“Loosey goosey” is not the next secret lure in bass fishing, or a magical spray formula that makes your reels cast farther.
Rather, it’s how Clark Wendlandt described his fishing after taking the day two lead Friday in the FLW Tour event on Lake Cumberland presented by T-H Marine with a total of 35 pounds, 6 ounces.
After weighing in four smallmouths and one largemouth for 18-7 on day one, Wendlandt backed that up with two smallmouths and three largemouths weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces on day two.
|Clark always loves the spawn. (Photo FLW)|
Friday’s bright sun and high wind only seemed to help Wendlandt’s easy, breezy strategy.
“This lake is very intriguing to me,” Wendlandt says. “I’ve only fished it once before and I really liked it. It’s so huge and expansive, which gives it an open-ended feel. It’s a very freeing place to fish because your moves and decisions are not dictated by other boats or past pressure. You can just fish the moment all day long – nothing gets in the way of your gut feelings and I really love fishing that way."
Wendlandt’s mixing of smallmouth and largemouth is not dictated by certain times or certain areas for each species. Instead, he runs water switching between largemouth water and smallmouth water based totally on the moment.
“In general, the largemouths tend to be in the backs of areas I’m fishing and the smallmouths tend to be farther toward the fronts,” he says. “But the interesting thing is that there seem to be areas where both species sort of blend together. Today I caught my biggest largemouth in a place where a smallmouth should have been and then I caught my biggest smallmouth where a largemouth should have been, and I think that’s simply because I’m fishing the zones where the two species overlap.”
So far the tournament has been a winding game for Wendlandt as he feels his way down the banks in the midsection of the lake with moving baits. But his bait selection could change over the weekend as calmer conditions come into play.
Wendlandt believes that both species are just days away from spawning and that sight-fishing could play a role for him over the weekend.
“I get the feeling they’re close to pulling up,” he says. “I did find some on beds in practice that I have not fooled with, but I’d rather just fish for the ones that are just coming to the bank if I can get away with it. As long as I can cover water fishing whatever feels good to me at the time, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Top 10 pros
1. Clark Wendlandt – Leander, Texas – 35-6 (10)
2. Casey Scanlon – Lenexa, Kan. – 35-4 (10)
3. Cody Bird – Granbury, Texas – 32-14 (10)
4. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 31-14 (10)
5. Scott Martin – Clewiston, Fla. – 31-7 (10)
6. Chris McCall – Palmer, Texas – 31-3 (10)
7. Barry Wilson – Birmingham, Ala. – 30-11 (10)
8. James Watson – Nixa, Mo. – 30-6 (10)
9. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 30-2 (10)
10. Terry Bolton – Paducah, Ky. – 30-0 (10)