Wendlandt learns his lesson on shallow water

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James Overstreet

As a longtime veteran of professional bass fishing, Clark Wendlandt has made his share of trips to Lake Eufaula.

Every time, he’s tried to make the lake play to his strengths, which has meant fishing shallow — and every time, it’s turned sour.

“I’ve been burned in the past on this lake,” he said. “I’ve tried to fish shallow whether the water was high or whether the water was low. In March, April, maybe the first of May, it’ll work. But this time of year, it just seems like they want desperately to be offshore."

Still, there was a part of Wendlandt that wanted to go shallow again right up until the moment he finished his initial run Wednesday.

“As I was running to where I was going — I’m talking about a mile away — I was thinking ‘shallow or deep?, shallow or deep?’ With overcast conditions, it just felt right for fishing shallow,” he said. “In the end, I just felt like I wasn’t gonna give it enough time in shallow water to make it work. I decided to go deep and it was a good decision."

There’s no arguing that.

Wendlandt caught 22 keepers fishing away from the bank and will begin today's second round in fourth place with 22 pounds.

“If I catch 22 keepers every day, I don’t really care what weight I have,” he said. “I’ll stay offshore the rest of the week.”