Proving there may be hope for any tournament angler willing to maintain the key elements required for success: fitness, experience, preparation, observation and confidence, Rick Clunn’s 15th career Bassmaster win in Florida is trending heavily right now. And who doesn’t like it when a legend seemingly rises from the dead?

Some things caught my attention this past weekend–but, I have to tell you, Rick’s third day, 31-pound bag was not the highlight in my view. While it was essential in the end, at the time it merely gave him a chance to win. Much more importantly, it knocked out several highly capable anglers from any realistic chance of catching him.

NO DOUBT, a win never felt better for Rick Clunn.

NO DOUBT, a win never felt better for Rick Clunn. (BASS photo)

But not all. The way the bags were running on the St. John’s River, the eventual runner-up Greg Hackney could realistically catch Clunn with a 21-pound catch–even if Rick added 15 pounds on Sunday. When I peaked at the BASStrakk leader board just before church, (where he had an estimated 16 pounds early) I felt there was real danger that Rick’s big Saturday bag would go for naught.

When I finally got to see the final totals Sunday night, it was clear, the Missourian actually won on the strength of his final day catch of 19 pounds, holding off the last challenger.

Naysayers, of course, will likely suggest that conditions fell in his lap and he got to throw a vibrating jig all week. Clunn, like many of the senior or getting more senior competitors, is prone to holding onto favored, tried and true methods, while the younger crowd is thought to be more fluid in the choice of tools (and patterns).

But in this case, while sight fishing was expected to carry the tournament, it did not. And those who persisted in trying, or mixed too much of it into their game plan, just used up time they could have spent “just fishing.”

Now, from the published accounts, it sounded like Rick was as much relieved as anything to get the win–maybe a sign that his confidence may have waned over a prolonged dry spell. But maybe, just maybe, his Florida performance will prove to be the defibrillation that returns him to greatness.


4 Responses to “Code Blue for legendary Rick Clunn?”

Its the year of the seasoned veteran George. Never give up!

by Guy Williams

Dee won up at the Delta too!

by George Kramer

“Clear!” 😉

In my book Rick Clunn has always been the greatest. This just proves it once again.