BRANSON, Mo. — Mike McClelland just took his first B.A.S.S. victory in six years on Missouri's Table Rock Lake. Fans got a chance to ask him anything during his first B.A.S.S. Twitter chat, and alongside lots of fishing advice, he gave up a few personal insights about his roommate on tour, Jeff Kriet.
He called Kriet one of the most skilled fishermen on the Bassmaster Elite Series. But when asked what Kriet's most annoying habits as a roommate are, McClelland let loose.
"Hah! The list is so long!," he said, chuckling when answering the fan. "Probably his unwillingness to pick up after himself. It doesn't matter what it is. Wherever it gets laid down for the last time is where it stays."
As far as fishing advice goes, McClelland told fans to keep a jig on the bottom as much as possible.
"Not many crawfish are jumping up and down in the water yelling, 'Eat me! Eat me!," he said with a laugh. Make the jig look natural, he added, and you'll catch more bass.
Read the transcript in its entirety below, and read transcripts from other pros here.
Keep up with the latest news, pro tips and best bass photos by following @BASS_Nation on Twitter.
Welcome to the #basschat with @StratosMike! Congratulations on your win, Mike!
First and foremost, I would like to thank B.A.S.S. and all of its sponsors for giving us the opportunity to pursue our dreams!
Mike, what is the most important feature you look for when selecting a jerkbait?
If it has Mike McClelland stamped on the box! I really do only throw my signature series. I think the baits I've designed for Spro have all the characteristics I want. I think the natural paint jobs we have make them special.
I think a McStick will be my next but on Tackle Warehouse then! Congrats on the win, Mike!
Do you prefer a light colored or dark colored craw crankbait.
That depends on the water color & the conditions of the day. Generally the brighter for clearer water but with cloud cover or dirty water I like to go to a darker color.
Thanks Mike. Good luck on the rest of your season.
Do you prefer our lakes here locally or more southern lakes
Midwestern to northern lakes are my favorite. I have never been a fan of lakes with lots of vegetation.
Using a jerkbait in clear water. What's the most important color or action?
That varies on the season. I designed a broad series of Spro McSticks & we've got baits for different seasons. Cold water, you want a tight wiggle, so McStick 110 & McRip 85. You want more action when it's warm, so McStick 115 & 95.
Thanks and congratulations on your win
How far behind were the bass at Table Rock?
I thought they were a month, but after fishing up there I realized they were probably about a week or two behind.
Hi, @StratosMike! Congratulations on your win at Table Rock! How do you think being a local played to your advantage here?
I was not fishing spots at Table Rock, I was fishing patterns. There were only 2 or 3 stretches I fished for more than 1 day of the event. I was able to run a pattern in a specific section of the lake.
What are some good artificial baits to use in the beginning of May in NC I have a tournament coming up for big bass.
You're really into that postspawn period and plastics seem to really dominate - I like bulky plastics.
What is the farthest north you've fished?
The farthest north is probably on Lake Champlain, in the upper regions on the Canadian side.
It's really cool because the only other tournament I've ever won that guaranteed me a spot in the Classic was the 2005 Open Championship. It's a big relief and takes a huge burden off of me. It gives me the opportunity to swing for the fences the rest of the year so I can fight for AOY title.
If limited to 5 rod/reel combos to fish entire season, what would they be?
3 of them would be 7-4 @FalconRods McClelland Sig. Series w/ 6.3:1 gear @Cabelas Prodigy bc of versatility. Also 6-8 @FalconRods w/ @Cabelas Verano reel and 7-6 Falcon McClelland heavy action w/ Verano 7.3 gear ratio.
Favorite jig trailer?
Day in and day out, my favorite trailer is a Zoom Brush Hawg with some modifications.
Fastest you've gone in bass boat?
The fastest I've ever gone is in my current boat — in the mid to upper 70s. This is the fastest boat I've ever had!
What upcoming body of water are you most looking forward to on the Elite Series?
Dardanelle. It will be a postspawn event so there will be variations of fishing. I think there will be opportunities for a swim jig with a trailer and a Spro frog, in addition to Spro crankbaits or the McStick 115
If limited to 5 lure types to fish entire season, what would they be?
I would have a jig, a spinnerbait, a stickbait, some type of flippin' bait and probably a Carolina rig.
Mike, is Toledo going to be the heavyweight event of the season? What's gonna win?
I really don't think Toledo Bend will be the heavyweight because of the timing. Postspawn is a hard time to pattern fish. I would guess 65-75 pounds will win Toledo Bend.
One body of water I must fish when I visit Arkansas?
If I was to pick one, it may not be 100% for the fishing, but for the beauty, too, Bull Shoals would win.
Are you looking forward to the event on Cayuga Lake?
I look forward to every event. You have to look forward to them to be successful. I've never fished Cayuga but I’ve done some research. I love to fish for smallies & now I know how to fish for largemouth on Northern waters.
Good luck to you. It's a great lake. Maybe I'll see ya there.
What advice do ya have for us Ohio bass anglers what baits would you suggest -- we are having a slow start to the spring?
I understand the Ohio River has turned into a wide open fishery. You have to use a broader spectrum of techniques now!
Who will you put on your fantasy fishing team for Toledo Bend?
Do your own homework.
