National Geographic’s current issue is about that fragile connection between all things
We all need nature to help us
Celebrate by locating an NHF Day event near where you live, there are many.
By Rick Clunn
Saturday is National Hunting and Fishing Day, and I know that there is some special day to celebrate almost every day, but Hunting and Fishing are the last remaining vehicles to keep the masses connected to nature and like my Dad use to say, “Daphine (my Mom), if I don’t get in the woods or on the water this weekend, I am going to go crazy.”
What was a prophetic statement for him, it is equally true for society.
National Geographic’s current issue is about that fragile connection between all things. It stated that, “If you dig deep enough behind virtually every human conflict, you will find an erosion of the bond between humans and the natural world around them.” What I am most proud of with my relationship with Johnny Morris and Bass Pro Shops is their endless work trying to maintain a healthy connection between humans and the outdoors through their Conservation efforts.
So join me and Bass Pro shops in celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day this Saturday, the 28th of September. But take it one more step! Take a friend, family member, someone on an adventure, go fishing or hunting. I have stated before, that I am hard-pressed to remember a single gift I received, but can easily recall many fishing, hunting, and camping adventures. The photos are of my Dad and Mom sharing the outdoors with me.
Quote from Edward Abbey: “It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends. Ramble out yonder and explore the forest, climb the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely mysterious and awesome space.”
When anglers fish with new lures, they try them for a reason. This angler used this lure for the first time, a Mister Twister Tri-Alive Plastic Nightcrawler, to catch several post-spawn bass like this one.
What lure should I buy?
What color, what size, what brand?
By Forrest Fisher
Catching many fish lately?
No? Do you wonder why not?
Ask yourself this question, “Am I happy with my lures, baits, sizes, colors?”
If you’re not catching fish, then you know the answer to that question. As an outdoor writer that has fished with many of our country’s most successful pro anglers, I can share with you that these guys know the basics like not many others.
The bass pro’s know how to cast, which rods, reels too, line options and the last maybe the most important thing, which lures to use. Questions is, which lures are those and why?
I asked Rick Clunn this question during a big tournament on a reservoir near the University of Alabama many years back.
Rick said, “You gotta use the lures that you have the most confidence in.” Of course, I was not going to stop there, so I asked, “What is your favorite lure, Rick?”
He said, “Well, it changes from time to time, but the lures I use are the lures I like and the lures I like, I catch fish with. Sometimes you catch a fish on a lure you never thought would work, but you have it, so on a slow day, you try it. Surprised, you find it works. You keep a mental note. A “positive vib” for that lure. Your knowledge grows of when to use that lure, where, why, how to retrieve it. In the end, I only fish with the lures I believe work for me. The lures I like are the lures that catch fish because I honestly believe they will catch fish. My confidence grows.”
I replied, “So Rick, how do I tell a listener on my radio show which lures to buy, which lures to use, what colors and all that?” Rick looked up, smiled, then answered, “You might tell them to go to the tackle store and walk around. Talk the proprietor. Talk to the other guys in the store. Listen to them. Then go walk around by yourself keeping in mind what you learned. Then pick a lure or two that you like. It might be the color, size, whatever it is, that lure will probably catch you lots of fish. You had a start and rationale to believe in it. You will use that lure. Time in the water is a big thing. That’s how you tell them the straight story, hope that helps.”
To learn more about what lures Rick Clunn likes these days, visit: https://luck-e-strike.us/rcseries. It’ll help you develop a background for the passion Clunn shares with us by his own lure designs.
Like many of you, I have a tackle box full of lures of all sorts. Probably, there are hundreds that I carry with me to fishing trips, but in truth, I only use about 5 or 6 of this myriad of lures in my carry-around collection. Why the others that probably tilt the scales at about 25 pounds? I tell myself I need to exercise too!
Lure form, lure function, and lure attraction – all make up that special tackle box we all carry around in our mind.
