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Bassmaster Classic Winner Rick Clunn Recounts His Best Fishing Day Ever

Posted by 
May 10, 2015
Published in News & Tips > Fishing > Bass
3753   Comment

rick clunnby Rick Clunn, as published in Volume 2, Issue 1 of NITRO Performance Fishing Boats Magazine

My family and I were visiting relatives on our summer vaction in California. We were camped out at Pine Lake and everyone was climbing into my Dad's boat early that morning.  Hesitantly, my Dad looked at me and said that I would have to wait until later in the day because the boat was full of relatives.

It was the first time ever that my Dad did not take me fishing with him and it broke my heart. I was trying to fight back the tears, and my Dad was obviously feeling my pain. So he reached and grabbed his favorite fishing rod and reel with his favorite red and white Lucky 13 lure and handed them to me.

He said, "Take my rod and fish around the bank, and you and I will go out later".

I was thrilled. Dad would never even let me touch his favorite fishing pole in the past. It was the one thing that was off limits. As they left in the boat, I eagerly took off down the shoreline, making one cast after another.

Like most 6 year olds, I was easily distracted by squirrels, crawfish, and many other surprises of nature. I had made a cast but then laid the rod down to chase a grasshopper.

I heard a splash in the direction of where the Lucky 13 was floating motionless. I looked up, and everything went into slow motion - a bass jumping out of the water. In its open mouth and flared red gills was the red and white Lucky 13.

It scared me and excited me all at the same time. I grabbed the rod and instead of reeling the fish in, I just took off running up the bank and drug the fish out of the water. When it was about 2 feet up on the bank it came loose and started flopping back toward the lake!

I dropped the rod, sprinted back toward the fish, and like a linebacker trying to recover a fumble, I launched myself into the air, landing on the fish right at the waters edge. I couln't wait until my Dad and relatives returned to show off my catch - and I was even prouder when I found out they had not caught a single fish.

When I reflect back on that special angling day, it changed my fishing forever. Catching my first bass on an artificial lure sentenced me to a lifetime of chasing little green fish.

Rick Clunn is a member of the NITRO pro fishing team and a 4 Time Bassmaster Classic Champion.


Tagged under Read 3753 times Last modified on September 1, 2017
Rick  Clunn

Home:  Ava, Missouri
(wife) Melissa, (children) Sage, River, Brooke, Cortney
Mountain biking & hiking

Rick Clunn is a professional bass fisherman from La Porte, TX who currently resides in Ava, Missouri. He is on the NITRO Boats Pro Team and on the Bass Pro Shops Pro Staff and has fished professionally for over 40 years. Rick was the first angler to win a million dollars in competitive bass fishing.

LIKE Rick Clunn Professional Angler on Facebook here

Angling Stuff

Largest Bass: 13 lb. Alabama
Bass Fishing Hero: Holmes B. Clunn, father
Caught First Bass: age 6 on a red-white Heddon Lucky 13
Fishing Guide: Lake Conroe, Texas for 14 years (1975 -1989)

Career Winnings

41+ Years Pro
17 Wins
Top 10 Finishes: 123
4 Time Bassmaster Classic Winner
32 Time Bassmaster Classic Qualifier

Career Highlights

1976,1977,1984, and 1990 Bassmasters Classic World Champion.
1988 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year.
28 consecutive years qualifying for the Bassmasters Classic World Championship.
1st Angler to win a million dollars in competitive bass fishing.
1985 Redman All-American Champion.
1983,1986 U.S. Open Champion.
14 B.A.S.S. National Championship wins.
Holds the Bassmaster Classic World Championship all-time catch record of 75 lb 9 oz.
FLW Champion Ross Barnett, Mississppi  Feb. 1997.
FLW Champion Beaver Lake, Arkansas April 2000.
FLW Champion Pickwick, Alabama  Lake June 2000.
2001 B.A.S.S. Mega-Bucks Champion.
All-Time leading money winner FLW Tour, over $700,000.
Inducted Bass Fishing Hall of Fame 2001.
Inducted Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame 2001.
2002 B.A.S.S. Central Open Sam Rayburn Champion.
2005 Voted All-Time Greatest Bass Angler by fans (ESPN ALL-TIME GREATEST ANGLER DEBATE)

Quote:  One of the questions I am most often asked is “What would you tell young, aspiring anglers?”

My answer is, “Live your dream!”  No matter what it requires, you must be true to your self.  Whether it translates into honors and awards must be set aside.  Whether you have the approval of others must be ignored.  Being happy and in harmony with the rest of creation comes only when your pursue your heart felt dreams.  Real dreams are dynamic.  There is no final destination.  It is more accurately a continuous journey where you experience your higher self in the most intimate way imaginable.  You realize your dream is your vehicle to search for perfection.  It is your art form, which gives you the creative ability to give back to creation.

My angling journey has been my greatest teacher.  It has become my infinite quest to reconnect with the wonders of creation.  Creations greatest gift was our creation.  Our greatest gift in return is to fulfill our creative potential.

LIKE Rick Clunn Professional Angler on Facebook here

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