Mitchell Clapsadle

2021 King of the Dock


As I am sure most of you all know by now, one of the conditions of “Royalty” is that the winner and now our “King of the Dock” is required to meet with Tourney Administration and while being administered truth serum he is required to discuss his day on the water regarding planning, tactics, times, tide conditions, lures used, location, and any special secrets he has learned and applied which help him overthrow our reigning King, Randy Saitta.


Mitchell did ask for one exemption regarding exact location of his fishing spot as he said, “If I tell you my Dad will kill me.”  He was reminded that he would possibly have to give up the crown and the new title if he didn’t share and without hesitation he laughingly said, “Take It!” as he unhooked his IV and threw the clip-on microphone on the floor, he got up from the table and announced, “This interview is over!  I told you my Dad will kill me!”  So, we decided to let him “Off the Hook” because he is a good guy and, we know his Dad.




(Q) – Mitch, what do you do for work?


Like the rest of the family, I work in Emergency Services as our entire family are First Responders.  My father (Tommy) is the Fire Chief at the Submarine Base, my Stepmom (Bobbette) is a dispatcher for the Town of Groton, my brother (Michael) is also a dispatcher in Groton, and I am a dispatcher in New London.  My Dad, brother, and I are also volunteer firemen in our town of Waterford.


Mitch, Tell Us about you.  How long have you been fishing?  What got you hooked?  As a kid, what gave you the bug?


I remember when I was 5 or 6 years old, my Dad would take me down to the Jordan Cove Bridge (One of Our TOP SECRET Spots) with a small pole, a bobber, with a tiny rubber eel and he would teach me to fish for little snapper blues.  On 9/11/01, Dad took delivery of “our” first boat and my real journey to fishing our area of Long Island Sound began then.


(Q) – OK, it’s time to get into the meat of the matter.  Mitch, tell our readers your plan and preparation for this year’s One Tide Challenge.


I have been working towards the tournament weekend all summer just hunting for places that regularly were holding decent fish and the week before the tournament I dug in a bit more and focused on my locations, the tides, and developed a plan.  A few nights before the One Tide I landed 3 nice 14–15-pound bluefish and looked at the tide charts for the coming weekend and felt Friday was my best day.  I was having my best luck fishing the “Max Flood Tide” on the western side of “The Race” which happened to be 12:33. So I wanted to catch my bass early which was accomplished near Fishers Island snapping wire with Green Parachutes then focus on getting the biggest blue I could getting the front end and the back end of the “Max Flood Tide.”  Mitch said, “You never know how long the bite will last as it starts quick and ends just as quick as the fish vacate.  It could actually be as little of a time slot as 15 or 20 minutes and if they decide to leave, the bite is over…. just like that.”   At 12:45, only 12 minutes after the max flood began using a diamond jig, I had a bluefish (11.99 LBS) and I knew combined with our 15.49 LB Striped Bass would put us in contention.


Mitchell, from the entire staff at Boats Incorporated along with so many at the marina, we congratulate you and your entire crew, Michael Clapsadle, Andrew Kenniston, and Reggie Hansen.  Several times you mentioned your Father and Bobbette for being responsible for getting you here……I can tell you that when presenting you with the Champion’s Trophy, they were the proudest.  The Red Carpet is yours….You have earned it.