Fishing & Boating News

Ranger Pro Chris Johnston Wins FLW Tour Rookie of the Year Title

Angler's consistency and Ranger boat keys to title   

by: Greg Duncan, Blue Heron Communications

(Jul 5, 2016 - Flippin, AR)  Ranger Boats Pro Chris Johnston beat out 28 other FLW Tour anglers to win the 2016 Rookie of the Year title on Lake Champlain. Johnston also finished second in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year race behind FLW Tour veteran Andy Morgan.
Consistent placement played a key role in winning the Rookie of the Year title. Johnston quickly established himself as a frontrunner with a third-place finish at the season opener on Okeechobee. The angler followed with two, top-25 finishes but experienced a slowdown of 61st- and 40th- place finishes on the Tennessee River lakes of Pickwick and Kentucky, respectively. Johnston locked up the title with a strong showing of fifth-place on the season-ending FLW event on Lake Champlain.
"It's a great honor and something you can only win once," said Johnston. "Going into the season I had my eyes set on Rookie of the Year and qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup. I went above and beyond. I couldn't have asked for a better year."
Johnston gives credit for his consistency to his ability to spend most of his time on the water actually fishing.
"The number one thing is having great sponsors backing you," said Johnston. "When you are running a Ranger and Evinrude, you don't have to worry about having a breakdown and that is invaluable. If you have one letdown, it could cost you a tournament or points for Angler of the Year."
Johnston grew up fishing in a Ranger boat and has fished his professional career out of a Ranger. He knows that when tough times come, he can rely on his boat to perform.
"At the last tournament, I gambled on the last day," said Johnston. "I made a 70-mile run and it was a lot rougher than I had planned. You have to be able to trust your equipment to make that kind of run."
The next stop for Johnston on the FLW Tour is the Forrest Wood Cup Championship on Wheeler Lake, Aug. 4-7, where 50 top anglers face off for the $500,000 purse.