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Apr 05, 2014 - 05:35 AM
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McClelland Charges To Fourth At Table Rock Lake Bassmaster Event
Posted by: newsla on Apr 05, 2014 - 05:33 AM
McClelland Charges To Fourth At Table Rock Lake Bassmaster Event

Cabela's/GEICO For Your Boat angler Mike McClelland charged up the leaderboard at the Bassmaster Elite Series event Friday on Table Rock Lake.


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With a bag of 16 pounds, 14 ounces Friday, McClelland moved into fourth place overall and will fish on Saturday's third day of the tournament. His two-day weight of 32 pounds, 4 ounces is less than 2 pounds out of the lead.

"The biggest thing is familiarity with the lake," said McClelland, whose hometown is about 80 miles from Table Rock Lake. "I'm running a real specific pattern, and I can do it on a lot of areas on the lake. A lot of guys, they get on the right deal, but they've only got specific little areas of the lake where they've found the right stuff.

"I'm pretty free. I grew up here and I've fished this lake my whole life. I started fishing here when I was 8 years old, so I know what the whole lake looks like and I can run around pretty freely."

McClelland, of Bella Vista, Ark., was 12th on Day 1 with a bag of 15 pounds, 6 ounces, but even a dramatic change in weather -- with much cooler temperatures Friday -- couldn't slow him down.

"It has set up perfect for me to fish the way I want to fish," McClelland said. "I've thrown different McSticks this week, I can catch them on the deep or the shallow, and you've just got to fish the conditions, depending on what's happening.

"One of the big keys is the area I'm fishing has a lot of gizzard shad that are starting to get up shallow. The gizzard shad will eat those threadfin, but when you get around gizzards, you know the quality's going to be good."

McClelland's solid weekend has come without one big bite, though he nearly had a big one Friday that could have put him in the lead. He had nabbed a 7-pounder in practice earlier this week and returned to that spot Friday.

"The first throw I made, I had one bite it and I thought, 'Oh, man, I missed it,' " McClelland said. "The second throw I made right in the same place, one loads up on it, and my heart's racing thinking I've got it, but I caught 10 spots in a row.

"For some reason, the spots moved into that area today and pushed the largemouth out. Maybe tomorrow the largemouth will show up."

McClelland did cull a smallmouth bass late in the day with a 4-pound largemouth that was his second-biggest fish in his bag.

Now, McClelland is looking to the weekend to continue moving up the leaderboard.

"As long as the wind keeps blowing, I feel like I can consistently catch 13 to 15 pounds," McClelland said. "If I can get a good bite, the opportunity goes up to a 20-pound bag. It's so easy to catch a 6- or 7-pounder and make that weight change, but if you catch 2.5-, 3-pounders, it's tough to do."

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