Learn Pro Fisherman Rick Clunn’s Methods for Pinpointing Bass
Author’s Note: Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, has won four Bassmaster Classics and an Angler-of-the-Year title and has earned more than $2 million catching bass.
According to Clunn, “An angler must study the lake, the fishermen and the baits most often used to pinpoint the high-pressure fishing regions. Then you’ll know the target sites where many sportsmen are fishing and the depths of water that most of their baits are covering. For instance, visible targets like points that look as though they will hold bass, trees and bushes close to shore are places any bass fisherman will point out and say, ‘I bet bass are there.’ However, I search for areas to locate big bass – like an isolated stump well off the bank that you only can find by crashing a crankbait into it. I’ll also look for a segment of water where baits are not being run through. If most anglers are fishing deep-diving crankbaits or plastic worms, which cover the bottom story of water, and buzzbaits and top-water lures, which run along the surface, I’ll fish a medium-diving crankbait that passes through the middle story of water. This region is obviously not getting any pressure, so it should be where the big bass are holding.
“One of the reasons why the flipping technique produces so many big bass is that even though a zone receives a lot of fishing pressure, a big bass can find sanctuary in that same area in the thick cover. A bass may be holding so tight in the cover that the only way to catch the fish is to flip a bait through the densest part of the cover where the bass hasn’t seen any lures.”
Using Clunn’s information, we can mark a lake map and eliminate the pressure zones where large bass are not likely to be. By eliminating parts of a lake, anglers shrink the region where they’ll have to search for large bass, just as a detective searching for a missing person discards places where he knows the person who is missing won’t show-up.