T.T.B.C. Day 2: McClelland Calling Hogs, KVD Calling Time Out
Oct 29th, 2011 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 29th, 2011 at 12:00 AM
What a difference a day makes. The cold, dark and cloudy wind-blown day that was yesterday on Lake Conroe gave way to a classically gorgeous post cold front, sun drenched morning on Saturday at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic.
Mike McClelland never got the big off-shore bite on Day 1 that Conroe is famous for, but “Pee Paw” as his close angling friends call him, based on his mature-beyond-his-years slow moving demeanor, is hell-bent to call up a hog today after catching a small 12 pound limit yesterday that has him sitting in 28th place.
Today is a college football Saturday, and McClelland admits he tunes-in just about every time his home state Razorbacks are on TV. But today while Arkansas takes on Vanderbilt, it’s a tournament day in Texas for the well-liked pro from Northwest Arkansas. So, today, McClelland will be calling hogs with football jigs rather than cheering for oblique shaped pigskins.
“I caught a ton of bass here at Conroe yesterday, I just never got the big bite, ” said McClelland, who sat with scissors trimming the skirt of his jig. “There’s nothing better than dragging a football jig along the bottom, bumping into a brushpile, feeling your line go slack, and knowing a big one just ate it,” he grinned.
“When football jigs entered the modern age with a weedguard worthy of dragging them through brush, that was about the same time I won the Bassmaster Elite on Grand Lake, Oklahoma with the technique,” explained Mike, who followed his angling son Justin’s advice and bought a Toyota Tundra last year.
“Dragging jigs is just something I’m really comfortable and confident doing,” concluded McClelland, who typically slowly crawls a 5/8-ounce Jewel brand football jig across the lake bottom, on 16 to 20 pound Sunline fluorocarbon spooled on a Quantum TE100SPT reel, in water depths of 12-20 feet.
Speaking of slow dragging, that’s about the way KVD’s soul feels right now. The world’s most dominant angler rarely slows down, but only getting to spend eight days at home in the past two months is soulfully dragging him down.
We’ve often wandered if VanDam is truly human. This morning, as he pulled nine Quantum combos from the rod locker, while simultaneously talking on the phone to his wife and twin 14-year-old boys, we received confirmation that he is.
VanDam, is not only the most dominant angler in the sport, but also a sponsor’s dream based on his humble demeanor and ‘can’t say no’ work ethic. So the cameras never turn off, and the commitments never seem to end. But even pro bass fishing’s most invincible armor is wearing thin as 2011 finally nears an end.
“My boys are hunting with their Uncle Russ today,” said Kevin. He didn’t have to explain that while grateful for Russ’ willingness to stand in the gap, as a dad who loves his boys, he’d rather be standing in the autumn woods with Jackson and Nicholas himself.
“I don’t want anybody to think I’m complaining – I’m not. It’s just been pretty insane lately and I’m ready to get home. I’ll get home for four days after this event, and then I have to leave again. But once that trip is through, I’m staying home to spend time with my family,” said VanDam. And who could blame him? It’s just heart. And indeed, he’s only human.
“To live the way I do, dream the dreams I dream. So far away from you. I got three days to wash the road off my soul.” – Texas country music artist, and T.T.B.C. performer, Pat Green.