McClelland takes Table Rock
Apr 6th, 2014 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Apr 6th, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Championship Sunday brought the Final 12 anglers in the Bassmaster Elite Series event on Table Rock Lake out of Branson, MO another weather switch. Today consisted of more wind and lots of bass. In fact, all 12 anglers brought in a limit. In the end, only one angler reigned supreme. Cabela’s pro Mike McClelland topped “The Rock” with 61 pounds 15 ounces to take home his 7th Bassmaster victory. In second, just 13 ounces behind McClelland was Skeeter pro Mark Davis who weighed 61 pounds 2 ounces.
Rounding out the Top 5 are Mercury pro Greg Hackney with 60 pounds 15 ounces. Fourth went to Phoenix Boats pro Aaron Martens weighing 60 pounds 1 ounce. In fifth was Nitro pro Kevin VanDam who totaled 59 pounds 15 ounces.
White River key for McClelland.
“The White River is where I caught the majority of my bass,” said McClelland. “That area of Table Rock warms the quickest getting water from Beaver Lake. Later in the week other areas were productive too, but that is where I focused. I caught a few of my key fish out of Fisher Creek, too.”
Versatility a key for McClelland.
“I fished shallow and deeper,” said McClelland. “I’d fish deeper areas off docks, but I’d also fish shallower, too. I had to be versatile.”
McClelland was fishing areas today that had an abundance of shad. His primary technique was using a size 110 or 115 SPRO McStick jerkbait. McClelland mixed that with Wiggle Warts and a swimbait as well.
On his way in, McClelland had a mishap.
“I broke off a prop ear on the way in today,” said McClelland. “I kept the engine going because I knew if I shut it down I’d never get on pad again and I only had a couple of minutes to get in.”
Davis was a menace.
“My primary technique was swimming a Strike King Menace,” said Davis. “I fished it on a 1/2-ounce Swing Jig. Both the jig and the Menace were in green pumpkin. I fished in water usually around 8 to 10 feet deep. I was basically just swimming it,
occasionally dragging it. I also used a Strike King 3XD crankbait.
“Fishing was good today, really good. The wind was blowing and the fish were biting. I was fishing typical pre-spawn areas, rocky points, ledges, gravel with some chunk rock and timber. The areas were pretty flat. In fact, I don’t think there is a bad area on this lake. I just never got that big bite.”
“I cranked more miles with a crankbait than I ever have before,” said Hackney. “I fished a Strike King 1.5 Flat Side and a regular 1.5. I really love coming here to fish. This lake has been really good to me. We’ve had perfect Ozark conditions. When you don’t want to be outside you want to be fishing here.”