Fisherman Career Winnings More Than $2.2 Million
CLEWISTON, Fl. Team Castrol pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., caught a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win $125,000 in the $1 million Wal-Mart FLW Series BP Eastern Division tournament on Lake Okeechobee with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 64-2.
The catch gave him the win by a solid 7-pound, 7-ounce margin over Team Fuji pro Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 56-7 and earned $50,000.
Rounding out the top five pros are Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, S.C. (20 bass, 54-6, $40,000); Team National Guard pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Fla. (14 bass, 45-9, $30,000) and Jim Dillard of West Monroe, La. (15 bass, 41-11, $20,000).
"No matter how many classes or seminars you attend, you can't teach instinct," said Dudley, who increased his winnings in FLW Outdoors events to more than $1.9 million and his total career winnings to more than $2.2 million. "It comes through trial and error. And this week that experience made all the difference."
Dudley became the youngest angler to surpass $2 million in career winnings in 2006 at the age of 30. He is second on the all-time money list behind the legendary Rick Clunn of Ava, Mo.
"I look back at some of the decisions I've made while fishing and I chuckle to myself," Dudley said. "When you're fishing, you have to listen to your instincts and what the Lord is telling you."
Dudley's instincts told him that shallow water wouldn't hold quality fish after a cold front moved through the area Thursday. Dudley searched for areas that bass would migrate to and hold in once the water temperatures cooled. He found fish in 12 to 15 feet of water in canals and exploited the discovery. Dudley fished five spots in the J & S canal on the east side of the lake.