PHILADELPHIA (Aug. 8) — The Bassmaster Elite Series tournament at the Delaware River proved to be a challenge for all anglers, including Mike McClelland.
While the Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat Elite angler was only able to bring in one fish at 1 pound, 3 ounces the first day, he still had reason to be positive. Since the Bassmaster Elite Series started in 2006, McClelland is the only pro angler to have never zeroed in at weigh-in, a feat that proved very difficult this weekend for most.
“The biggest thing I can say about yesterday is I probably overthought the tides a little bit more than I should have,” McClelland said. “There were only a few areas that I felt comfortable getting a few bites in, and I rushed through them trying to make sure I fished every place I wanted to fish at the right tide. I basically tried to follow the tide. I fished way up river first thing when the tide was going out and got low. Once it got high up on that end, I ran as far south as I could run to get to where it started to fall out again.
“It was just a poor decision on my part. I really feel like if I would have stayed in the areas where I knew I had gotten a few bites and fished them throughout that low-tide period, I probably would have caught them a little better.”
With a new strategy in mind for Day 2, McClelland was able to rebound from his first day on the Delaware River to bring in a bag of four fish weighing 6 pounds, 7 ounces. With an overall weight for the weekend of 7 pounds, 10 ounces, McClelland jumped tremendously up the Bassmaster leaderboard into the 63rd spot but it wasn’t quite enough to make the final cut.
“Today the strategy was to fish as many places between here and where I thought I could get bites to allow the tide to get right,” McClelland said. “Fortunately, I timed it just about as good as I could have possibly timed it. When I got to this one little stretch where I had three bites in practice, the first throw I made I had a bite and missed it. It was the first bite I had. Then within a 20-minute period I had four more bites within about a 60- to 75-yard stretch.
“Even now I think about what I did. I thought about turning around a couple times and going back through the area. There was still a lot of the same type of stuff in front of me and I thought, ‘Man, I’m just going to keep covering water.’ Hindsight is always 20/20, but I really feel like if I had gone back through that area and had spent 20 to 30 minutes while the tide was right I probably would have gotten that fifth bite today.”
|Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler Mike McClelland jumped up the leaderboard on Friday with an overall weight of 7 pounds, 10 ounces.|