Mike McClelland Bounces Back on Sacramento River

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (May 1) — Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat pro angler Mike McClelland bounced back from a tough first day at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on the Sacramento River with a solid bag on Friday.

McClelland finished 79th in the tournament despite bringing in five fish weighing 15 pounds, 8 ounces Friday. That was the 37th-best bag on the day.

“It’s hard to say a 79th-place finish is a recovery,” McClelland said. “But when you look at the fact that yesterday I was not going to get any points to moving up 20, 30 places and gaining some valuable points, that’s good. Hopefully, it’ll help me work my way back into the GEICO Bassmaster Classic.”

Anglers can qualify for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic by being one of the top finishers in the Angler of the Year standings, and points for AOY are based on finishing spots at Elite Series events. McClelland is 23rd in the current standings with lots of fishing left in the 2015 season.

The Sacramento River was tough for McClelland, especially Thursday when he landed 8 pounds, 8 ounces and was outside the top 100.

“It’s really tough coming to a place like this that has so many big ones,” McClelland said. “Running around in practice, you think you’ve got the right areas, but if you don’t fish the right areas at the right tides, you can fish through an area and never get a bite even though the fish are there.”

Fishing the California Delta well depended a lot on the tides.

“It’s very, very tidal-influenced,” McClelland said. “If you’re not in the right area, it’s tough. Today I went to one area and stayed in it all day. Fortunately, I caught that window where they bit a little bit and had a little bit of a recovery.”

His two-day total of 24 pounds fell a little more than 4 pounds short of making the 52-angler cut.

“One bite was the difference there,” McClelland said. “I caught a 5 1/2-, 6-pounder today and that’s what I was short yesterday. If I would have had one or two good bites yesterday, I’d still be playing the game tomorrow, but I never got that big bite yesterday that I needed to get me through.”

Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat pro angler Mike McClelland finished 79th in the tournament des

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