Wendlandt repeats, wins $200,000 in Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake - Major League Fishing
Wendlandt repeats, wins $200,000 in Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake
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Wendlandt repeats, wins $200,000 in Wal-Mart Open on Beaver Lake

April 28, 2001 • MLF • Press Releases

ROGERS, Ark. – Two-time Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt of Cedar Park, Texas, landed his second Wal-Mart Open title and $200,000 Saturday on Beaver Lake with five bass weighing 11 pounds, 9 ounces. The win, which marked Wendlandt’s fifth top-five appearance, boosted his Wal-Mart FLW Tour earnings to $625,250.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Wendlandt, who fishes for Team Kellogg’s “On my way to the weigh-in, as I thought about what may happen, I almost started crying. I lost a 4-pounder earlier in the day that I thought cost me the tournament. I dedicated this tournament to God because he has blessed me so much.”

Wendlandt advanced to the semifinal round of 10 competitors Thursday in fifth place with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 22 pounds, 11 ounces. He then qualified for the five-man final round in third place after catching five bass weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces Friday. He caught his winning limit of bass Saturday sight fishing in clear, shallow water with a ¼-ounce tube bait.

Second place in the $1 million FLW Tour event presented by Wal-Mart went to 1998 Wal-Mart Open champion Gerald Swindle of Warrior, Ala., who won $100,000 with five bass weighing 10 pounds, 11 ounces.

Randy Howell of Trussville, Ala., took third place and $50,000 with five bass weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces, while Mark Pack of Mineola, Texas, finished fourth and collected $35,000 with five bass weighing 7 pounds, 11 ounces. Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., finished fifth and earned $30,000 with three bass weighing 6 pounds, 15 ounces.

Strader won the Energizer “Keeps on Going” award for the greatest comeback during the event. He fought back from 34th place on opening day to qualify for the final round in second place.

Competition began Wednesday with 350 anglers from 35 states competing in two divisions, pro and co-angler. W.D. (Hoot) Gibson of Bryant, Ark., won a year’s supply of CITGO gasoline and $40,000 Friday in the Co-Angler Division with five bass weighing 5 pounds, 15 ounces.

More than 98 percent of the bass caught during the four-day event were released alive. If Operation Bass maintains at least a 98 percent live release rate throughout the 2001 season, Energizer will donate $25,000 to the Children’s Miracle Network.

The fifth stop on the seven-event Wal-Mart FLW Tour is May 12-19 on the Red River near Shreveport-Bossier, La. The tournament presented by ALPO Pet Foods will feature a $500,000 purse.