By Pete Robbins
B.A.S.S. doesn’t consult me or even preliminary inform me about any of their significant decisions, but like many of you I’m constantly riding the fishing world’s rumor merry-go-round. They’ve yet to announce the location of any Classics for 2017 or beyond, but I’ve heard of a variety of possibilities.
First it was the California Delta, then Shreveport, then Texoma and then Toho. While the rumors had various amounts of traction, each was conveyed to me by someone who had a vested interest (local water, ability to sleep in his own bed, or $$$$) in having the tournament at that particular location.
The latest possibility to light up the Google machine is Lake Conroe. That would be fine with me. I’m unlikely to drive to Houston, but it’s an easy, direct flight from home. The lake isn’t far from a decent-sized arena, it has big fish, and I’ve worked an event there previously – the TTBC in 2009 – so I know that it sets up well for spectators and visiting media.
Perhaps equally importantly, for my purposes, it’s where Rick Clunn guided early in his career.
Due to changes in the rules, Clunn’s win on the St. Johns last week no longer provides him with an automatic berth in the 2017 Classic, but it puts him a damn good position to make a run at qualifying for his 33rd championship, and his first since 2009. I somehow doubt that he would call it a career after that, even if he were to win his 5th title (thereby passing KVD), as he seems to have too much invested in the process to leave while he’s still able to compete. Nevertheless, it would be an awesome opportunity to showcase him, and an oddly symmetrical stop in his lengthy and accomplished career. While I love the idea of driving to Alabama or South Carolina, or seeing records broken on the Cal Delta, for now I’m rooting for a Conroe announcement and a spot in it for Mr. Clunn.