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Feb 08, 2014 - 05:22 PM
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Cabela's/GEICO For Your Boat Pro McClelland fights to top-20 Finish
Posted by: newsla on Feb 08, 2014 - 05:21 PM
Cabela's/GEICO For Your Boat Pro McClelland fights to top-20 Finish

Cabela's/GEICO For Your Boat angler Mike McClelland fought through treacherous conditions on Lake Amistad to finish 20th in the Bassmaster Central Open #1.


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McClelland and other Bassmaster Open anglers dealt with sub-freezing temperatures on the first two days of the tournament, though the thermometer rose on Friday.

"There's no doubt conditions were unfavorable for everyone, just from the comfort aspect, the equipment problems," McClelland said. "The first day of the event water was freezing on your reel and your rod. Until 1 o'clock (Friday) it was nearly impossible to cast and retrieve it was so cold.

"But there are no excuses for that because everyone was in the same position. It did make things really, really tough, and it made it hard for anybody to catch fish."

The observed high for the area was 38 degrees on Thursday, when McClelland hauled in four fish weighing 6 pounds, 6 ounces. As the temperatures rose to the mid-40s Friday, McClelland warmed up, too, bringing in four fish weighing 10 pounds, 2 ounces.

"But I never had enough bites to make it all come together," McClelland said. "The conditions, for me, kind of fell into my own hands. I'm used to fishing when it's cold and love to throw a stickbait that I designed, and it gave me the opportunity to do that this week."

The top 12 anglers advanced to the final round Saturday, where, interestingly, the forecast high was 77 degrees. Though he was disappointed in not being able to fish for the Central Open title, McClelland was still pleased with how he kicked off his 2014 season.

"It ended up working out well enough to get a decent start to the year and to get a check," McClelland said. "I never really felt like I was in a position to try to fish to win down here. It was a really tough bite, and I didn't have any opportunities in practice to get around the right fish to have a shot at winning.

"Still, it's always good to get the year off to a start where you draw a check and get the momentum going."

And he has some momentum from a solid second day on the water.

"Friday was a much better day," McClelland said. "I had a lot better quality. I had some big bites both days, but I lost a couple of fish both days that probably kept me from making the top 12 and fishing Saturday."

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