(Jun 28, 2015 - MARBURY, Md.)
Pro angler Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 14 pounds, 8 ounces to extend his lead on day three of the Walmart FLW Tour at the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. The tournament now heads into the fourth and final day of competition and the field is cut to the final 10 in the four-day event, hosted by the Charles County Board of Commissioners, that featured 142 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world casting for the top cash award of up to $125,000.
Wendlandt’s three-day cumulative weight of 47-2 extended his lead to 3 pounds, 12 ounces over second-place angler Adrian Avena of Vineland, New Jersey, who has a three-day weight of 15 bass totaling 43-6.
“Today I focused on two key areas that I’ve been hitting all week,” said Wendlandt, who is seeking his first win on the Walmart FLW Tour since 2001. “I’m keeping things fairly simple and just trying to grind it out as much as I can.
“I arrived at my first area and caught three keepers before 10 a.m.,” continued Wendlandt. “That’s when I began to experience engine trouble. It wasn’t long before I was stuck out there.”
Wendlandt planned to use his trolling motor to scrape together whatever he could for the day and get an early tow in back to the marina. However, fellow competitor Shinichi Fukae, who was fishing at a nearby location, in a tremendous showing of sportsmanship offered to let Wendlandt use his boat for the remainder of the day – a decision that would guarantee Fukae a zero for the day and a 20th-place finish.
“It’s probably one of the greatest acts of sportsmanship I’ve seen in my time bass fishing,” Wendlandt said. “We’re all out here competing for a lot of money so for him to do that really shows his true character.
“After switching boats I was able to move around in my areas more freely and ended up catching four more bass,” said Wendlandt.
Wendlandt said he caught eight keepers in less than two feet of water over the course of the day using two primary baits.
“I’m really not sure how I’m going to fish tomorrow,” said Wendlandt. “It’s going to be interesting because of the amount of rain we’re getting. All I know is that I’ll be returning to my main areas.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on the Potomac River are:
1st: Clark Wendlandt, Leander, Texas, 15 bass, 47-2
2nd: Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., 15 bass, 43-6
3rd: Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 15 bass, 42-1
4th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 42-0
5th: Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 15 bass, 40-14
6th: Darrel Robertson, Jay, Okla., 15 bass, 40-8
7th: John Voyles, Petersburg, Ind., 15 bass, 39-7
8th: Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 15 bass, 39-6
9th: Randy Haynes, Counce, Tenn., 15 bass, 39-3
10th: Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., 15 bass, 39-2
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Keystone Light pro Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 15 bass, 38-2, $11,269
12th: Scott Wiley, Bay Minette, Ala., 15 bass, 37-11, $11,269
13th: Rusty Trancygier, Hahira, Ga., 14 bass, 37-5, $11,269
14th: Ishama Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 15 bass, 36-12, $11,269
15th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 15 bass, 35-9, $11,269
16th: Quaker State pro Scott Canterbury, Springville, Ala., 14 bass, 34-9, $11,269
17th: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., 13 bass, 34-2, $11,269
18th: Jason Lambert, Pickwick Dam, Tenn., 13 bass, 32-14, $11,269
19th: Michael Wooley, Collierville, Tenn., 13 bass, 31-1, $11,269
20th: Shinichi Fukae, Palestine, Texas, 10 bass, 26-1, $11,269
Overall there were 87 bass weighing 212 pounds, 12 ounces caught by pros Saturday. Fourteen of the final 20 pros weighed in five-bass limits.
Anglers were also vying for the prestigious 2015 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year title that is determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour events in 2015.
For the first time in his storied career, pro Scott Martin of Clewiston, Florida, wrapped up the Angler of the Year title on Saturday. He narrowly edged out pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, in a tightly contested race that thrilled fishing fans throughout the season. Martin, who clinched the first Angler of the Year title of his career as well as a check for $100,000, also will receive an automatic berth into the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup.
Pro Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, clinched the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour Rookie of the Year award Friday, which is awarded to the rookie pro angler who finishes the season with the highest point total.
Jim Jones of Big Bend, Wisconsin, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 25 pounds, 2 ounces, followed by Kyle Prskalo of Hobart, Indiana, who finished in second place with eight bass weighing 23 pounds, 15 ounces worth $7,081.
John Hunter of Shelbyville, Kentucky, clinched the Walmart FLW Tour Co-Angler of the Year title Friday and won a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
Anglers will take off from Smallwood State Park located at 2750 Sweden Point Road in Marbury at 6:30 a.m. EST on Sunday for the final day of competition. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at Walmart, located at 40 Drury Drive in La Plata, Maryland, beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. at Walmart in La Plata prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes a Ranger boat simulator, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.
Coverage of the Potomac River tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) November 2 from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. EDT when Season 20 of “FLW” returns this fall. 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 industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.