Angler becomes first to win four FLW AOY titles
anger Boats pro angler David Dudley made history by winning his fourth FLW Angler of the Year title at the last regular-season stop for the FLW Tour on Lake Champlain. Coming into the season, Dudley was tied with Andy Morgan and Clark Wendlandt at three AOY titles. Dudley’s seventh-place finish at the Lake Champlain event vaulted him to the top of the AOY rankings.
“I’m still making the championship and still doing well, but in my mind I thought I had peaked out,” said Dudley. “To win my fourth makes this one very special and satisfying.”
Dudley began the season with a 13th-place finish at Sam Rayburn and continued to finish in the top 25 all season with the exception of one stumble at Lake Seminole where the angler failed to make the cut. Coming into the Lake Champlain event, Dudley trailed John Cox by one point in the standings. Buddy Gross, Joseph Webster and Scott Martin were all within reach of the title as well.
“I knew I had a very good chance at winning after day one at Lake Champlain,” said Dudley. “I had an 18-point lead, but what was more encouraging was that I had almost a 2-pound lead over John. I had the confidence that with a 2-pound cushion, I had a good shot at winning.”
Consistency is the hallmark of Angler of the Year and Dudley personified this throughout the year with timely, on-the-water decision making and great gear, such as his Ranger boat.
“The decisions you make out on the water separate a good angler from a great angler,” said Dudley. “Understanding how to play the game better than good anglers is key. We all can skip docks the same way, but knowing when to pick up and leave an area at the right time can make all the difference.”
Dudley has been fishing from the deck of a Ranger boat throughout his pro career and knows that his boat is one thing he doesn’t need to worry about during competition.
“Being in my Ranger gives me the peace of mind that I can make long, rough rides and come back in one piece,” said Dudley. “My back would not be the shape it is in if was in any other boat other than a Ranger. Their maneuverability and how they handle the water is top notch as well.”
About Ranger Boats
Headquartered in Flippin, Ark., Ranger Boats is the nation’s premier manufacturer of legendary fiberglass and aluminum fishing boats, with acclaimed models and series in the bass, multi-species, fish ‘n play, saltwater, waterfowl utility and pontoon boat segments. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest-quality, strongest-performing boats on the water. For more information, go to RangerBoats.com.