Tournament Story




Pro Results    Co-Angler Results

PRATTVILLE, Ala. (Dec. 2, 2005) - Mike McClelland of Bella Vista, Ark., leads a field of 10 pro anglers going into the final two days of competition in the CITGO Bassmaster Open Championship on the Alabama River. McClelland, who led after the first round Thursday, went back to the main river Friday, garnering another five-bass limit for a two-day total of 29 pounds. He has 2-pound, 7-ounce lead over his closest competitor, Rick Morris of Lanexa, Va. At the end of the second round, Morris had a total of 26-9.

McClelland flipped a small profile 7/16-ounce jig with a spider-type skirt around structure in the current of the main river. His largest fish, which weighed 4-9, was the first of the day, but didn’t come easily. The aerobatic bass played to the ESPN television cameras which were filming when he caught it.

”It was almost a wreck,” McClelland said of the catch. “When people see that on TV, they’re going to say, ‘Man, this guy doesn’t know how to swing a fish into the boat,’” he said. The Open Championship will air on ESPN2 on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006, at 10 a.m. EST.

Meanwhile, Morris, who fished “a little bit of a pattern and a little bit of location,” called the fishery a spectacular place to find bass. ”I only had seven bites, but they were all good ones,” he said.

The other anglers in the top 10 advancing to tomorrow’s competition are: John Murray of Arizona; Chad Brauer of Missouri; Matt Reed of Texas; Mark Menendez of Kentucky; Steve Kennedy and Randy Howell of Alabama; Jon Bondy of Canada; and John Pollard of Alabama.

Also, non-boater Jack Farage of Discovery Bay, Calif., moved from second to first with a two-day tally of six bass weighing 12-11. Thursday’s leader in that division, William Beekman, of East Quogue, N.Y., replaced Farage in second with six bass weighing 10-11.

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 weekend.

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.



Story Courtesy of BASS Inc.



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Last modified: January 24, 2006