Arkansan Mike McClelland Triumphs At ‘The Rock’
By Deb Johnson
BRANSON, Mo. — They call him “McStick.” As of Sunday, they can call him “McRock” too.
Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., added a seventh Bassmaster title by a nail-biting 13 ounces over Mark Davis in Sunday’s final round of the A.R.E. Truck Caps Bassmaster Elite at Table Rock Lake.
“This is where I cut my teeth fishing,” said McClelland, now with four victories in his Bassmaster Elite Series career. “I’ve never had the opportunity to win a big one here before.”
To do it, McClelland sacked 61 pounds, 15 ounces of bass. His prize was $100,000 and an instant-in for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, his 10th qualification for the world championship.
McClelland broke a six-year winner’s drought. His most recent victory before Sunday was in March 2008 on Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes, when he added a sixth Bassmaster event title to his record. That was the end of a streak he had going from 2005 to 2008, with a win in each of those seasons.
“I seem to go in these spurts where I win a few, then I go years without winning one, and it really can get under your skin,” he said. “To win at Table Rock in front of all my friends and family and people who have supported me through the years is a phenomenal feeling.”
“And I just realized I’ve got a berth for the Bassmaster Classic. That’s an awesome feeling,” said McClelland, who missed out on the 2014 event last February.