by Sean Ostruszka
FLW PRESS RELEASE
Clark Wendlandt makes top 10s. It’s just what he does almost better than almost anyone else. In fact, he’s tied for the second most top 10s in Walmart FLW Tour history with 28.
So seeing Wendlandt’s name in the sixth-place slot after day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River really should have been no surprise. Of course, Wendlandt also has three Tour victories, and he’s put himself in contention for No. 4 after posting the second-largest limit of day two – 17 pounds, 3 ounces – to overtake Adrian Avena and Bryan Schmitt for the top spot.
His two-day total is 32-10.
“I had a good day; pretty similar to yesterday,” Wendlandt says. “I just had that 5-pounder today.”
|Clark take slim lead as anglers go into weekend. (Photo: FLW)|
Like many of the other top anglers, the pro from Leander, Texas, has found an area of the river pretty much to himself and has been tight-lipped about his exact pattern. He is covering a lot of water, though, and many of the spots he fished today were the same as on day one.
That fact would worry Wendlandt if the tournament was being held on a lake, as he doesn’t know if his pattern would hold up on other types of fisheries. However, being that the Potomac is a tidal fishery, he’s far more optimistic.
2. Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md. – 30 pounds, 14 ounces
If things would just go right for Bryan Schmitt there is no telling what he could do. Unfortunately, his home fishery has been less than hospitable this week.
“I’ve had a lot of obstacles the first two days,” Schmitt says.
After getting off his tidal timing on day one, Schmitt made sure he timed everything perfectly on day two. The only problem is that large storms Thursday night muddied up his best spot. On top of that, an east wind caused the tide to stay higher than normal, further hurting his spot.
After a frustrating morning, Schmitt regrouped and went to another good area where he quickly sacked up 15 pounds, 9 ounces.
“That’s a good spot,” Schmitt says of the back-up area. “I just hope the wind doesn’t take it from me [Saturday]. The wind is going to be trouble for a lot of guys tomorrow. Fortunately, I have plenty of fish elsewhere. I just wanted a chance [to win], and I’ve still got a very good feeling.”
3. Adrian Avena – Vineland, N.J. – 30 pounds, 12 ounces
Adrian Avena rode the tides to a day-one lead. On day two, the ride got a lot bumpier.
“I had four key areas,” Avena says. “Three of them were blown out by the storms yesterday. I caught what I could from the one area that wasn’t.”
Avena admits that the weather threw him a curveball when it muddied up his areas, which really affected the way he’s fishing. With more storms and rain slated for Saturday, Jersey Boy says he might have to try and change up what he’s doing, which could be a problem.
“I haven’t been able to dial in on anything else than what I’ve been doing,” Avena says. “But you have to adapt if the weather comes.”
4. Darrel Robertson – Jay, Okla. – 28 pounds, 3 ounces
Darrel Robertson felt equal parts mad at himself and blessed following his second day on the Potomac.
The frustration stemmed from his moves on day one.
“I really messed up yesterday,” Robertson says. “I had an area where I had five good bites and then just left for some reason. Then I didn’t get many more bites.”
Today he went right back to see what that area could produce. The result was a quick limit for roughly 13 pounds and another 12-pound limit for his co-angler, Doug Caldwell.
Catching 13 pounds would have had Robertson making the cut, but luck shined on him on his way in to the ramp.
“I figured I had time for two casts on a point before coming in,” Robertson says. “First cast I caught that 4-8. I was just blessed. That fish made all the difference between yesterday and today.”
5. Jason Lambert – Pickwick Dam, Tenn. – 27 pounds, 2 ounces
How do you go from 108th to the top five in one day? You sack up the biggest bag of the tournament.
Jason Lambert’s 18-pound limit was the surprise of day two for everyone. Everyone except Lambert.
“I actually had a decent practice,” says the former Rookie of the Year. “I was catching them on a frog, but finally said ‘no’ to the frog, picked up a V&M Lightning Blade and started catching fish.”
Lambert didn’t catch many fish though – only seven – but what he caught were the right fish, with a 5-pounder, a 4-pounder and a pair of 3-pounders in his weigh-in bag, along with one smaller keeper. However, that lack of bites does make him worry about the weekend.
“I don’t know what I have left,” Lambert admits. “I guess we’ll just have to go see.”
Top 10 Pros
1. Clark Wendlandt – Leander, Texas – 32-10 (10)
2. Bryan Schmitt – Deale, Md. – 30-14 (10)
3. Adrian Avena – Vineland, N.J. – 30-12 (10)
4. Darrel Robertson – Jay, Okla. – 28-03 (10)
5. Jason Lambert – Pickwick Dam, Tenn. – 27-02 (10)
6. Scott Canterbury – Springville, Ala. – 26-15 (10)
7. Jim Moynagh – Carver, Minn. – 26-14 (10)
8. Jeff Sprague – Point, Texas – 26-11 (10)
9. Randy Haynes – Counce, Tenn. – 26-11 (10)
10. John Voyles – Petersburg, Ind. – 26-10 (10)