By BassFan Staff

Before his victory at the Potomac River in 2015, Clark Wendlandt had gone more than 14 years between FLW Tour wins. He appears determined to limit his current intermission to a much shorter duration.

The three-time Angler of the Year from Texas extended his lead at Kentucky's Lake Cumberland to more than 3 1/2 pounds on Saturday with a 14-10 stringer that pushed his 3-day total to 50-00. If he holds onto the top slot for a third straight day on Sunday, he'll claim his fourth triumph on the circuit.

His closest pursuer is Scott Martin, the day-1 leader who'd fallen to 5th after day 2. The Floridian boxed 14-14 on day 3 to improve his total to 46-05.

Alabama's Barry Wilson, whose finishes in the first three tournaments this year were all over the spectrum, boxed 14-09 and climbed four places to 3rd with a 45-04 aggregate. Terry Bolton, fishing in his home state but on a lake he's seen only four times over the past 30 years, caught a day-best 14-15 to jump from 10th to 4th with 44-15.

Casey Scanlon rounded out the top 5 with 44-11 after a 9-07 haul that was by far his lightest of the tournament.

Here are the totals for the anglers who advanced to the final day, with red numbers in parentheses indicating the deficits they'll need to make to garner the six-figure paycheck that will go to the winner:

1. Clark Wendlandt: 50-00
2. Scott Martin: 46-05 (3-11)
3. Barry Wilson: 45-04 (4-12)
4. Terry Bolton: 44-15 (5-01)
5. Casey Scanlon: 44-11 (5-05)
6. Scott Canterbury: 43-07 (6-09)
7. Cody Meyer: 43-06 (6-10)
8. Chris McCall: 43-04 (6-12)
9. Matt Reed: 42-14 (7-02)
10. Anthony Gagliardi: 42-06 (7-10)

Day 3 was by far the calmest yet on the massive impoundment that's hosting a top-level derby for the first time since 2006. The 20 anglers who took to the water were certainly more comfortable than they'd been in the inclement conditions of Thursday and Friday, but the lack of wind didn't help the bite as half of the competitors weighed less than 10 pounds and six failed to catch a limit of keepers.

There were three changes among the top 10 as Canterbury (up seven places with a 14-03 sack), Reed (up 11, 14-03) and Gagliardi (up four, 13-03) moved in. They replaced Cody Bird (3rd to 13th with two fish for 6-10), Bryan Thrift (4th to 12th, 9-07) and James Watson (8th to 11th, 11-02). Watson's bag was one fish shy of a limit.



FLW
Photo: FLW

Wendlandt made some key upgrades during the afternoon on day 3.

A big warm-up is on the way for the final day along with only a moderate breeze, which could make sight-fishing a bigger factor than it's been to this point. The WeatherChannel.com forecast predicts mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 75 degrees and a southerly breeze topping out at 9 mph.

Wendlandt Loaded Up Late

> Day 3: 5, 14-10 (15, 50-00)

Wendlandt's total is already more than three pounds heavier than what fellow Texan Mike Hawkes compiled en route to winning the FLW Series event at Cumberland in '06. The fish phase (pre-spawn now vs. post-spawn then) has played a big role in the higher weights, but the fishery as a whole has improved dramatically.

He had only three fish in his livewell at noon and ended up weighing four smallmouths and a largemouth.

"I caught them pretty good toward the end of the day," he said. "It's nothing major, but I'm hoping that I figured things out just a little bit and that I'll have a good day tomorrow.

"It was different today and I didn't catch near as many fish. I only had six keepers and I think it was just because of the conditions if it'd been another windy day I think you would've seen one or two 16- to 18-pound sacks. When it's calm, they just don't bite as good on these clear lakes and that's just the way it is."

FLW
Photo: FLW

Scott Martin caught a three-species bag topped by these two smallmouths.

His bag was topped by a 3 1/4-pound smallmouth.

