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Casey Martin took the lead on day two after catching a 27-pound limit of Lake Chickamauga bass. (Photo by Brett Carlson)
FLW Tour veteran clinches coveted Angler of the Year award in front of home crowd

28.Jun.2013 by Brett Carlson

DAYTON, Tenn. – One of the most consistent anglers in bass fishing finally clinched the prestigious Angler of the Year title as Andy Morgan put in a workmanlike effort on Lake Chickamauga, his home water, to seal the deal. Meanwhile, a Walmart FLW Tour rookie desperately seeking to qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup jumped into the lead at the halfway point in the tournament.

imageThe hometown crowd got exactly what they wanted Friday. Not only did Morgan clinch AOY, but the other two prominent locals, Michael Neal and Wesley Strader, caught 20-pound plus stringers and sit near the top of the leaderboard.

For Morgan, the AOY win was special, but not surprising. For the better part of a decade the Dayton, Tenn., pro has threatened for AOY, but with no true smallmouth fishery and the season ending in east Tennessee, this was Morgan’s year.

“You called it earlier in the year, my chances at winning without a smallmouth lake on the schedule were so much greater,” Morgan said. “But after Beaver Lake, where I took 68th, I thought I had no chance, no chance. Usually there is one person who goes all year without a slip-up.”

Morgan gained some ground on Keystone Light pro Brent Ehrler at Lake Eufaula and then surged into the lead at Grand Lake. On his home pond, he never looked back – fishing mainly deep brush and stumpy ledges.

“I took it slow, one cast at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time. How sweet it is to win it right here in the hills and hollers of Dayton.”

While the AOY race is over, Morgan isn’t done fishing as he made the top-20 cutoff in 14th place.

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