Day 1 was Mike McClelland's best day at the Cayuga Lake Bassmaster Elite Series. It could've been better, though, and if it had been, he might've qualified to fish the final day instead of setting for a 13th-place finish.
"That first day was really what bit me, as bad as that is to say," he said. "I caught them real good but I didn't realize the potential of the fish I'd found.
"I had what I weighed (17-12) by 12:15 or 12:30 and I elected to go practice the rest of the day. If I would've stuck with it, I might've been able to cull up a little bit."
He pitched a creature bait under a punch skirt and a 1-ounce weight into deep grass.
"We heard those pre-tournament predictions of how it was going to take 25 pounds a day to win and a lot of us snickered and laughed at that. We knew there was a fair number of fish in there, but with the pressure we were going to on it we thought it would fish pretty small and guys would really have to manage their fish.
"By the third day of competition I had a new respect for how good of a lake it really is. That was the day the wind blew hard and I just went to the bank and I saw more fish that day than I could've expected. I caught 15 or 18 keepers and I saw 30 or 40 more chase my bait or roll on it or come out from under docks."
He fished the shallows with a homemade vibrating jig with a fluke-style trailer.
"I was throwing the shad color rather than the bream. I really didn't see a lot of shad, but the fish reacted better to that."
The Big Bite Lookback, which focuses on the angler who's first out of the final cut at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great folks at Big Bite Baits.