In The News

Bassmaster Classic Final 19th. Mike McClelland (10-09, 38-12)

“It’s one of those deals that looking back, I really felt like I had found enough largemouths that I could continue to figure out how to catch them during the week. That’s usually always the big difference-maker, when you come to a lake that is predominantly spots, is figuring out how to catch a better largemouth or two. And you know, every day, largemouth is what carried me.

Today, I never got a largemouth bite. I knew when I pulled up on my first spot this morning, and then the first one that bit me was a spot, it probably wasn’t going to be a great day. You just know those things. I did do some things, try some things that were different today, and you’re here to win." Read more

Similarities To Home Have McClelland Hopeful


Photo: BassFan - If it seemed to writers and TV types like there was an extra spring in the steps of Mike McClelland leading up to the Bassmaster Classic this week, there was.

Because as the Bentonville, Ark., angler finished his tackle prep work in his Ranger bass boat, he couldn’t stop liking his chances.

“It’s one of those events where the fish are really moving a lot and they are transitioning a lot,” said McClelland. “And it’s the time of the year when I’m going to get to fish a lot of the ways that I really enjoy fishing and to me, that’s all you can hope for when you show up at a Bassmaster Classic.”

But fish movement and fishing methods are only a part of the reasons for McClelland’s confidence in making a run this weekend at a potential first Classic title. 

“It’s shaping up a lot like Table Rock did last April, honestly,” said McClelland of his 2017 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open title on his home water where the he captured the eighth B.A.S.S. win of his career. “The water temperatures are warming and a lot of the fish are starting to move shallow, potentially some fish have already spawned and you’re in one of those situations where there are a lot of fish in a lot of different areas.”

That being said, McClelland cautions that conditions have taken a step backwards this week as chilly rainfall earlier in the week and overnight lows near freezing since then have cooled the water temperature down. 

“With the colder temperatures, that’s pushed a lot of fish off the bank (now) and that could make it an event that is not going to be won by somebody going to the bank and fishing (shallow),” he said. 

Herring Factor

What about Hartwell’s well-known blueback herring baitfish population and the role that these nomadic baitfish will play this weekend? Read more

Beginner's Tacklebox with Mike McClelland


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


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