After a phenomenal season with six top-12 finishes, Team Dick Cepek angler Brandon Palaniuk was named the 2017 Toyota Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year (AOY) last weekend after the final tournament of the season at Mille Lacs Lake in Onamia, Minnesota.
The 29-year-old Palaniuk took home the $100,000 AOY cash prize, which pushed his career earnings passed $1 million with B.A.S.S. He finished 20th in the Lake Mille Lacs tournament, but garnered enough points throughout the previous 2017 Elite events to secure the top spot in AOY standings. Palaniuk finished 14 points ahead of Oklahoma pro Jason Christie, ending the year with 902 points and his first AOY win.
"Congratulations to Brandon on an incredible 2017 Bassmaster Elite season," said Ken Warner, vice president of marketing for Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels. "He finished among the top competitors time and time again this Elite season, so earning Angler of the Year is much deserved. We are proud to sponsor such a dedicated and talented athlete and look forward to watching him impress us again next year."
Palaniuk's Toyota Tundra, featuring Dick Cepek's Fun Country tires and DC Matrix wheels, will be on display in the Dick Cepek/Mickey Thompson booth (No. 43035) during the SEMA Show, set for Oct. 31 through Nov.3 in Las Vegas.
Team Dick Cepek Elite Series Angler Clifford Pirch also had a successful end to the 2017 season, finishing seventh at Mille Lacs and landing 19th overall in AOY standings.