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Swim baits are a Clark Wendlandt staple

FLW pro angler Clark Wendlandt will be teaching at Bass & Crappie University at Rose State College which opens Tuesday night. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

FLW pro angler Clark Wendlandt will be teaching at Bass & Crappie University at Rose State College which opens Tuesday night. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Clark Wendlandt is a Texan who hopes to teach Oklahoma anglers next week a thing or two about bass fishing.

He certainly has the resume. Three times, Wendlant has been the “Angler of the Year” on the FLW Tour and has won four pro events.

He has qualified for the Bassmaster Classic four times, has more than $2.6 million in bass tournament winnings and earned a degree in wildlife and fishing biology from Texas A&M University.

Wendlandt will be headlining Bass & Crappie University, which begins Tuesday night at Rose State College in Midwest City. He is one of five instructors who will be teaching Oklahoma anglers how to catch more bass and crappie during the four-night session.

One of his favorite ways to catch bass is using soft plastic swim baits.

“When swim baits came along, they were baits that kind of started out in California and for the most part they were big giant baits made to mimic really big fish and they caught really big fish,” he said.

“Now there has been an evolution where a lot more of these baits have been produced that are smaller and you can use in everyday fishing. They are just another tool or technique that we have to catch more bass.

“There are a ton of different kinds and a ton of different ways to rig ‘em. I have always got one or two rigged up in my boat.”

Using a steady retrieve, “just the action of the bait is what draws the fish to bite it,” he said.

In addition to talking about swim baits, Wendlandt will be discussing pre-spawn patterns of bass — timely for early February — and fishing with jigs (when and where to use them) along with deep-water cranking.

Other instructors for Bass & Crappie University are Bill Wright, bass angler and Okie Rig inventor; George Toalson, tournament angler and Gene Larew/Bobby Garland lure designer; Kevin Rogers, pro crappie angler; and Gene Gilliland, fishery biologist and B.A.S.S. conservation director.

Wendlandt knows a little about fishing in Oklahoma, too, having won the 1992 Redman All-American on the Arkansas River.

Like many bass anglers, Grand Lake is his favorite Oklahoma lake to fish.

“It's hard to beat. It's a good place to go,” he said. “I would consider Grand one of the best lakes in the country that doesn't have aquatic vegetation. Aquatic vegetation is what usually makes a lake stand out.

"For a highland-type reservoir, which is what I consider Grand, it's as good as there is."

His overall favorite lake, however, is Lake Champlain on the New York-Vermont border.

“It has got both largemouth and smallmouth,” he said. “I am a tournament bass fisherman, so to me, it's as good a tournament lake as there is because you can do a lot of different things and you can really spread out there.”

When Wendlandt is not fishing, he probably will be hunting. He hosts the outdoor show "Fishing and Hunting Texas."

“I like to do any kind of hunting, but deer hunting is my passion,” he said.

BASS & CRAPPIE UNIVERSITY

•Where: Rose State College, Midwest City

•When: Classes will be from 7:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday, Feb. 13 and Feb. 20.

•Cost: $89

•To enroll: Call Rose State College at (405) 733-7392 or go online at rose.edu/fish.

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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