I'd choose Todd Faircloth, Dean Rojas, Keith Combs, Jeff Kriet and Jared Lintner
@StratosMike biggest bass you’ve caught?
I caught it on Lake Amistad, but I didn't get an official weight. The guy I was with thought it was a 12-14 pound fish!
Mike, did you use the deep Spro McRip at all in your win?
I did not use it in the tournament. The first day of practice I threw the bait & had some success but the deep fish were smaller. But as the week went on, the 115 and the 110 was where it was at.
Name one angler you admire on the elite tour for their fishing skills?
I gotta say Jeff Kriet because he finds them so quickly and so well using a multitude of methods.
What’s your best tip for fishing a jig?
99.9% of the time, keep your jig on the bottom. Not many crawfish jump off the bottom & yell "Eat me!" So the more natural you make your jig look, the more likely you'll catch fish.
It took 24 pounds to win our club tournament on Toledo Bend this weekend. Good luck and congrats on your win!
Thank you, and I hope the fishing remains as good in 2 weeks as it is now!
Favorite place to fish north of the Mason Dixon line?
I've always said Lake Champlain is one of my favorite places to just go fishing!
Favorite bite/technique you look for right now?
If I could throw a stickbait 12 months a year, I would be hard pressed not to. The McStick is my fave for bass & trout.
One body of water that has your number?
There's a few of them actually! One that has really thrown me for a loop is Lake Seminole.
Outside of Grand Lake, what would be your favorite lake to fish in Oklahoma and why? @BASS_nation
Probably Lake Eucha. It's fairly small and never very busy. It has good bass and crappie fishing.
What's your all-time favorite food stop in the road?
I hate to say this, but for consistency and for good service, I'd say @CrackerBarrel!
Congrats on the win by the way on Table Rock. My bad I totally over looked you on my Fantasy Fishing team. lol.
I don't blame you based on my past performance at Table Rock! You're not the first to overlook me. If you had looked at it a little more, you would have realized it was really setting up for my style.
What's worse: serial hole jumpers or co-anglers?
I would almost have to say co-anglers. We have too much on the line to be sharing fish on the boat. You can control hole jumpers to a degree, but not so much what a co-angler can catch off your boat.
Mike, what are the biggest largemouth, smallmouth, and spot you've caught & location,. tournament or not?
Largemouth: Table Rock, 10-15, during practice; Smallmouth: Champlain, 5-15, tourn.; Spot: Alabama River, 5-14, tourn.
I believe it was an Abu Garcia 2500.
What's Kriet's most annoying habit on the road?
Hah! The list is so long! Probably his unwillingness to pick up after himself. It doesn't matter what it is - wherever it gets laid down for the last time is where it stays.
Who wins at Denton or is that classified?
I've been so busy that I haven't watched the final episode, so if it hasn't aired, it is classified!
When you go fun fishing, what's your favorite non-bass species to catch? And your largest?
Brown trout on the White River.
Where did the nickname "Pepaw" come from?
The first Jeff Kriet and I chose to be roommates, I asked my wife to pick up a dirty clothes bag for him. He told me the last time he got a dirty clothes bag was from him granddad - so now he calls me Pepaw. And, it's caught on to the rest of my family now, too!
How much of fishing is actually being in the right place at the right time? "Luck if you will".
That’s part of it, but you have to put yourself there. It's all based on decisions we make.
More important -- killer instinct or “know how” to bass fish in tournament?
The more I do it, the more I think it's knowing how to fish a tournament. How to control emotions & the situation.
What is your best advice for beginners?
Spend as much time on the water as you can. Read & study about the sport. There's so much info available! I've told my son that he won't fish professionally until he has a college degree because the sport is a business. I was at a crossroads in my career when the Elite Series started. had a friend that thought I would be successful and offered to help me pay my balances. A few weeks later I won the 2005 Open Championship on the Alabama River, and that solidified my decision.
Who talks the BIGGEST trash talk on the elite tour?
Kelly Jordon! He gets in my head before a tournament begins. I blamed him for my lack of success of Seminole.
On the day the wind didn't blow, did you still catch them on a mcstick?
That was my toughest day! Only one of the bass I weighed I caught on a McStick. The fish were suspending deeper.
Favorite bass lure/technique when you were a kid?
Spinnerbaits. I always had them with me. That led to my current sponsorship with War Eagle Spinnerbaits.
If you could fish with anyone who would it be?
If you were not a professional fisherman... You would be ___________?
If it was my choice, I would still be in the industry somehow. But, I would LOVE a career in baseball if not fishing!
What's your primary factor on how much time to give an area or spot before abandoning? Congrats on the win!
It's internal instincts. I'm borderline on the bad side of spending too much time in an area.
VanDam has complimented & scolded me for milking areas. You've got to go on your gut.
Thanks Mike. Good luck rest of the way!
I really thought that the day with high skies and no wind would flip the whole tournament around. It didn't. Why?
I think it was my knowledge of the lake & what the fish would do in those circumstances. I fished when I could find a breeze, so understanding what the fish would do was to my benefit & turned out to be the best day.
Thank you for spending time with us today, @StratosMike! Good luck with the rest of your season.
I want to thank B.A.S.S. again and all of the fans, sponsors and service crews! And, specifically my sponsors because they have helped me get through my career! I wouldn't be fishing at 46 without them!