Fishing the ‘Zarks
When you grow up on Table Rock Lake, chances are, you’re going to become a fisherman.
That was the case for McClelland, anyway.
His aunt and uncle operated a small resort near Kimberling City, Mo., and McClelland was there constantly.
His uncle, Richard Crouch (known as Hoss to many on the lake) guided and was on the water six to seven days a week in primetime. And he imparted some of his knowledge to his young nephew.
“Being a guide sounds like a glamorous job, but there were challenges,” said McClelland, 54, who still lives on Table Rock. “My uncle would put them on fish, but a lot of them had unrealistic expectations.”
McClelland and his dad learned to fish together. They would chase just about everything swimming, from black bass to white bass to trout to crappies. Soon, they entered team tournaments and began finding success.
McClelland’s dad became so enthused about fishing that he developed a product called the Rod Locker, a carrying case for fishing rods.
McClelland himself dedicated himself to learning the ways of bass and dreamed of one day turning pro.
“I was competitive when I was young, but I wasn’t big enough to do great things in the sports world,” he said. “Fishing was one of those things that no matter your size or stature, you could do well if you worked hard enough at it.
“I had plenty of water around me where I could get practice, so it worked out well.”