Chris Zaldain predicted it on Wednesday, saying the next four days at Lake Tenkiller would decide the Toyota Angler of the Year contest, not the three-day AOY Championship at Lake St. Clair next week.
After one day at Tenkiller, Zaldain's prediction appears accurate. Based on the Day 1 standings, the AOY points race tightened up big-time. Scott Canterbury's lead would be only 2 points over Stetson Blaylock, 6 points over Cory Johnston and 9 points over Zaldain.
Remember, these daily updated AOY standings during a tournament are simply a glimpse at potential change. No points are earned until each angler's place in the standings becomes final. And that's why today is so important. The season-long point totals for 40 anglers are going to become final after today's weigh-in, when the field will be cut to the top 35 in this 75-man field.
"It's not going to be decided at St. Clair," Zaldain said Wednesday. "It's going to be decided this week. The door could be left wide open."
Canterbury finished Day 1 in 30th place. If he doesn't make the top 35 cut today, he will have left the door wide open. But it's a completely different day weather-wise on this extremely tough Ozark Highlands reservoir. And it looks to be the most important day of the season so far for anglers up and down the AOY standings.