B.A.S.S. has allowed the anglers pretty much carte blanche on the boundaries for this tournament, and anglers have taken advantage.
Mike McClelland topped 1,000 miles this week about halfway through his Sunday drive to Friendswood, Texas. He’s about 120 miles by land from the takeoff in Orange, and probably farther by boat. According to BASSTrakk, McClelland is way up Clear Creek, just south of Houston.
To get back to Orange, he first has to run through Clear Lake, lined with condos, homes, resorts and NASA. Then he has to navigate Galveston Bay, home to the Houston Ship Channel where tankers play ‘Texas Chicken.” To stay in the narrow dredged channel the huge ships head directly at one another then veer away in the final seconds before collision, relying on their wakes to keep them from disaster.
McClelland then still has a healthy run through East Bay, then at least an hour in the Intracoastal Waterway, a narrow inland channel, before he gets to Sabine Lake. He then has almost 10 miles up the Sabine along the Texas-Louisiana border to Orange.
At Saturday’s weigh-in, he said he had run 911 miles on tournament days, so he should end up with more than 1,200.
The angler heading to the far east is Dennis Tiejte, who’s been fishing way past Lake Charles, La., near Lake Arthur. Tiejte is about 70 miles as the crow flies from Orange and more than 200 miles away from McClelland.
While those two are far flung, the probable winners are fighting it out somewhere between them.