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 the field 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 title in five years Saturday. With the title, Dudley becomes the first pro to win back-to-back AOY crowns. The title is awarded to the pro who accumulates the most points over the six FLW 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
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Rayovac pro 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: Walmart pro 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: National Guard pro Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 15 bass, 50-8, $9,806
18th: Christopher Brasher, Spring, Texas, 15 bass, 49-8, $9,806
19th: Scotch Tape pro Ray Scheide, Dover, Ark., 15 bass, 44-2, $9,806
20th: Spencer Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 10 bass, 36-13, $9,806
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
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 presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart 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
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
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 presented by Walmart. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart 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.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Expo at the Plattsburgh State Field House on Sunday from noon-4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. On Sunday the first 300 children 14 and under who are accompanied by an adult will receive a free rod and reel combo. Also on Sunday one lucky fishing fan will win a Can-Am ATV. Both giveaways are courtesy of Fox 44, the Press Republican and WOKO. The ATV giveaway is free to enter but the winner must be present at the conclusion of Sunday’s final weigh-in to win.
Coverage of the Lake Champlain tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs Aug. 26 from 1-2 p.m. ET. “FLW” is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.