In The News
sponsors

Beginner's Tacklebox with Mike McClelland

19bass8499.jpg

Photo BASS - Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike McClelland, hailing from Bella Vista, Ark., has been at this pro angling thing for a long time, 20 years to be specific. He knows a thing or two about being a successful bass angler having won eight events and making 10 Bassmaster Classic appearances. Full Story

Chalk Talk: McClelland on cold weather

Mike On Weather

Photo by: B.A.S.S. / Seigo Saito - If you stay inside all winter, sipping coffee and waiting for warmer weather, you might be missing some of the best bass fishing of the year. That’s the opinion of eight-time B.A.S.S. winner Mike McClelland, who most recently won the first Central Open of 2017 on Table Rock Lake.

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. When McClelland talks about winter fishing, he’s referring to when it’s “bone-chilling cold,” and if you’re not prepared, you will suffer, you may get hurt, and you likely won’t catch many fish.

First, the Bass University instructor cautions that you’ll need to gear up properly. If he’s fishing alone, he’ll wear a Mustang inflatable PFD at all times. He wears insulated footwear and dresses in layers. Most importantly, he keeps an extra set of clothing on the boat in case he happens to fall in. No one plans on doing that, but you should plan as if it might happen.

Other than when fish are offshore in the heat of the summer, this is the time when McClelland relies on his electronics most. He uses Garmin units and trusts them completely, especially the Panoptix feature, which allows him to see 100 feet out in any direction. “Don’t start fishing in the winter until you locate what you’re looking for,” he said. That could mean bait, or bass, or even brush.

He focuses on high percentage areas like channel swings, bluffs and transition areas where the bottom composition changes. He’ll also look for dark surfaces, like dock floats, that hold heat. Finally, unlike other times of year when he often prefers long tapering points, during the winter the Ozarks expert likes shorter, steep points. Read more

Bassmaster LIVE host Davy Hite and recent Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens winner Mike McClelland

McClelland takes Open title

mcc.jpg

Photo: B.A.S.S./James Overstreet - BRANSON, Mo. - There is just no place like home for Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike McClelland.

Although he resides in Bella Vista, Ark., McClelland could consider Table Rock Lake his home waters since he spent so much time fishing there as a kid while staying at his grandparents' property near the lake. He relied on his extensive experience on Table Rock to win the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open today with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 4 ounces.

The win was his second B.A.S.S. victory on Table Rock which earned him the top prize of a Triton 19XP/Mercury 200 Pro XS rig valued at $45,000, along with $8,491 in cash and a berth in the 2018 Bassmaster Classic if he fishes the remaining two Opens. The Arkansas pro also won the 2014 Bassmaster Elite event at Table Rock.

The first two days McClelland had success keeping his boat in 45 to 50 feet of water and throwing a Cabela's 3.4 Finesse Swimmer swimbait with a 1/4-ounce underspin jighead to bass holding in standing timber 25 to 32 feet deep. McClelland credited his Garmin Panoptix electronics for helping him see the bass he was catching from the trees. He also caught some shallower fish on a Spro McStick stickbait and a Spro Rock Crawler crankbait. Full Story

McClelland Figured Out He Needed To Go Deep

McClelland_Mike_1703_TableRock_COpen_trophy_574_BASSJO.jpg

Photo: B.A.S.S./James Overstreet - There's just no place like home for Bassmaster Elite Series pro Mike McClelland.

Although he resides in Bella Vista, Ark., McClelland could consider Table Rock Lake his home waters since he spent so much time fishing there as a kid while staying at his grandparents’ property near the lake. He relied on his extensive experience on Table Rock to win the Bassmaster Central Open event there on Saturday with a 3-day total of 44-04.

The win was his second B.A.S.S. victory on Table Rock, which earned him the top prize of a boat and motor rig valued at $45,000, along with $8,491 in cash and a berth in the 2018 Bassmaster Classic if he fishes the remaining two Central Opens. The Arkansas pro also won the 2014 Bassmaster Elite event at Table Rock.

The first 2 days McClelland had success keeping his boat in 45 to 50 feet of water and throwing a Cabela’s 3.4 Finesse Swimmer swimbait with a 1/4-ounce underspin jighead to bass holding in standing timber 25 to 32 feet deep. He credited his Garmin Panoptix electronics for helping him see the bass he was catching from the trees. He also caught some shallower fish on a Spro McStick stickbait and a Spro Rock Crawler crankbait. Full Story

Open Road: Meet Justin McClelland

McClellands_1605_ArkRiverOpen_grilling_574_MM.jpgFor Mike McClelland and son Justin, fishing has always been a way for the two to come together, whether on camping trips along the White River or bass fishing at lakes around northwest Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.

For years, though, fishing kept them apart, too, as Mike traveled extensively as he built a successful career as an Elite Series pro. This summer, the McClelland boys are back together as Justin gets his first taste of high-level tournament fishing in the Bassmaster Central and Northern Opens. He’d made a deal with his father that before he’d pursue a career in fishing, he would earn his college degree, which he did this spring.

Father and son will travel together, practice together and compete against each other on the pro side. It figures to be a rewarding experience for both. Justin and Mike have agreed to share their experiences with BassFan through periodic entries in what’ll be called the Open Road Journal. In the first entry, in advance of this week’s Central Open at the Arkansas River, Justin introduces himself and offers some background as to why he’s been looking forward to what this summer may hold.

We all want to follow in our father’s footsteps. Read Story