Mitch Mitchell and Candler McCollum Ready for Bassmaster Team Championship
by Dan O’Sullivan
November 27, 2017 – Jasper, Ala. – Mitch Mitchell and Candler McCollum had one of the most impressive seasons in the history of the Alabama Bass Trail. The pair earned two victories in the 2017 campaign, beginning with the season opening event at Wheeler Lake, then again at Neely Henry Lake midseason. Those victories highlighted their overall Alabama Bass Trail Anglers of the Year status.
Their performance also earned them their first appearance in the Bassmaster Team Championship as a team December 6 – 9 on Arkansas’ Norfork Lake. “This is a goal we had since we decided to fish the ABT two years ago,” McCollum said. “We didn’t make it happen our first year, but to have as good a year as we did, to have it be topped off with a chance to fish this tournament, is something we take pride in.”
When it comes to preparing for the event, the pair have decided to follow the methods that have long helped them perform well. “I know a lot of these teams have probably spent a bunch of time practicing, but we want to make sure not to get any preconceived notions, or eliminate something we should be doing,” said McCollum. “We’ll head over there a week before the event and really practice hard to try and put something together that will be current and give us a chance to do well.”
In order to become acquainted with the lake, Mitchell spent a day there a couple of weeks ago, just to save a little time in the practice period. “I caught quite a few fish, but wasn’t expecting it to be something we’d count on as a pattern for the event,” he said. “I basically looked at and graphed the whole lake to be able to help with study and planning.”
He said that he feels like the event will be a relatively low weight affair. “It seems to me that there will be a lot of 9 to 10-pound bags weighed in,” he said. “I think that kind of weight will get a team into the finals, but I think 15 pounds a day is going to be in the neighborhood of the winning weight.”
As far as the finals, the pair said that they have discussed it a little, but realize they have to get to that point before considering who to go about it. “We’ll deal with those kinds of plans once we get to that point,” they said. “We’ve only discussed it a little, but realize it’s too early to talk about it.
“Fishing the Classic is a dream for both of us, and we know one thing, if we get to the finals, we’re both competitive guys,” they said. “If we have to fish against each other, we’ll go at it hard and be happy for each other if the other wins.”
The sponsors of the 2017 Alabama Bass Trail include; Phoenix Bass Boats, Bill Penney Toyota, Garmin, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Wind Creek Hospitality – Wetumpka, Wind Creek Hospitality – Montgomery, Alabama Tourism Department, , T-H Marine Supplies, Wedowee Marine, Jack’s, Buffalo Rock, AFTCO, Fish Neely Henry Lake.com, Lew’s Fishing, YETI, E3 Apparel, Power – Pole, and Alabama Power.
For information about Alabama Bass Trail and for complete tournament standings visit www.alabamabasstrail.org.