To win on Sacramento River, Mike McClelland Will Do Whatever it Takes

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 30) — The difference between the winner of the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament this week on the Sacramento River and an also-ran could be one fish, so says Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat pro angler Mike McClelland, who intends to snag that one big fish.

“A big one out here could be an 11- or 12-pounder,” McClelland said. “One fish could make a huge difference in your bag.”

That’s because there are plenty of fish to be caught on the Delta, so expect Elite Series pros to cull a lot of them this week, so the key will be finding the bigger ones.

“There are a lot of things you can do to catch a lot of fish,” McClelland said. “But the big ones have been a struggle to come by, and that’s going to be the difference-maker. You’ve got to catch a couple of five-, six-, seven-, eight-, nine-pounders a day. That’s the whole difference in catching a 12- to 15-pound bag and a 20- to 30-pound bag.”

McClelland will try a lot of techniques to bring in a big fish, including some he’d rather not employ, but he plans to do what it takes to win.

“There are definitely key ways to catch big ones,” McClelland said. “Sometimes it’s a big bait, sometimes it’s a top-water bait. And there’s another group of fish that are trying to move in and spawn right now, and there’s definitely going to be some fish caught by sight fishing, so there are a lot of opportunities.”

Sight fishing isn’t McClelland’s favorite, but if it gives him a chance to catch a big fish, he’ll try it.

“If you like to sight fish and you’re good at it, you can pick out the ones you’re trying to fish for,” McClelland said. “You’re not just blind fishing. That’s not necessarily one of my strong suits. I don’t enjoy sight fishing and it’s not something I’ll be looking to do, but I’m not saying that if I’m going down a bank and run into a seven-pounder laying there on the bed that I’m not going to try to catch it.”

Cabela’s/GEICO For Your Boat pro angler Mike McClelland plans to try a lot of techniques to bring in a big fish during this weekend’s tournament in Sacramento, Calif.

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