(Apr 8, 2017 - SOMERSET, Ky.)
Pro Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, grabbed the lead Friday at the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by T-H Marine after bringing a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 15 ounces to the scale. Wendlandt’s two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass totaling 35 pounds, 6 ounces, is enough to give him a thin 2-ounce advantage heading into day three of the four-day event that features 164 of the world’s premier bass anglers competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
Wendlandt said he spent his day targeting both smallmouth and largemouth bass in main-river creeks. He said he worked through the same area on day one, and bounced back and forth between the two species to craft his limit.
“I caught a lot of fish today, but they were smaller,” said Wendlandt, a 21-year Tour veteran and 3-time FLW Angler of the Year winner. “Usually I get more largemouth the farther back I go, and more smallmouth toward the mouths of the creeks or the fronts. But today, it started mixing up. I caught my biggest largemouth of the day today from a place that looked good for smallmouth and vice versa. It’s pretty intriguing.
“I think sight-fishing may play a role toward the end of this tournament as well,” continued Wendlandt. “I know where about 20 largemouth are on beds, but I haven’t gone to any of them. It just hasn’t made sense for me to focus on them yet.”
Wendlandt said that Lake Cumberland’s expansive layout is working to his advantage.
“This lake is intriguing because it’s big and boats don’t dictate what you do, fish do,” said Wendlandt. “I saw other boats today, but they didn’t affect me. I wish every tournament was like this.”
For day three, Wendlandt said he may sift through some new locations but doesn’t have anything specific he needs to target.
“I don’t even know exactly where I’m going to start tomorrow,” said Wendlandt. “I’m just going to fish what feels good at the time. I’m going to run, and the first place that looks good I’m going to pull in and fish.”
The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on Lake Cumberland are:
1st: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 10 bass, 35-6
2nd: Casey Scanlon, Lenexa, Kan., 10 bass, 35-4
3rd: Cody Bird, Granbury, Texas, 10 bass, 32-14
4th: Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 31-14
5th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 31-7
6th: Chris McCall, Palmer, Texas, 10 bass, 31-3
7th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 10 bass, 30-11
8th: James Watson, Lampe, Mo., 10 bass, 30-6
9th: Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 30-2
10th: Terry Bolton, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 30-0
11th: Yamamoto Baits pro Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, 10 bass, 29-10
12th: Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 10 bass, 29-10
13th: Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 10 bass, 29-4
14th: Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 29-3
15th: Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., nine bass, 29-2
16th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-15
17th: Yamamoto Baits pro Gary Yamamoto, Palestine, Texas, 10 bass, 28-14
18th: Shane LeHew, Catawba, N.C., 10 bass, 28-14
19th: Bill Day, Frankfort, Ky., 10 bass, 28-12
20th: Matt Reed, Madisonville, Texas, 10 bass, 28-11
Todd Auten of Lake Wylie, South Carolina, earned the Big Bass award on the pro side Friday, weighing a 6-pound, 4-ounce fish to win the $500 prize.
Overall there were 609 bass weighing 1,503 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 153 pros Friday. The catch included 88 five-bass limits.
Jeff Clark of Fort Smith, Arkansas, won the Co-angler Division and $20,100 Friday with a two-day total of eight bass weighing 20 pounds, 1 ounce, followed by Frank Divis Sr. of Farmington, Arkansas, who finished in second place with six bass weighing 19 pounds, 8 ounces, worth $7,550.
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Jeff Clark, Fort Smith, Ark., eight bass, 20-1, $20,100
2nd: Frank Divis Sr., Farmington, Ark., six bass, 19-8, $7,550
3rd: Brad Myers, Winchester, Ky., nine bass, 18-5, $5,000
4th: Brian Wilson, Somerset, Ky., six bass, 17-15, $4,000
5th: J.B. King, Byrdstown, Tenn., six bass, 17-11, $3,000
6th: Jerry Reagan, Byrdstown, Tenn., seven bass, 17-3, $2,500
7th: Kevin Simpson, Monticello, Ky., seven bass, 16-14, $2,000
8th: Kevin Medine, Port Allen, La., seven bass, 16-8, $1,800
9th: Brandon Johnson, Owingsville, Ky., eight bass, 16-3, $1,700
10th: Chuck Kavros, Grass Valley, Calif., six bass, 15-7, $1,600
Richie Eaves of Nauvoo, Illinois, earned $250 for the Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division Friday with a 6-pound, 2-ounce bass.
Overall there were 224 bass weighing 455 pounds, 15 ounces caught by 109 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 7 five-bass limits.
In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field competes in the two-day opening round. Co-angler competition concludes following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 20 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina, Aug. 11-13.
The total purse for the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by T-H Marine is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division. The event is hosted by the Somerset Tourist and Convention Commission.
Anglers will take off at 7 a.m. EDT each day from General Burnside Island State Park, located at 8801 S. Highway 27, in Burnside, Kentucky. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will also be held at General Burnside Island State Park, beginning at 4 p.m.
Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, fans are encouraged to experience the free Family Fishing Expo at General Burnside Island State Park from noon to 4 p.m. The Expo is a unique opportunity for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.
Youth are also invited to participate in the free FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby at the Ruckel’s Restaurant Pay Lake, located at 192 KY-70 in Eubank, Kentucky, on Saturday, April 8, from 9-11 a.m. The event, hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, is free and open to area youth 18 years of age and younger and Special Olympics athletes. Rods and reels are available for the first 50 participants to use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.
Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Lake Cumberland presented by T-H Marine will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) May 24 from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 274 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros.