- Mike Suchan, Outdoors
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GROVE, Okla. Mike McClelland has unlocked the Grand
Lake mystery, most likely with a little help from his
His Day 2 bag of 25 pounds, 3 ounces pushed the pro
from nearby Bella Vista, Ark., 12 pounds ahead of the
nearest competitor in the CITGO Bassmaster Elite
Series Sooner Run.
Bassmaster.com asked local guide Troy Coatney to
assess the event on the lake he's guided on for 15 years.
"Mike blew it open today," said Coatney, who added it
would take a major stumble for him not to win. "What
he's doing, he's figured out the pattern and he's
staying on them."
Coatney said McClelland's two-day total of 46-12 is not uncommon for tournaments on Grand Lake.
"This time of year, 25 pounds, they do that all the
time," he said. "If you find the right rockpile and
the right brushpile, you can do that every week here."
Coatney knows where McClelland is fishing but didn't
want to offer specific information about the location.
"He started on docks and then he's hitting deep
brushpiles and deep rockpiles. He had 20 pounds,
stopped on his way in and got a 7-pounder," Coatney
said. "That's a big fish for this time of year on this
Coatney said limits and decent weights from most of
the 103 competitors shows BASS picked a great time to
visit Grand Lake.
"The guys are just catching fish," he said. "The
deep-water fishing is good. It doesn't matter if it's
cloudy or clear skies. It was clear all day and they
still caught them. I pulled up and watched Mike
Iaconelli. I saw him catch eight fish today, and he
culled two of them. He's been out throwing that
Berkley Shakey-head and he's pulling them in. He's
just not getting the big bite.
"McClelland is getting the big bite. He's fishing
deeper in different areas.
Coatney doesn't see McClelland losing the big lead
unless tragedy strikes, and he sees more good fishing
"He'll have to pull up a couple more good days," he
said. "Forty-six. That's pretty good. You can stumble
a lit bit and still come out on top. If you stumble,
there are still some other guys bringing in 18-pound
"But if he keeps going, all he has to do is come in
with a couple more decent days. It's not like it's a new lake
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