"I lost two nice ones and I think it was because they weren't biting quite as good. They just weren't getting the bait."

2nd: Martin Missed an Opportunity

> Day 3: 5, 14-14 (15, 46-05)

Martin's sack was within an ounce of the day's best, but he said it could've been considerably heavier.

"Anytime you catch a 15-pound bag on this lake, you have to be happy, but I had the potential for a mega-bag," he said. "I did learn some things, though. I don't know exactly how tomorrow is going to go, but if the fish are king of doing the same thing, I'm hoping to catch a few really big ones."

He had two smallmouths, two spotted bass and a largemouth in his bag. His biggest was a 4-pound smallie and he lost one high-quality bronzeback perhaps a 6-pounder.

"I'm not getting a lot of bites and it takes all day to get them. It's not fast and furious and I'm fishing a lot of new water I literally ride around until I see what I'm looking for.

"I'll need 18 or 19 pounds tomorrow because Clark's going to catch another 14 or 15, minimum."

3rd: Wilson Catching Stagers

> Day 3: 5, 14-09 (15, 45-04)

Wilson has spent parts of each day fishing for smallmouths, but largemouths are his main program. He's catching them on a shallow-running crankbait from a single locale, making passes back and forth.

His day-3 bag included a 6-pounder.

"It's on the inside bend of a creek and it's a staging area they're pulling up and sitting there, waiting to go spawn," he said. "I've got them coming to me.

"The whole key is the water temperature. When I get there in the morning, it's 60 or 61 degrees and it's a slow go. But once it hits 64, it's lights out. Tomorrow it should get warm quicker and they might be moving in like gangbusters."

FLW
Photo: FLW

Barry Wilson is working a single area for pre-spawn largemouths.

He figures he'll need close to 20 pounds to have a shot at overtaking the ultra-steady Wendlandt.

"It's possible. If I can catch a couple of those 6-pounders and get a few 2- to 3-pounders to go with them, then boom, there it is."

4th: Bolton Acted on Tip

> Day 3: 5, 14-15 (15, 44-15)

Terry Bolton credits much of his success in this event to a pointer he got from fellow pro Dan Morehead at Wednesday's registration meeting.

"I told him what I'd been doing and he told me something to try, and I'd thrown that bait (which he declined to reveal at this point), but not that size. I just took his tip and ran with it."

All 15 fish he's taken to the scale have been largemouths. He caught 16 or 17 keepers on day 3, the biggest of which was a 3 3/4-pounder.

"I lost one fish that felt decent when I hooked it, and then it pulled and came off. It's really hard to day (whether it would've helped him)."

He believes his area has the potential to surrender a 17-pound-plus bag on the final day.

"I might've bailed on it a little early today I maybe should've stayed another 45 minutes or so. Tomorrow it's going to take a 6-pound bite, or maybe two of those."

6th: Canterbury Stays Consistent

> Day 3: 5, 14-03 (15, 43-07)

Canterbury has been perhaps the most consistent angler this week all three of his sacks have registered 14 pounds and change.

"This lake is a little bit different it's like a new lake every day," he said. "I've had to do something different to catch them every day. It's sort of like Beaver in that way, and I like it.

"Today the morning was a grind, but I got onto a deal this afternoon and I was catching them pretty good for an hour. I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

He weighed all largemouths, as he did on day 2. He boxed three quality smallmouths on day 1 but hasn't had a brown-fish bite since.

His biggest day-3 fish was a 3 1/4-pounder.

"I know what I'm looking for, but it's just hard to find it. It's spread out and I burn a lot of gas running around looking for the right deal, but the fish are pretty aggressive when you get around them.

"Tomorrow I'm not going to mess with the smallmouths at all. I'm going to fish for largemouths all day and see what I can do."

12th: 'Off Week' for Thrift

> Day 3: 5, 9-07 (15, 41-05)

How good has Thrift been over the past 11 months? This was the worst finish in the last eight events dating back to the 2016 Toyota Texas Bass Classic for the No. 1 angler in the BassFan World Rankings.

