McClelland Ready to Adapt to Ever-Changing Sabine River

ORANGE, Texas (March 18) — Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat pro angler Mike McClelland is hoping to keep his early-season momentum alive this weekend during the Bassmaster Elite tournament on the Sabine River.

PgVZQUGOkd75D4owGVlARg0Q7HoeO0IENe4kxM7_Cgryl8wLfCcVbgihqmRtSGK89gUHLC_fJkO09-61ZKbbRJfU6oqpul3AAm9oOHHZhiqzLDdoz8DiPrR56JgK9niGm8cG=s0-d-e1-ft“This will be an interesting tournament for sure,” McClelland said. “The Sabine River is such a vast system of water with lots of potential places to catch fish, but we’re faced with some really serious flood conditions right now all throughout this system of water. There’s muddy water, high water, and a lot of other things that go against catching in this time of year that we are having to overcome.”

Unlike other tournaments, McClelland knows that in order to be successful this weekend he’s going to need to rely more on his knowledge and past experiences than his usual fishing techniques.

“This event will probably be more about using your mind than your fishing abilities,” McClelland said. “It’s one of those deals where you really have to do a lot of studying, spending a lot of time in your boat, looking at the water, and just trying to break it down to find the water that you truly feel like you can catch some fish in. There’s a lot of water out here that is really unfishable right now.

“As much of anything, the last few days in practice I’ve spent a good bit of time running to various places in the system trying to find suitable water to fish.”

McClelland will look to put what he learned during practice to the test when all of the Elite anglers launch at 7:10 a.m. CT and return for weigh-in at 4 p.m. at the City of Orange Boat Ramp.

“This is a place where you don’t expect to have any giant bags,” McClelland said. “This is a cool fishery that has a lot of water available to fish and that gives guys an opportunity to really spread out. You can go 80 to 100 miles in any direction you want to go, so there are a lot of potential places to catch them, but the conditions generally don’t allow for bigger fish to grow down here.

“We’re also in brackish-type water, so the fish typically don’t get that big in this system. It’s an area that’s always been affected by hurricanes throughout the years, but they haven’t had a hurricane here for five or six years now. I think the fishing would have been a lot better had we not been faced with the flood conditions. Either way you still don’t expect bags in the high teens or 20-pound range. A good bag here is generally 12 to 16 pounds.”


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