Focus, focus, focus. That is a constant drone many anglers claim to have, yet the results betray them with less-than-stellar finishes in tournaments. In the case of Mercury pro Luke Clausen, focus is a key to his success in the past (remember, he's won the Bassmaster Classic and the Forrest Wood Cup). However, his focus has been lacking the past couple of seasons.
This year, Luke seems to have mustered the powers he's had in the past to focus on his work at hand and perhaps we will see a dramatic rise once again from the "Jedi" of bass fishing. Maybe he has returned to his old form. Or, he's just fishing really well and enjoying life.
Adjusting the mental game brings focus and clarity to Clausen.
"Last year in particular I was worried too much," said Clausen. "I was always overanalyzing about what I should do on the water. Now, even though this sounds bad, I've become more selfish. I do what I want when I want on the water. If it looks good, I fish it."
Off the water issues never conflicted with Clausen's on the water performance.
"I know a lot of guys will claim they got too busy or had other business and personal obligations that distracted their performance," said Clausen. "Not me. The off the water stuff was and is not an issue with me.I simply over did everything on the water. Now, I had a lot of rods rigged up and pretty much fish different water every day at tournaments. I try different stuff on the water and let myself go fishing. It is a mental battle with myself."
The long spawn across North America is a favorite season for Clausen whether fishing tournaments or chasing bass in his spare time. "A lot of people think spawn comes and goes quickly," said Clausen. "It happens well into June depending on where you are in the country. Its Nature's way to protect the species so they don't all spawn at once and become vulnerable to predators."
"I have two favorite ways to catch them this time of the year. Sure, you can sight fish bedding fish, but I'm talking about cover water options. First is topwater. I throw the Megabass PopMax. It is the best lure for casting to targets and getting those pre-spawn, spawn and post-spawn fish to go. I love it. I fish it on 17-pound Gamma mono and use a loop knot to attach the lure."Second is the Z-Man Project Z Chatterbait. It is the perfect shallow water lure from cold water and throughout the year. Actually, anytime you fish shallow, you should have one of these tied on. I have one rigged 12 months out of the year. The design of this lure allows you to vary the retrieve from fast to really slow. It outperforms other similar baits. I throw it with 16-pound fluorocarbon."