Fisherman Competes Despite Adversity

OUTDOORS UNDER THE RIM

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Mike Elliot has a passion for bass fishing and spends hours on Roosevelt Lake pursuing his favorite pastime. He has been fishing for over 30 years and, at the age of 43, has caught and released many big largemouth bass in the five-pound plus category.

It just so happens, Mike has had cerebral palsy since birth and does not have the use of his right arm and limited use of his right leg. He has overcome those obstacles to become an accomplished tournament bass fisherman, as shown at the Bill Luke Big Bass Quest held on Roosevelt Lake.

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Mike Elliot landed two 6-pound bass at the Bill Luke Big Bass Quest held on Roosevelt Lake.

During the three days of competition, Mike fished by himself and landed two 6-pound bass, which gave him two $500 checks and two five-pounders that also added to his pocketbook.

At the completion of the tournament, he earned a total of $1,500 and respect from the other tournament fishermen for what he had accomplished.

Mike's strategy was to fish in depths of 20 to 40 feet, where humps or ridges would provide additional cover for big bass that were waiting for their next meal. He used a Carolina rig, which is a productive summer method, dragging a Creature bait, as well as a live waterdog.

Mike had done the ever important pre-fishing, where he felt confident in a couple of main lake points and submerged islands.

The best bites occurred from dawn to 9 a.m. with the pattern he was using. Fishing a Carolina rig along the bottom, ever so slowly, produced the big bites, which made the difference.

He hopes to spend more time on the water in the future and get more involved with tournament fishing.

Mike has already placed in the top five, three times on the All-Star circuit, and last fall earned a top five place on the ABF team trail.

That's quite an achievement for someone who happens to have cerebral palsy and has taught himself to crank a baitcasting reel left-handed.

The desire to overcome adversity and follow his dream of tournament bass fishing is now a reality for Mike Elliot, another success story about the outdoors, God's creation.

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