You probably weren’t watching, but I check in on daily weights if I have an interest in a certain event. For one, the national tours (and are so much faster than the regional outfits in getting the info up–so I know if I want to watch or not.

At the Bassmaster Elite at Falcon Lake on the Texas/Mexico border, I had to look well down the page to find the name of 3-time U.S. Open winner Rick Clunn. In a lake known for extra big bags and lots of fish to catch, his three fish/12 3/4 pounds looked like he’d spent the day at Lake Mead.

But due to a couple of other guys in the hunt, I checked again, and suddenly, Rick was getting interviewed about a better than 32-pound bag–his career best. Still off the pace, he backed that up with almost 37 pounds on Saturday–another personal best–that suddenly lifted him to exactly one pound behind the leader.

But then, as Rick has often referred to in the past, an uncontrolled variable, this time high and dangerous winds, postponed the contest from Sunday to Monday. With the wind, his semi-protected money cove carried at least a 50/50 chance of winning and maybe much better odds, given many of the competitors were fishing an area exposed to the worst conditions.

Instead of a storybook finish for the 4-time Classic champ, today’s calmer conditions allowed for a wire-to-wire win by Keith Combs, whose 28 pounds today gave him 111 pounds, 5 ounces, to beat Clunn who finished second with 105-pounds, 6 ounces.

And that’s the big time tournament game. For three days, Rick averaged almost 30 1/2 pounds a day–but the two fish he left in the lake on Wednesday are the story. At Falcon, two three pounders would not have made much more than an 18-pound bag to start the tournament, but clearly, the lack of those two fish was the final margin of difference.

Getting a limit every day remains critical. (Now where have we heard that before?)



7 Responses to “Falcon’s eye view shows margin of defeat”

Great synopsis of the event George. I always pull for the young guns but this week I was pulling for Rick to make it his. It would have put him in his 33rd Classic.

Still, second place is nothing to sneeze at considering he made a phenomenal comeback from day 1 and held onto it for the next three days.

His confidence level just leaped up several notches, and I suspect he will [be] a force to recon with at future tournaments.

He is a true living legend.

This will be one of the first times in a while that we will get to see the master at work on the final day of an elite series event. I don’t know about anyone else, but I plan on watching.

by George Kramer

Wish he had got on the right lure size earlier, but it just goes to show you–when the pattern plays to your strengths, there is no age limit on success.


Nice come back
Bummer on the final result.

by Jojo Norwood

Yeah….It hurt me that the weather messed Rick up. I also read that the “locals” whacked his fish on Sunday while the Pros were up on the bank. US the fans of Bass Fishing wouldn’t do that….but lots of people that bass fish have no love for Pro fishing or “out of state” fishermen… I like to see Rick Fish when he’s on them.. Hope the TV dudes got it as good as James Overstreet did…