UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2015 - Lake Sinclair

Wendlandt weighs in

FLW Tour pro Clark Wendlandt shows off his catch.

In professional tournament fishing today there always seems to be a prevailing pattern or area that holds most of the anglers who do well in a certain event. Guys are just flat-out good at figuring out what the dominant pattern is and where it is on the lake. In the first FLW Tour event of the year at Lake Okeechobee, most of the anglers who did well fished the giant grass beds in and around Harney Pond, the Monkey Box area, Fisheating Creek, Bird Island and the North Shore on the northwest part of the lake. Many of the top anglers in the event fished different patterns within the giant area. Some were flipping, while others cast swimbaits, jigs and ChatterBaits over and around the grass. Both techniques worked well and many used a one-two punch employing both patterns. Okeechobee has always been one of those lakes where you have to be around other boats to really do well. Every year I try to find some place that other anglers are not fishing, but most of the time that strategy does not go well. It has occassionally worked for me there finding my own area, but it has not happened very often. I finished fourth in the first FLW Tour event I fished on Lake Okeechobee and had no company at all. But for every good tournament I've had there going my own way, there are two or three bad ones. In the long run, it just doesn't pay to get away from the crowd at the "Big O." FLW Tour pro Clark Wendlandt prefers to avoid tournament crowds but sometimes itSome lakes you can find fish that you have for yourself. Lake Hartwell and Sam Rayburn, the next two stops, both have big populations of bass and can be won nearly anywhere on the lake. One huge key is grass - but not just any grass, it has to be hydrilla. If there is an area with a lot of hydrilla on a lake then it will usually dominate. Take Okeechobee for example. The area where nearly everyone fished was where all the hydrilla was. Rayburn has hydrilla as well, but thankfully it is much more widespread on that giant body of water. At the end of the day, tournament fishing in general is a lot like fishing Lake Okeechobee. It is often about fishing around other boats and just beating them. It takes being mentally tough and not worrying about the other guy. It's hard, but it's the way it is sometimes. Follow three-time FLW Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt at www.clarkwendlandt.com or on Facebook.

Tags: blog  clark-wendlandt 


How to Catch Big Fall Smallmouths

What's the best time of year to catch lots of big smallmouth bass in the northern United States? Well, get ready, because it's going to happen in the next couple of weeks and continue until the lakes freeze solid. And the best part about it is that often times you will have entire lakes to yourself since most anglers switch gears and start their hunting seasons, leaving the lakes almost completely void of pressure. READ MORE »


Weekend Angler: Off the Water Practice

Of all the excuses I hear fisherman use when it comes to fishing tournaments, the one that intrigues me the most is, "I haven't been out that much, so I couldn't practice." There is no substitute for time on the water – that is not debatable – but there are things that can be done to assist you in your weekend efforts if you can’t spend every free moment on the water. Below you’ll find just a few tips to hopefully help you become a more efficient angler. READ MORE »


The Good Ol' Days

It’s hard to believe that the dog days of summer will soon be coming to an end, seen in the shortening of days and frigid mornings. For some, fall means hanging up the rods and picking up the bow or shotgun in preparation for the upcoming hunting seasons – for others, falling water temps signify hungry bass stocking up for the descending metabolism of winter. READ MORE »


Frog fishing 101

People often ask me about what frog I use and when. It’s a good question, because there are many, many frogs available to anglers these days. The answer depends on the situation you expect to encounter. READ MORE »


A Fisherman or Fisher of Men?

It was a series of ups, downs and way downs, though I ended my season with a nice check at the Potomac River. I thought squaring off against a prehistoric reptile in its own backyard was tough, but I have to tell you that fishing against these FLW guys was tougher than dealing with alligators back home. READ MORE »


Rhinos, Bass and Great White Sharks

Tournament fishing in South Africa is pretty solid, with about 500 serious tournament anglers in the country. There are many more recreational anglers in the region too. READ MORE »


Getting Whipped by the Young Bucks

It really goes against all logic, but logic flew out the window again at the recent Forrest Wood Cup on Lake Ouachita. Take the example of Brandon Cobb and Dion Hibdon. Cobb, at the tender age of 25, not only qualified for the Cup (the most difficult championship in the world to qualify for, much less win), but he finished in the top five. READ MORE »


SOAR Derby a Success

Be it children or adults, we all want others to be able to experience the pure joy that we feel when hooked up and battling a fish that we have worked so hard for. READ MORE »


Shifting Gears

I am stripping the big line off the Halos and re-spooling with 6- and 8-pound-test Berkley flouro, and reflecting on how much fun it was catching all those fish with all these relatively new baits, how hard some of the strikes were and how easy it was catching fish on baits that they haven't seen before. Well, that's all over now – back to smallmouth fishing. READ MORE »


Do You Really Need So Much Stuff?

Lures and clothes have a lot in common. Just like clothing evolves and new styles come out and old styles come back, so goes fishing lures. The difference between the two, however, is that you can outgrow your old jeans, but you can never get rid of your old baits. READ MORE »


Never Miss a Bass Again

Do you ever listen at the weigh-in at how many guys talk about all the fish they missed? I can’t accept that it’s part of the job at hand. It’s one of my pet peeves. Most of us would do much better if we would just ask the simple question “why?” In prefishing we have already done most of the hard work. During the tournament, a missed fish can’t be accepted. I consider it a good tournament when I come back to the ramp with no missed fish, regardless of my finish. How does that happen? It starts way before the tournament. READ MORE »


A Bass is a Bass, But Not Always

Amigos, as you may remember, we left the past blog with a big question mark on the well-known saying, “A bass is a bass, no matter what.” Well, it’s time to give you a different point of view. A lot of you, while reading these lines, might start questioning my ideas. READ MORE »


From Kayak to Bass Boat

Like many anglers, I am a fanatic about my equipment for the things I do. For example, I’m a four-time world champion whitewater kayaker and have won three of them in a boat of my design. I started Jackson Kayak to take kayak design to the next level and to do things that the bigger company I was working for wasn’t willing to do. I am also a long-time bass fisherman, which led me to fishing 2015 Walmart FLW Tour as a co-angler. READ MORE »


More Than a Fisherman

The competitive fishing world is a small one, and when narrowed down to the competitive bass fishing world, it is even smaller in the grand scheme of things. This, of course, isn’t to say that this small group doesn’t have an absolutely huge impact. It does. READ MORE »


The "No Excuse" Guide

Chatter can be dock talk, personal abusive talk, hater talk, fan talk and everything in between. The list goes on. I truly believe tournament fishing is all a mental game. I feel that the most successful anglers know how to tune it all out and fish in the zone. It is crucial to know how to tune out all the chatter and shut up and fish. READ MORE »


Missed Chances at the Finale

The final Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River was a tough event for me. After one of the strongest practices I’ve ever had there, or anywhere, really, I drove home scratching my head. READ MORE »


Top 10 Baits from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt earned the win with a 1/2-ounce green pumpkin-colored 4x4 flipping jig and a white Z-Man ChatterBait with a Lake Fork Tackle Live Magic Shad as the trailer. READ MORE »


Wendlandt Wins Walmart FLW Tour On Potomac River Presented By Ranger Boats

MARBURY, Md. (June 28, 2015) – When professional angler Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, was forced to withdraw from the Walmart FLW Tour in 2014 after suffering a heart attack he wasn’t sure if he’d ever be able to fish competitively again. After a few months of recovery and undergoing cardiac rehabilitation, Wendlandt made the decision to return to the Tour in 2015... READ MORE »


Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »


Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »