(Editor’s note: Moving forward, FLWOutdoors.com will be unveiling a host of new editorial content focusing exclusively on FLW Tour pros. The latest in that effort is a feature entitled “10 Questions” where FLW editors will attempt to pick the minds of FLW Tour pros by posing questions ranging from the serious to the light-hearted. The ultimate goal is for readers to get to know the thoughts, opinions and personalities of some of the best anglers the sport has to offer).
10 Questions with Clark Wendlandt
What are your plans for this offseason?
Wendlandt: “I actually do have a good little bit of time this offseason. For me, I really enjoy hunting so I’ll do a little bit of that. I also have a little part of a hunting business. It’s basically a white-tail deer outfitting business and November is a pretty busy time for us. But from a fishing standpoint, I’m going to film a couple of shows for Fishing Texas. But beyond that, it’s just diving into the tedious part of getting ready for the next season – making sure all of my tackle is in order, etc.
What do you think of the upcoming Tour schedule?
Wendlandt: “I really like the schedule. We’ve got a tournament on Sam Rayburn and we really haven’t had an FLW Tour event in Texas in a long time, so that’s good. I’m excited about that. There are also some good old standbys like Okeechobee, Lake Hartwell and Kentucky Lake. I guess the only thing I would have preferred is to (visit) Kentucky Lake earlier in the year because as it stands now, we have two Tennessee River tournaments back to back – so that probably isn’t ideal. But overall, I feel really good about 2014. I’m excited about the schedule. I also think (the tournament venues) really suites my style pretty well.”
How’s it like these days competing with all the younger kids?
Wendlandt: “Having young kids coming up the ranks is really about what the sport of fishing is all about. It’s a sport where young people can come in and really thrive. The (young guns) have such a thirst to compete and that’s great. Now, the older guys have the experience on their side so each event kind of sets up as experience versus youthful exuberance. But given the schedule, I think experience is going to win out this year.”
How has tournament fishing changed over the past decade or so?
Wendlandt: “Technology is a lot more important than it was at one time – especially with regard to electronics. You now have Power-Poles and Lowrance electronics and they’re so dominant right now. With (electronic) mapping and what you can see with sonar, side scans, etc., it’s pretty amazing. And you just have to embrace it. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can’t compete without it. But that technology has made certain aspects of tournament fishing a little different. And it’s definitely made (that technology) a necessity especially on ledge lakes and deep impoundments.”
What’s your take on the A-rig ban?
Wendlandt: “That was, in my opinion, an absolute necessity. I actually wasn’t going to fish the FLW Tour this year unless they changed that rule. I remember back when this whole thing started. When I first picked up that bait, it just didn’t feel right to me. I’ve always believed that tournament fishing is about using one bait (at a time) to test your skill. And the A-rig kind of dumbs down tournament fishing for me. I know it’s a hot topic and I know a lot of people disagree with me, but that’s just how I feel. So I applaud FLW for changing that rule.”
Once you realize you’re not in a position to win an FLW Tour event, who do you quietly root for?
Wendlandt: “My roommate is Mike Surman and we root for each other all the time. So I’d say Mike.”
What’s the most overused or annoying cliche in bass fishing?
Wendlandt: “I’m not sure I have an answer for you on that one. Let me get back to you.”
What music are you listening to these days?
Wendlandt: “Country – a little bit of older country music – like the kind you’d find 10 or 15 years ago.”
As one of the older veterans on Tour, what’s the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you first started out?
Wendlandt: “How much traveling I was going to have to do because you do spend a long time on the road. Overall, I don’t think I’d change anything but I wish I’d been a little bit better prepared for that aspect when I first started out.”
What is the one technique, if any, that you’d like to improve upon?
Wendlandt: “I’d have to say ledge fishing. Reading my electronics and being able to react better to what I’m seeing is something I’d like to get better at. The only problem with learning (that technique) is that there just aren’t that many ledge lakes out there. There’s nothing like it in Texas, so it’s a hard-learned art. But it’s definitely something I’d love to be better at.”