Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, has won every major bass tournament in the nation in about four decades of competitive bass fishing. He’s won four Bassmaster Classics, with two of those Classics back to back, and the title of Angler of the Year once.
Many have called Rick Clunn a fishing machine, however, those of us who know Rick realize that knowledge powers the Rick Clunn fishing machine. He’s the consummate student of bass fishing–reading, studying, and researching to determine not only the best way to catch any bass but also the most productive way to take big bass.
Clunn believes three techniques will catch more big bass consistently in tournaments than any other tactic you can use.
“Basically three strategies produce wins in national bass fishing tournaments,” Clunn says. “They are crankbaiting, spinner baiting and flipping and pitching.” Clunn also emphasizes that a successful tournament bass fisherman must prepare himself mentally before the tournament. “Many anglers think you only can fish deep-diving crankbaits successfully in deep water. However, I remember two tournaments I won fishing big, deep-diving crankbaits in shallow water. I won a tournament on Lake Truman some years ago using a big crankbait in water only two to four feet deep. I bounced that crankbait on logs, drug it through brush and swam it around shallow-water cover where most anglers never would consider fishing a crankbait.
“I also won a tournament on Lake Livingston fishing a big Bill Norman crankbait in extremely shallow water. Bass will take a large, deep-diving crankbait, because the lure is so big and not because of the depth of the water in which you’re fishing it. I’ve learned that big bass like big baits and particularly large crankbaits. If you’ll put that big crankbait in an area where big bass are holding, you’ll have a really good chance of catching those big bass, regardless of whether they’re in very deep or very shallow water.”
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Image courtesy John Phillips