PROS RAMBLING, SCRAMBLING IN DAY 1 OF THE CITGO BASSMASTER OPEN
PRATTVILLE, Ala. (Dec. 1, 2005) - Pro angler Mike McClelland
of Bella Vista, Ark., fished in the fast lane of the Alabama River
to take the Day 1 lead in the high-stakes CITGO Bassmaster Open
Championship on Thursday. McClelland weighed-in a five-bass limit of
17 pounds, 12 ounces. His closest competitor, Matt Reed of
Madisonville, Texas, weighed one of the nearly 30 limits caught to
score 14-12. Fellow Arkansas angler Doug Garrett was in third place
For those who couldn’t see the action on the water today, the Open
Championship will air on ESPN2 on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006, at 10
After sunny practice days, anglers awoke Thursday morning to fog,
which delayed launch by two hours. Clouds and fluctuating river
levels sent many of the anglers rambling and scrambling for new
patterns. McClelland, however, was on target. “I hadn’t seen
anything over 2 pounds in practice,” he said. “But today, the
current was right and it pushed them shallow … I fished the main
river close to an eddy.”
But the question remains: Can McClelland keep the lead? Forecasts
call for sunshine Friday, clouds on Saturday and rain on Sunday.
Also, river levels are yo-yoing as water is released through the
dams above and below the check out point, causing fish to reposition
themselves at irregular intervals.
While professional anglers are both talented and experienced, some
still enjoy a bit of luck every now and then. Garrett caught a
surprise fish that turned out to be the largest bass of the day. The
7-pound, 12-ounce bass helped boost him into third. “I was so
shocked at the place the largemouth was,” he said.
Also, William Beekman of New York took the lead on the non-boater
side with 9-9. Jack Farage of California trails behind him with
Daily weigh-ins at Cooters Pond Park are free to the public.
Weigh-ins begin at 3:30 EST and BASS founder Ray Scott, who was at
the tournament today, will lend a hand at the weigh-ins over the
The field is cut to 10 on Saturday for the semifinal round. The
finals will feature the top five pros and weights each day carry
over. The winning boater takes home an $80,000 prize package and the
top five boaters earn berths into the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, Feb.
24-26, 2006, on Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee, Fla.
Courtesy of BASS Inc.