Some anglers say, “My tackle box talks to me.” If you have that kind of tackle box, you are already catching fish.
If not, listen to what Rick Clunn says. It was nearly 30 years ago that Rick Clunn shared that lure advice with me.
Guess what, for some reason, my tackle box talks to me these days.
The contents, at least some of the contents – the lures, smile with whisper tracks of memories formed from hungry fish smacking my lures.
The trail of teeth mark impressions always seems to be in the form of a smile.
I release most of the fish I catch. Sometimes I think the fish might somehow know that.
Maybe in the cosmos of fish, they are talking back with me.
Theme of the 2019 Bassmaster Elite Series: “Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams.”
Clunn, 72 years young, wins with 34-14 on Final Day to total 98-14 for tourney!
Clunn’s Hot Lures: Luck-E-Strike Hail Mary(3/4-ounce), Luck-E-Strike Trickster Spinnerbait with a shellcracker-colored skirt and a Texas-rigged GatorTail worm.
Palatka, Fl. – Feb. 10, 2018: After becoming the oldest angler ever to win a Bassmaster Elite Series event in 2016 on the St. Johns River, Rick Clunn provided what has become one of the most famous quotes in professional bass fishing history when he said, “Never accept that all of your best moments are in your past.”
On Sunday, he walked it like he talks it. Clunn, who turned 72 in July, broke his own record for agelessness, winning the Power-Pole Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River with a four-day total of 98 pounds, 14 ounces. His amazing week was punctuated on Championship Sunday with a tournament-best limit of five bass that weighed 34-14.
It was the 16th career victory for Clunn, whose $100,000 first-place paycheck put him over $2.5 million in career earnings with B.A.S.S.
“I think this just reinforces what I said after I won here in 2016,” Clunn said. “A long time ago, I stopped paying attention to timelines. The terrible twos, the ugly teens, the midlife crisis, retirement time — I don’t pay any attention to any of that. “If you listen to everybody else, you’ll get premature notions about who you really are.” This week, there was no doubt about it. He was “Rick Clunn: Legend.”
The Ava, Mo., angler started modestly with a limit of 17-5 on Day 1. But he inched his way up the standings with 23-11 on Day 2 and then caught 23-0 on Day 3 to make Sunday’s Top 10 cut in eighth place with a three-day total of 64-0.
He joked after Saturday’s semifinal weigh-in that he might need a 10-pounder and a 12-pounder on Sunday to have any chance of winning. While he didn’t quite make those marks, he came close by weighing in two fish over 9 pounds, including a 9-14 that ranked as the biggest bass of the day.
His three key baits all week were a big lipless crankbait from Luck-E-Strike called a Hail Mary, a 3/4-ounce Luck-E-Strike Trickster Spinnerbait with a shellcracker-colored skirt and a Texas-rigged gatortail worm.
“I thought the bream pattern was important for the spinnerbait this week,” Clunn said. “The bass are bedding here, and I know how much the bass really don’t like the bream around their beds.”
The spinnerbait bite improved steadily throughout the week, thanks to a cold front that brought wind and cloud cover to the region. After catching bass on the deeper ends of boat docks in practice, Clunn said the fish had moved so shallow they were under the walkways of the docks by the weekend — and that made for a perfect spinnerbait situation.
In the event that he missed a strike on the spinnerbait, he would follow up quickly with the worm. That was the key to landing his biggest bass Sunday.
“That’s what won it for me today,” he said. “Early in the day, they were eating that spinnerbait really well. I caught a 6 1/2 on it and another one about 4. But then in the middle of the day, I missed three fish on it — and I could tell the third one was a really nice fish. “I went back with the worm, and it was the 9-14.” Even with all that he’s accomplished, Clunn admitted the two giant bass on Sunday got his blood pumping.
“I swung every fish into the boat today except those two 9s,” he said. “When you have to sit there and think about all of the possibilities and it takes forever to get them in the boat…it gets your heart moving.”
