Mike McClelland makes youth a priority

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — The teenage anglers in the Northwest Arkansas Junior Bassmasters were more attentive than they’d ever been in a club meeting before when Bassmaster Elite Series Mike McClelland visited the group, Jan. 22.

“It was probably the quietest the kids have been in the years I have done this,” said Roy Brunson, club adviser. “They were truly excited, even from the time we announced he was going to be there until the meeting.”

McClelland talked to the 30 club members about fishing a jerkbait, pre-fishing for tournaments and current topics like The Alabama Rig.

“He also spent time talking about school and college and what the kids need to focus on in school and the business aspect of fishing,” said Brunson. “Mike did a phenomenal job. He spent more than an hour talking to them.”

The youngsters had plenty of questions for their special guest. “If I hadn’t stopped them, they probably would have continued asking questions and kept him there another two or three hours,” said Brunson. “There were a lot of good, solid questions. I think Mike was impressed with the quality and detail of the questions.”

McClelland was delighted about the opportunity to speak to the aspiring young anglers. “I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I don’t get to do nearly as many of those deals as I’d like to. Having three boys myself, I definitely always love to do anything I can to keep the youth involved.”

The club plans to invite McClelland and other pros to speak at future meetings.

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