AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move
It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history.
Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season.
We say “unofficially” because FLW cannot award any additional AOY points to an angler’s season total until he has finished the Potomac event, whether that happens on day two when the field is cut to 20, on day three when it’s cut to 10 or on day four when the tournament ends.
Martin is currently in 15th place on the Potomac after catching 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The way to evaluate AOY standings mid-tournament is with a hypothetical equation: If the tournament ended today, Martin would have 1,100 AOY points. That would put him 11 points ahead of John Cox, who came into the event in second place behind season leader Bryan Thrift and would remain AOY runner-up.
Cox caught 11-11 today and is in a six-way tie for 48th place in the tournament. But get this – he’s only 1 pound, 6 ounces behind the Buck Knives top-20 cut mark, which is currently at 13-01. If Cox makes the top 20, Martin cannot catch him because Cox came into the tournament 22 points ahead of Martin.
As for Thrift, today was a struggle. The former AOY winner – and still technically the official 2015 AOY leader through five events – is in 100th place in the Potomac standings after catching a day-one limit that weighed 9-06. If the event ended today, he’d be in sixth place in the AOY standings.
Potomac leader Adrian Avena is doing all he can to make a last-minute AOY grab. He came into the event in eighth place in the AOY standings, 77 points off Thrift’s pace. If the tournament ended today and Avena earned the full 200 points that goes to a tournament winner, he’d have 1,068 points, which would be 32 behind Martin’s unofficial total.
There’s still a lot of fishing left to happen. Tomorrow, pros will have about one additional hour of outgoing tide to fish in the morning before the low switch, and all the anglers who had short days today because of early boat draws and early check-in times will be in the later flights tomorrow, giving them more time to pick apart what has been a very tough Potomac River. Just one key bite tomorrow could make the difference in winning the AOY title, making the Forrest Wood Cup or making the Buck Knives top-20 cut to fish the weekend.
Unofficial* 2015 Walmart FLW Tour AOY Top 10 Standings
1. Scott Martin – 1,100 points
2. John Cox – 1,089
3. Adrian Avena – 1,068
4. Tracy Adams – 1,067
5. Luke Clausen – 1,053
6. Bryan Thrift – 1,046
7. Wesley Strader – 1,040
8. Dave Lefebre – 1,034
9. Ish Monroe – 1,030
10. Shin Fukae – 1,019