ounces. After two days of fishing, Dudley has weighed in 10 bass totaling 42 pounds, 15 ounces, and now holds a 3-pound, 13-ounce lead over Joseph Thompson of Landenburg, Pa., who caught five bass today weighing 20 pounds, 9 ounces. Thompson has weighed in 10 bass totaling 39 pounds, 2 ounces after his first two days.
“It’s funny, because everybody knows I hate to lose,” said Dudley, the leading all-time career money winner with FLW. “But it’s really like I’m out there playing two different games. I’m trying to win the Angler of the Year race, and working hard to do what I think I need to do to win that. But I’m also trying to win this tournament, so it’s been a big mental struggle for me on what to do and where to go, but I think I’ve managed it well. Winning Angler of the Year would make anybody speechless, and it would be an honor to win it for a third time.
“The bite was off today,” Dudley continued. “I caught a lot more fish yesterday than today. The numbers and size were down, but I guess that’s to be expected on days two, three and four of a tournament. I started out fishing the same spot as yesterday, but they just weren’t there today, so I had to move to a different area. I was able to pull up and started catching them on every cast. I had been saving that spot in case I need it, and today I needed it. The wind was blowing pretty good today, but you just have to do the best you can and manage the best you can. That’s what separates a lot of the anglers from the other anglers – how you handle wind, how you handle rain and how you handle the decisions you have to make on the water. The wind makes things tougher because of boat control and casting ability, but the wind doesn’t make the fish stop biting.”
Dudley opened up a little more about his bait selection Friday, but still did not want to give his fellow anglers any hints.
“I threw a little bit of different baits today than yesterday,” he said. “There was no one dominant bait. I’m throwing moving baits and slow-moving baits. My deck has a ton of rods on it, and you just go with whatever you feel. Moving was definitely the key for me today. If I would have stayed in my area from yesterday I wouldn’t have had near the weight I did. It’s very hard to win a tournament from only one spot, and you have to have stuff to back it up.”
When asked how confident he was for the rest of the weekend Dudley showed his humble side.
“I am always confident in my abilities as a fisherman,” he said. “But I’m never confident with the fish. I’m going to go out and do my best tomorrow.”
The top 20 pros that will fish tomorrow on Lake Champlain are:
1st: Castrol pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 42-15
2nd: Joseph Thompson, Landenburg, Pa., 10 bass, 39-2
3rd: Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., 10 bass, 38-13
4th: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., 10 bass, 36-13
5th: Spencer Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 10 bass, 36-13
6th: Walmart pro George Cochran, Hot Springs, Ark., 10 bass, 36-9
7th: Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla., 10 bass, 36-8
8th: Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, 10 bass, 36-5
9th: Roland Martin, Naples, Fla., 10 bass, 35-15
10th: Christopher Brasher, Spring, Texas, 10 bass, 35-13
11th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-13
12th: Craig Dowling, Nashville, Tenn., 10 bass, 35-7
13th: EverStart pro Ron Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 10 bass, 35-1
14th: John Voyles, Petersburg, Ind., 10 bass, 34-13
15th: Scotch Tape pro Ray Scheide, Dover, Ark., 10 bass, 34-12
16th: National Guard pro Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 10 bass, 34-11
17th: Rayovac pro Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., 10 bass, 34-7
18th: David Wolak, Wake Forest, N.C., 10 bass, 34-6
19th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 10 bass, 34-5
20th: Straight Talk pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 34-4
For a full list of results visit www.FLWOutdoors.com.