AOY watch

While most eyes are focused on who is in first place or inside the Championship Sunday cut, there are two other standings worth watching.

For all but the top 35 anglers, there are only four more potential regular season competition days remaining, and all of those will be next month at Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma. For many anglers the remaining goal is to get inside the Top 50 cut in order to fish at the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship, the season finale.

In 51st place in the Toyota Angler of the Year rankings is Yusuke Miyazaki with 450 points. Shane Lineberger is next with 444 points, and Bill Weidler is 53rd with 439 points. Others in the hunt are Koby Kreiger, Brad Whatley, Ed Loughran, Robbie Latuso and Randy Pierson with 429 points. The point separation grows from there. The bad news for them is none are fishing today.

As it usually does, some anglers will count on fate to make it into the 50th Baassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The luck factor will come from the Bassmaster Opens and specifically from winners that did not compete in all of the required tournaments in a given division. So far the list has moved down two spots, after David Teigen and Michael Iaconelli won Opens but did not fish the other qualifying events. There are two more chances for the list to move down two more spaces with Opens coming up next mont on Oneida Lake in New York and Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.

Right now, the projected Classic cutline is 42nd place. Clark Wendlandt holds down that spot. Kelley Jaye, Derek Hudnall, Jay Yelas, Todd Auten and Chad Morgenthaler are next. He is 47th place with 461 points. Bernie Schultz is 48th, Jake Whitaker is next and Tyler Rivet is 50th.