Carl Jocumsen transfers his fish to Mike McClelland's boat while conferring with tournament officials. (James Overstreet photo)
Mike McClelland picked up a good number of fans Friday -- basically every Australian who follows bass fishing.
Carl Jocumsen was the man in need on Day 2 of the Bassmaster Elite at Bull Shoals/Norfork, and McClelland rode in and saved the Aussie’s tournament. Jocumsen damaged his prop and needed McClelland’s help getting his 17 pounds to the scales.
The sportsmanship of giving Jocumsen a lift to the weigh-in was noticed and commended by throngs of McClelland’s new mates, who immediately and repeatedly showed their appreciation. A post on McClelland’s Facebook page quickly accumulated 400 likes and around 100 comments, many from Down Under.
“You could very easily just kept going but you did the Aussie thing and helped a mate and saved Carl’s tournament. You've gained the admiration of a nation overnight,” wrote Ben Norris from Brisbane, Australia.
For McClelland, it wasn’t that big of a deal, just something he would have done for anyone, and something he would expect from others.
“I am humbled by all of the support from Carl’s Aussie fans. I just did what I knew what’s right. I know Carl would’ve done the same thing,” he wrote.
"I was stranded with not a lot of time to make it back," Jocumsen wrote on his Facebook. "Mike had a great bag also and went out of his way to help me out! This is what I love so much about this sport!"
Both are in the top 12 as Jocumsen’s 28-9 total has him seventh, 2-5 out of the lead. McClelland weighed 16-10 Friday that puts him 11th with 27-11.
Hopefully they won't have such anxious moments on Saturday, even if they did end up closer friends (below), and McClelland an honorary Australian.