Mike McClelland was downright diplomatic; Jeff Kriet was colorfully coarse.
With the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River presented by Econo Lodge approaching June 7-10, both spoke of potential unwanted company on the spot they discovered in previous events there. They researched, scouted, found and fished waters more than two hours away from the launch in Orange, Texas.
It panned out to varying success for both in the previous Sabine River tournaments, including three Top 12 finishes. Recently, they learned of other competitors practicing in the areas they fished.
“Can you make Houston offlimits to anybody who’s never been over there before?” McClelland half-jokingly asked when first contacted.
The Sabine is a different fishery now that dangerous floodwaters, which forced a postponement from the original April 6-9 dates, have abated. Heat, bugs and postspawn fish should try the 108 anglers.
Even before that, the productive Louisiana waters were excluded, forcing many in the field to search for fishable areas in pre-practice. That included a number of Elites scouting the aforementioned spot near Houston, which Kriet did not appreciate.
“All these other little *&%# sticks that have watched the show and didn’t find anything on their own were over there practicing,” Kriet barked. “Is that something I would do? Absolutely not. If I knew a guy ran 120 miles one way and found a spot like that, that’s his spot. I would never run over there.”
While McClelland and Kriet know no angler owns any water, they do know their small spot can’t be divided much more. If others plan to fish it, not many will make it back to Orange with a competitive bag.