McClelland surges into lead

Category: Tournament

 Apr 5th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Apr 5th, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Chilly would be an understatement for the start of Day 3 at the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Table Rock Lake out of Branson, MO. With temps in the 30s, downright cold and frosty would be a more appropriate description. However, the icy dawn didn’t prevent Mercury pro Mike McClelland from busting a limit weighing 17 pounds, 9 ounces for a three-day total of 49 pounds, 13 ounces. Just under four pounds behind the leader is Phoenix Boats pro Aaron Martens with 45 pounds 14 ounces.

Rounding out the Top 5 are tied for third Nitro pro Kevin VanDam and Skeeter pro Mark Davis with 45 pounds 7 ounces. In fifth is Livingston Lures pro Jeff Kriet weighing 44 pounds 11 ounces.

Mike McClelland’s biggest fish boosted his 17-plus-pound bag. (Joel Shangle)

McClelland feels blessed
“First off, I was so blessed on Table Rock today,” said McClelland. “Seriously, everywhere I ran today the breeze followed and you need breeze to catch them on Table Rock. My starting spot sort of fizzled on me today. I ended up having to move around a lot to catch them. It was a grind.”

Martens in love
“I love this lake,” said Martens. “Not only is it beautiful, it fishes good. I had my limit by 9:00 this morning.

“It is hard to get a big bite on this lake. I just went fishing today. You’re either fortunate or blessed when you do get a big one here. I didn’t today. I am excited about tomorrow. Maybe I will catch a couple of big ones and move to the top.”

Too long for KVD
“It’s about time I made it to Sunday,” said VanDam. “It’s been a while for me. Fishing has been good here, but I’ve been frustrated. Today was good. I got one big bite and some good ones.

“I hope fish move to the bank overnight. I know this lake pretty well. I’m here a lot with my sponsor Bass Pro Shops. It is great to be here and have a good day.”

Davis had a great day
“I know it doesn’t seem like it, but I had a great day,” said Davis. “I caught 50 bass today, just not any big fish. I’ve been weeding through smaller fish and getting a big bite. I didn’t weed through them today. Sometimes the big ones don’t bite your bait and sometimes the little ones do. This is a fun, great lake to fish.”

Kriet’s favorite
“Table Rock is my favorite lake,” said Kriet. “It is a deep and clear lake. I like throwing light line and finesse the little suckers. Today was tough, but I had one little stretch that produced today.”

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