PLATTSBURGH — David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., who currently leads the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race, weighed a five-bass limit for 24 pounds even Thursday to take the early lead in the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Champlain.
The best professional bass anglers from all over the world began their four-day battle for a top cash award of up to $125,000. The event runs through Sunday. Anglers will take off from Dock Street Landing at 6:30 a.m. each morning. Today’s weigh-in will be held at Dock Street Landing beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Dudley now holds a 3-pound, 4-ounce lead over George Cochran of Hot Springs, Ark., and Snapple pro Jacob Powroznik of Prince George, Va., who both caught five bass weighing 20-12.
“They were biting,” Dudley said. “It’s Lake Champlain in June. They bite.
“The lake was calm. It’s Lake Champlain. You can go anywhere and do anything you want to do.”
Dudley remained quiet about techniques he used during the first day of competition, but he did report he caught close to 30 keepers during the course of the day. When asked for his plan of attack for the second day, Dudley was quick to say he planned to repeat the plan he executed on Day 1.
Dudley and Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., shared Thursday’s big bass honors with a pair of bass weighing 6-0 on the pro side to split $500.
Pros are competing for cash 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. Anglers are also vying for the prestigious 2012 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year presented by Kellogg’s title that will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors. In his final bid of the season for Angler of the Year points, Dudley holds a one-point lead over Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn.
Daniel Ferguson of Durham, N.C., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 18-3, followed by Robin Roystan of Bath, N.H., in second place with five bass weighing 17-14.
Roystan caught Thursday’s big bass weighing 5-8 in the co-angler division to win $250.
Plattsburgh’s Jason Bezio hauled in 11 pounds, 9 ounces and was 64th among co-anglers.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus Forrest Wood Cup qualifying points. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six Walmart FLW Tour Major tournaments will qualify for the world championship tournament.
Top 10 pros
1, David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., five bass, 24-0. 2. George Cochran, Hot Springs, Ark., five bass, 20-12. 3, Jacob Powroznik, Prince George, Va., five bass, 20-12. 4, Chad Morganthaler, Coulterville, Ill., five bass, 20-5. 5, Shad Schenck, Waynetown, Ind., five bass, 19-11. 6, Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., five bass, 19-10. 7, Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., five bass, 19-7. 8, Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla., five bass, 19-2. 9, Micah Frazier, Newnan, Ga., five bass, 19-1. 10, tie, Shane Long, Springfield, Mo., five bass, 19-0; Spencer Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., five bass, 19-0.
Top 10 co-anglers
1, Daniel Ferguson, Durham, N.C., five bass, 18-3. 2, Robin Roystan, Bath, N.H., five bass, 17-14. 3, Glenn Babineau, Mechanicville, five bass, 17-0. 4, Grant Holderman, Augusta, Kan., five bass, 16-8. 5, Josh Smith, Hamilton, Ont., five bass, 16-7. 6, Rick Etherton, Friendsville, Tenn., five bass, 16-7. 7, Mike McDonald, Randleman, N.C., five bass, 15-13. 8, John Kite, Festus. Mo., 15-12. 9, Marc Marsh, Prosperity, S.C., five bass, 15-10. 10, George Miller, Sprinfield, Penn., 15-9.