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Word-for-word with Mike McClelland

6/9/2006

Part 4 of 4

"I fished well today, but I probably didn't fish places as thoroughly as I should have. The thought of what I needed and what I needed to do, I had it in my mind that I had to catch five.

"I started at Tera Miranda this morning and caught three off of it. Then I went down to another place that I had in practice and caught some good keepers off of it. It was actually probably 10:30 (a.m.) or 11:00 when that storm blew through when I finally caught my fifth one.

"That really took the edge off. I knew I had what I needed and felt pretty comfortable.

"I went back through Duck Creek and fished a couple of the deals I caught them on. Then I went back to the other place where I caught the big one. I pull up there and I fish this thing back and forth, back and forth and all of these people are out there watching me.

"The camera boat tells me, 'Man we need another shot of a good fish.' I told him, 'I'm working on it dude, I'm working on it.'

"Finally, my brother, my son, my wife, my aunt, and a bunch of people show up to watch me. I saw my son there and I wished him a happy birthday because today is his 16th birthday. The camera guy told me that he was going to go out and talk to him. So, he jumped in the boat with him and left.

"It kind of took the edge off because there wasn't anybody talking to me without a camera in my face. It allowed me to just bear down and concentrate on what I really needed to be doing. I'm fishing along and thinking the camera boat isn't around and all of the sudden I get that bite. When a big one bites on this lake, you know it.

"In an instant, I cranked down to set the hook, but I didn't know where the camera boat was. I didn't want him to miss it so I started screaming, 'This is the one, this in the one!' I fight the fish and swing it into the boat, and I look over at that point and realize the camera is right there. They got the whole thing.

"When I caught that fish and was able to cull one of my smaller ones, and that really put the icing on the cake. I think I've probably got 13 1/2 maybe 14 pounds, three nice fish and two little bitty ones."

"This new Jewel Heavy Cover Finesse jig is a bait that really nobody has their hands on yet. They just went into production about a month and a half ago, and it's a bait that made a big difference. It allowed me to fish more thoroughly through the brush and the rocks than the guys that were having to use heavier jigs, but it's heavy enough to where you could slow down and fish the way you needed to.

"Another key to my week this week was that I was using a big Zoom Brush Hog on the Carolina-rig, but on the Finesse jig I'm using a green-pumpkin blue Baby Brush Hog for a trailer. The color of the jig skirt is peanut butter and jelly smoke. The bait's got a real diverse look to it. If it's on the bottom it looks like a crawdad with a brown back, but if you want to swim it it's got enough flash that it can resemble a shad.

"Those were the baits that were the key. The big crankbait came into play like it always does here. You just have to have the right conditions and you got to know what's going on. I really believe if I could've had 30 more minutes today, the big gizzard shad were up, and I think I could have improved my sack tremendously.

"As far as rods, I've been using a Falcon 7-foot, 3-inch jig rod. On the Carolina-rig I've been using a Falcon Rod, Expert Series Six Power Rod. With the crankbait, they just came out with a new Reaction Series crankbait rod. All my line has been Seaguar Fluorocarbon. That has been a real key in my fishing for the last couple of years. It's so much more sensitive and the strength of it is phenomenal. It's just an incredible fishing line.

"Those were all components to what made this deal work."