For once, he had a difficult day.

"I think I spent too much time fishing for those stupid smallmouth they just weren't cooperating for me," he said. "All I caught were four short ones. One was 17 3/4 inches (just shy of the 18-inch minimum-length requirement), but the other ones weren't even close."

He ended up weighing in three largemouths he caught before 9 o'clock, plus a pair of spotted bass. For the first time this year, he'll take day 4 off.

"I didn't beat myself, I just got beat, and I can live with that."

Notable

> Day 3 stats 20 anglers, 14 limits, 3 fours, 1 three, 2 twos.

Weather Forecast

> Sun., April 9 Mostly Sunny 75/51
- Wind: From the S at 9 mph

Day 3 Standings

1. Clark Wendlandt -- Leander, Tx -- 18-7 (5) -- 16-15 (5) -- 14-10 (5) -- 50-0 (15)

2. Scott Martin -- Clewiston, Fl -- 19-7 (5) -- 12-0 (5) -- 14-14 (5) -- 46-5 (15)

3. Barry Wilson -- Birmingham, Al -- 16-14 (5) -- 13-13 (5) -- 14-9 (5) -- 45-4 (15)

4. Terry Bolton -- Paducah, Ky -- 15-13 (5) -- 14-3 (5) -- 14-15 (5) -- 44-15 (15)

5. Casey Scanlon -- Lenexa, Ks -- 18-8 (5) -- 16-12 (5) -- 9-7 (5) -- 44-11 (15)

6. Scott Canterbury -- Springville, Al -- 14-8 (5) -- 14-12 (5) -- 14-3 (5) -- 43-7 (15)

7. Cody Meyer -- Auburn, Ca -- 17-8 (5) -- 12-10 (5) -- 13-4 (5) -- 43-6 (15)

8. Chris McCall -- Palmer, Tx -- 17-10 (5) -- 13-9 (5) -- 12-1 (5) -- 43-4 (15)

9. Matt Reed -- Madisonville, Tx -- 17-15 (5) -- 10-12 (5) -- 14-3 (5) -- 42-14 (15)

10. Anthony Gagliardi -- Prosperity, NC -- 16-4 (5) -- 12-15 (5) -- 13-3 (5) -- 42-6 (15)

11. James Watson -- Lampe, Mo -- 14-12 (5) -- 15-10 (5) -- 11-2 (4) -- 41-8 (14)

12. Bryan Thrift -- Shelby, NC -- 16-0 (5) -- 15-14 (5) -- 9-7 (5) -- 41-5 (15)

13. Cody Bird -- Granbury, Tx -- 18-13 (5) -- 14-1 (5) -- 6-10 (2) -- 39-8 (12)

14. Shinichi Fukae -- Palestine, Tx -- 16-12 (5) -- 12-14 (5) -- 9-0 (4) -- 38-10 (14)

15. Andy Morgan -- Dayton, Tn -- 17-5 (5) -- 11-10 (5) -- 9-11 (5) -- 38-10 (15)

16. Bill Day -- Frankfort, Ky -- 10-13 (5) -- 17-15 (5) -- 9-10 (4) -- 38-6 (14)

17. Shane Lehew -- Catawba, NC -- 12-6 (5) -- 16-8 (5) -- 8-14 (5) -- 37-12 (15)

18. Jeremy Lawyer -- Sarcoxie, Mo -- 17-13 (5) -- 11-5 (4) -- 8-3 (3) -- 37-5 (12)

19. Gary Yamamoto -- Palestine, Tx -- 17-1 (5) -- 11-13 (5) -- 8-0 (5) -- 36-14 (15)

20. Matthew Stefan -- Junction City, Wi -- 13-14 (5) -- 15-12 (5) -- 3-13 (2) -- 33-7 (12)