Jul 2, 2012, 10:44 AM EDT
Domination is the only word that one can use to describe what Castrol pro David Dudley has done the past two season on the FLW Tour. The Angler of the Year points race was super tight coming in the the final FLW Major on Lake Champlain this past week, the top anglers all knew the only way the could control their own destiny was to win this event. That is exactly what David Dudley set out to do and put a strangle hold on the event from day 1 by leading the event with a limit of largemouth bass that weighed 24lbs
Although Dudley’s lead diminished over the 4 day event, he stayed on top wire to wire. His 4 day total of 78-08 was enough to hold of tour buddy Jacob Powroznik by a little less then 2lbs. The win marked his second FLW Tour Major event of 2012 – this one on Lake Champlain, following an April victory on Beaver Lake – but he also clinched the Angler of the Year title. Notably, he’s tied with Texas pro Clark Wendlant for the most AOY titles (3), but Dudley also won the points race in 2011, so this year’s title gives him the distinction of becoming the only angler in FLW history to win consecutive years.
In a week that saw many competitors, including most of his top-10 competitors running south to the largemouth-laden grass beds of Ticonderoga, Dudley opted to fish the lake’s north end. Fishing shoreline shallow areas in Missisquoi Bay, Dudley caught his fish on a wacky-rigged worm, a Texas-rigged Berkley Havoc Bottom Hopper and a chatterbait tipped with a Berkley Havoc Rocket Craw. Most of his bites came in a couple of feet of water and he rotated his baits based on habitat of different areas he fished. It was a pattern deal, not a spot deal, Dudley claims to have been catching around 40-50 bass a day while running new water.
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. The only thing left for 2012, is for Dudley to try for a 2nd FLW Cup victory this Ausgust on Georgia’s Lake Lanier.
Coverage of all the great bass catches from the Top 10 at 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.
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