In the midst of a career already highlighted by superlatives and record-breaking performances, Ranger Pro David Dudley became the first angler to win back-to-back FLW Tour Angler of the Year awards by capturing the season crown – and a regular-season tournament victory – on July 1 at Lake Champlain.
Already owning the distinction of being the only FLW angler with more than $3 million in career earnings, Dudley now has three FLW Tour Angler of the Year trophies to his credit since capturing his first title in 2008, tying him with fellow Ranger Pro Clark Wendlandt for the most in FLW Tour history. In 2011, Dudley joined Wendlandt and fellow Ranger Pro Jay Yelas as the only professional anglers to win two or more FLW Tour Angler of the Year awards. Dudley’s history-making weekend on Lake Champlain brought him the Angler of the Year award and its accompanying $100,000 prize plus a Ranger Cup bonus of a fully-rigged Ranger Z518 Comanche. In addition, his subsequent tournament victory netted him another $100,000 as well as a $25,000 Ranger Cup bonus.
“I want to try to make records or break them,” Dudley said. “Winning is what I like to do.”
Dudley entered the final regular-season event on Lake Champlain with a one-point lead in the FLW Angler of the Year chase, but his five-fish, 24-pound haul on the tournament’s first day gave him the edge on the tournament field and others in the title hunt. With five-fish limits on days two and three of the tournament, Dudley assured himself of finishing higher than 20th in the FLW Tour’s regular-season finale to wrap up the Angler of the Year title on Saturday before capping his record-breaking weekend with this seventh FLW tournament win.
“David’s list of on-the-water successes is a testament to his dedication and competitiveness,” said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. “We celebrate this latest milestone with him and offer our sincere congratulations. We’re proud to see him representing the Ranger brand as he continues to compile an incredible list of professional accomplishments.”
Dudley will be in search of history yet again this summer as the No. 1 seed for the Forrest Wood Cup, to be contested August 9-12 on Georgia’s Lake Lanier, as no angler has captured the FLW’s Angler of the Year award and Forrest Wood Cup title in the same season.
“Records are made to be broken,” Dudley said. “Angler of the Year and Forrest Wood Cup champion in the same year – I want to do that.”