Garmin Pro Clark Wendlandt Leads Midseason Bassmaster AOY Race

It’d be easy to call this year a wash. Start again in 2021. But try telling that to Garmin Pro Clark Wendlandt.

As things stand now, Wendlandt is leading the Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race. This might just be his year — but don’t tell him that.  

A man holds his cap over his heart on a dock at sunrise.

“With four tournaments to go, it feels a bit early to talk about the AOY,” he said in an email. “The one thing it does say though, is that I have had a great season so far.”

Wendlandt isn’t new to AOY, having won three Fishing League Worldwide titles, so he knows to take it tournament by tournament, cast by cast. He also knows how this Bassmaster differs from any other time he’s competed in the past.

“There is no substitute for time on the water,” he said. “The pandemic gave me a 4-month window to reflect on really everything in life. One thing that came out of that reflection for me was a renewed realization that I am hungry for competition.”

At age 54, Wendlandt is out-fishing many men 20 years his junior. So while all the practice is a big factor as to why he’s doing so well, he knows he wouldn’t have had that time to focus on fishing if it weren’t for where he is in his personal life.

“What happens to many dominant tournament anglers as they get older is that they eventually become distracted with life,” Wendlandt said. “For me, now that our kids are raised and on their own, my wife is able to travel with me full time again, which has enabled me to be 100% focused on fishing.”

And with that focus comes time spent embracing new fishing technology, like Garmin’s Panoptix LiveScope system, which Wendlandt says he’s worked into his sonar-checking regimen.

“For me personally, I have really figured out what I’m looking at on LiveScope and now every day when I fish, no matter where I’m at, I look at LiveScope just like I do ClearVü, SideVü, mapping and traditional sonar,” he said.

Wendlandt even went as far as to say if you’re wanting to “compete in the Elites, you have to have it.” 

He’s put in the practice, he has the focus and he’s using the technology, so all that stands between him and AOY is four tournaments. He just has one thing to say about that:

“I’ve got to catch them every day.”

Well, Clark, we can’t wait to see it.