DAYTON, Tenn. (June 10) — With a couple of weeks off for the Bassmaster Elite series, pro angler Mike McClelland is anxious to get back on the water and compete in this week’s Bassmaster BASSfest at Chickamauga Lake, June 11-15, in Dayton.
The Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat Elite angler only has one thing on his mind right now: Bring in the big fish.
With nothing on the line, McClelland knows that the bigger the fish caught, the more likely he will bring home the trophy, and he has been practicing to prepare himself for just that.
“The fishing isn’t easy on Chickamauga Lake right now,” McClelland said. “There’s no doubt that the lake has got some giant bass in it, but I really haven’t caught that many of those fish in practice. I’ve shook a lot of fish off trying not to catch many of the bites that I’ve got to try make the actual tournament a little easier. I’ve seen some really big fish though by the bay that have come and run off with my bait.
“The fish are really finicky right now and in the post-spawn period. Most of them are ready to get back after it. There’s a lot of them, however, that aren’t that aggressive, which makes it difficult to bring in catches. The biggest thing working in our favor this week is that it looks like we’re going to have good fishing conditions with some clouds, wind, and the occasional little storm moving through.”
McClelland will use the tactics he has practiced this week when he launches from Point Park at 6:15 a.m. ET Wednesday and Thursday and at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Weigh-in for BASSfest will also be held at Point Park at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday and at 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Second-chance Friday will have anglers launching at 6:15 a.m. at Nickajack with weigh-in at 2:30 p.m.
“The thing that’s cool about this particular tournament is the fact that it isn’t a point’s event,” McClelland said. “BASSfest is more like fishing in a Classic or an Open event. You can really fish differently than you normally would. You can fish more relaxed knowing you’re going to leave here with the same amount of points with which you came into the event. It’s pretty cool to go out on the water and all you have to worry about is doing everything possible you can do to try to win this.”
Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat angler Mike McClelland has been preparing extensively for this week’s Bassmaster BASSfest on Chickamauga Lake.