Missed Cut has Cabela’s/GEICO Pro Mike McClelland Looking for Late-Season Success

NORTH EAST, Md. (Aug. 14) — Mike McClelland finished a disappointing 81st at this weekend’s Huk Bassmaster Elite tournament on Chesapeake Bay, leaving the Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler thinking his chances of making the cut for the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic are reduced to a long shot at best.
“The reality of the situation is this was a make-or-break event for me,” McClelland said. “I needed to make the cut and probably even get into the top 12 and fish on Sunday to have a chance to make the Classic (field) through the Elite points. I just didn’t get the job done these past two days.”
McClelland opened the tournament Thursday by catching three fish weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces. Surprisingly, with lots of other anglers struggling on the fishery, McClelland still had a great chance to make the 50-man cut and reach Saturday’s action if he could put together a solid effort on Day 2. But that didn’t happen, and after catching two fish weighing just 2 pounds, 2 ounces early in the day, time ran out.
“I’m upset because I felt like I did my homework for this one,” said McClelland, who finished the event with five fish weighing 9 pounds. “I got here early and fished a bunch of areas and patterns. I also had a chance to fish here back in June when I came to visit with the GEICO and Cabela’s folks in this area. I was ready to go. It just didn’t happen for me.”
Entering the weekend ranked 74th in the Toyota Angler of the Year points, McClelland’s failure to make the cut here limits his chances to earn a position in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic tournament, which will be held at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in Tulsa, Okla., close to his home in Bella Vista, Ark.
“I do still have two Opens I can win and get in that way,” McClelland said, “and there is one more Elite event, so I do have an outside chance, but getting in on Elite points isn’t going to happen this year.
“It’s really disappointing when the Classic is on a lake I love that is so close to home. I’ll be scratching my head on this one trying to figure out what I did wrong.”
That process of reflection won’t take long, however, as McClelland plans to stick to his usual routine and move forward.”
“My whole career I’ve never really looked back at the ‘what-ifs,’ ” McClelland said. “I’ve been so blessed. I’ve won seven times and learned that when it’s your time to win, it’s gonna happen. If I’m meant to be in the Classic field at Grand Lake, then I’ll win one of these last three events I’m doing.”

Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler Mike McClelland finished the Huk Bassmaster Elite tournament on Chesapeake Bay with five fish weighing 9 pounds. 

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