By Al McGuckin
Tuesday morning marked the start of the second very long hot practice day on Lake Travis for the Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Two of pro fishing’s most likeable, accomplished, and even-keeled veteran anglers, Mike McClelland and Kevin VanDam, launched next to one another in the humid predawn air, and say this gorgeous reservoir in the Texas Hill Country is very new to them, but also one they’re liking a lot, and feeling right at home on.
“Yesterday was the first time I’ve ever fished here, and I like it a lot. It reminds me a lot of Table Rock in terms of the rocky terrain and all the rocky shoreline transitions,” says VanDam.
“Yep, Kevin’s exactly right. It reminds me a ton of Table Rock too, as well as places like Bull Shoals and other Ozark reservoirs,” agrees McClelland. “Before I saw this place I envisioned it looking like Choke Canyon, maybe with vegetation like a lot of the great Texas fisheries we’ve been to, but it’s really more like Table Rock, or even a miniature Amistad.”
“Fans can expect to see us use just about every lure imaginable this week – from soft plastics of every shape and kind, to crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swimbaits -- you name it – this event is one in which you’ll see ‘em all used,” says McClelland.
While both pros were their typically gracious selves, both were also jittery to start casting, knowing the early morning shad spawn was taking place as the sun began to rise over Travis’ clean waters that are currently about 78-degrees on the surface.
“It’s that time of year, shad are spawning all over the southern half of the country right now, including here. So it’s time to get out there. I only practiced 13 hours yesterday,” winked VanDam, as he idled out for another long day of doing a job he’s loved for 28 remarkable seasons as a pro.