There are two good articles about spinnerbaiting in the March 2019 issue of Bassmaster, the first by Mark Hicks and featuring Rick Clunn and the second by Steve Price and featuring Matt Herren. They both discuss the same type of lure, but what really caught my attention was the fact that both successful pros had spinnerbait mentors:
Much has been made of Rick Clunn’s seeming agelessness, the fact that some considered him over-the-hill before he won an Elite Series tournament on the St. Johns River in 2016, and then proceeded to match that feat to start the 2019 season. He’s 72 years old, has been fishing for a living for over four decades, and seems just as fascinated by the intricacies of the sport as he was in the 1970s.
After a one-year hiatus, the Peteys, my year-end awards gala for the professional bass fishing industry, is back with a vengeance. After six years of Price Waterhouse, hanging chads (Morgenthaler/Grigsby/Pipkens/Brauer), Steve Harvey gaffes and minor tabulation scandals, we didn’t know if we’d be allowed to return, but one ankle bracelet later and it’s time to hand out some awards.
I had to be in South Georgia Monday morning for a media event, so I elected to fly in on Sunday to ensure that I’d be one of the first to hit the water. I had three airports to choose from:
1) Tallahassee, Fla. – the closest to my final destination (90 minute drive), but the fewest flight options, and the most expensive;
2) Jacksonville, Fla. – second closest (2 hours 10 minutes), second most expensive; or
3) Atlanta, Ga. – least expensive, car rental substantially cheaper, but the longest drive (somewhere between 3 and 4 hours).
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.