UNION SPRINGS, N.Y. (Aug. 23) — Continuing to cull his way up the Bassmaster Elite Series leaderboard, pro angler Mike McClelland put up a great fight to come within ounces of the top 12.
Starting off Day 3 on Cayuga Lake with 33 pounds, 10 ounces, the Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat Elite angler kept his consistent pace going. With a solid bag of 15 pounds, 5 ounces, McClelland barely missed the final cut in 13th position with 48 pounds, 15 ounces.
“I feel pretty good about this tournament overall,” McClelland. “I felt comfortable with my practice but I didn’t catch a lot, so I didn’t know what I would actually catch on the weekend. I was very happily surprised the first day to have almost 18 pounds and then to halfway back it up the second day.
“Today was definitely a day though that I had to completely abandon what I had been doing because the wind blew so hard it laid the grass down. You couldn’t really fish because it was so rough. So essentially I just went shallow in the same areas I had been catching them. I had to use a vibrating bait up on the docks and in the shallow grass in the area.”
Even though McClelland barely missed the cut to fish on Championship Sunday, he did put himself in a great position in regards to the Angler of the Year race. His top-15 spot on Cayuga Lake helped build a nice cushion for McClelland heading into the next event. If he maintains his 29th position after the Escanaba, Mich., event not only will McClelland qualify for the Angler of the Year tournament but the Bassmaster Classic as well.
“This weekend definitely gives me a little bit of a cushion in the Angler of the Year standings,” McClelland said. “Especially if I stay in the top 15 or 18 this week, it gets me up into the position where I should be a double qualifier. As long as I go to Escanaba and do my job next week, I’m going to make someone further down the points list happy.
“I didn’t want to be that angler that only went to the Bassmaster Classic because of a win. I’ve maintained a relatively good year this year and only had a couple stumbles that I feel like I’ve recovered from. Overall, the year’s been a really successful year and it’s great to have the backing of Cabela’s, GEICO, and everyone else that makes this possible.”
Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler Mike McClelland came within ounces of advancing to Championship Sunday at Cayuga Lake.