Johnston Way Ahead in ROY Race - Major League Fishing

Johnston Way Ahead in ROY Race

The Ontario pro has Rookie of the Year all but wrapped up
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Chris Johnston Photo by Garrick Dixon. Angler: Chris Johnston.
June 23, 2016 • Chris Burgan • Archives

The 2016 season ushered in a giant rookie class of 28 anglers to the Walmart FLW Tour. Among them are competitors from many different walks of life, including long-time co-angler standouts, industry veterans and new arrivals from FLW’s other tournament circuits.

Through five events, five rookies remain in the top 50 in the Angler of the Year points, and rookies have accounted for five top-10 finishes and one win. For comparison, last year’s class had one angler in the top 50 in AOY points at this point in the season.

Chris Johnston of Peterborough, Ontario has a hold on the ROY race. He’s amassed 864 points and is eighth in the Angler of the Year race with a 102-point cushion over the next-highest-ranked rookie, Jay Kendrick.

Johnston jumped out to an early lead with a third-place finish at the opener on Okeechobee, and he hasn’t looked back. He’ll be tough to catch at Champlain. The maximum number of points an angler can earn at one event is 200, which goes to the winner. Kendrick would need to finish 103 places ahead of Johnston to win – quite the hurdle.

Lake Champlain is the Tour stop where Johnston has the most experience and past success. He’s fished seven FLW events there and finished in the top 20 four times. With a good mix of smallmouths and largemouths, the lake suits his strengths.


Other contenders

Kendrick, in second, is a Lake Guntersville guru. He’ll likely make the run south to the milfoil mats that offer similarities to his home fishery. The risky run could yield great rewards if Johnston slip ups and Kendrick ends up near the top of the leaderboard.

Chris’s brother, Cory, is also within striking distance at 756 points. Cory needs to finish 109 spots ahead of his younger sibling to take the title. It’d be a tall feat but not out of the question.

In fourth place is Chris Whitson with 706 points. He’d basically have to finish in the top 10 with Chris finishing in the cellar to make up the deficit.


Complete rookie standings

AOY Place     Angler                                    AOY Points

8                      Chris Johnston                          864     

23                    Jay Kendrick                             762     

26                    Cory Johnston                          756     

37                    Chris Whitson                           706     

49                    Shawn Gordon                         676     

52                    Brian Latimer                            667     

66                    Richie Eaves                            632     

67                    Kurt Mitchell                             628     

69                    Luke Dunkin                             620     

73                    Gerald Spohrer                        615     

74                    Buddy Gross                            612     

77                    Austin Felix                              610     

82                    Jim Jones                                602     

99                    Joshua Weaver                       560     

110                  Tommy Dickerson                    534     

112                  Braxton Setzer                        522     

113                  Kyle Monti                               521     

119                  Timmy Thompkins                  506     

124                  Joe Holland                            475     

125                  Sven Hilland                           473     

127                  Curtis Richardson                  465     

133                  Matt Wittekiend                      425     

144                  Jordan Osborne                     386     

148                  Eric Jackson                          373     

153                  Tim Frederick                         349     

155                  Shane Melton                         340     

156                  Chase Brooks                        329     

165                  Larry Schroeder                     204