The two anglers closest in the standings to Clunn were first-year Canadian pro Chris Johnston with 95-2 and veteran Kentucky pro Mark Menendez with 95-1. Johnston said it was an honor to share the stage with Clunn.
“To lose to somebody that you watched fishing for the past 20 years — just to be on the same stage with him — it’s a privilege,” Johnston said. “If I was gonna see anyone else win, I would want it would be Rick. He earned it. He deserves it. He put his time in. “I can’t complain about second place at my first event.”
Clunn said the question of when he’ll finally give up fishing is “a dirty question.” He’s looking forward to next week’s Toyota Bassmaster Elite at Lake Lanier in Georgia and has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
“A lot of stuff off the water is old to me,” Clunn said. “But when I go on the water, it’s brand new, just like it was when I started. I love it just as much as I ever have. “It’s an incredible thing to go out every single day and know that you’ve gotta figure them out. This amazing study of natural rhythms and how all things are connected — I can’t see myself ever getting tired of that.”
During a tournament when giant fish were weighed in all four days, the Phoenix Boats Big Bass of the week was caught during Thursday’s opening round. The honor went to Virginia pro John Crews for the 11-2 largemouth he caught on Day 1.
Rookie pro and former college fishing champion Patrick Walters of South Carolina was fourth with 91-14, and Crews was fifth with 89-11.
The Elite anglers hit the St. Johns River fishery at its peak. The 75 anglers caught 158 five-bass limits and weighed in 893 bass totaling 2,927 pounds, 8 ounces of bass. With an average weight of 3 1/4 pounds and the largest weigh-in crowds in the history of St. Johns Bassmaster tournaments, the event more than lived up to the theme of the 2019 Elite Series: “Big Bass. Big Stage. Big Dreams.” -2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota -2019 Bassmaster Elite Series at St. Johns River Title Sponsor: Power-Pole -2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Abu Garcia, Berkley, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Talon, Triton Boats, Yamaha -2019 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Academy Sports + Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Carhartt, Lowrance, Mossy Oak Fishing, T-H Marine -Power-Pole Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River Host Sponsor: Putnam County Chamber of Commerce
About B.A.S.S: B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. With more than 510,000 members internationally, B.A.S.S. is not only home to the nation’s premier fishing tournament trails, but it also boasts the most expansive and comprehensive media network in the fishing industry. Its media include The Bassmasters on the ESPN networks, more than 130 hours of tournament programming on the Pursuit Channel, 250 hours of on-the-water streaming coverage on Bassmaster LIVE and 1 million monthly visitors to the flagship website on bass fishing – Bassmaster.com. B.A.S.S. also provides more than 4.4 million readers with the best in bass fishing coverage through Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times, and its radio and social media programs and events reach hundreds of thousands each month.
The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, culminating in the ultimate event on the biggest stage for competitive anglers, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. The trail also includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, BassPro.com Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Nation Series, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series, and the Bassmaster Team Championship.
Wonders of Wildlife provides Tribute to Fish and Wildlife
Wonders of Wildlife NATIONAL MUSEUM & AQUARIUM is Extraordinary
Founder, Johnny Morris, Has Provided a Trail to Lifelong Conservation in the Outdoors through Fishing, Bass Pro Shops and now, WONDERS OF WILDLIFE
Rick Clunn will Attend
By Forrest Fisher
One of the most respected professional bass anglers in the world is Rick Clunn. I was humbled to fish with Rick on three different fishing tournament occasions in the mid-90s. Having done that, It was easy to understand why this southern gentleman was such a successful angler.
In one word, Rick Clunn has “FOCUS” when he is fishing. He “TUNES-IN” to every spot, every situation, every cast. His success as a 5-time BASS Champion demonstrates his “UNDERSTANDING” for fishing. Above all his fishing success, Rick Clunn is humble, soft-spoken and a true conservationist. Today Rick will be in Springfield, Missouri, and he has this to share with everyone through his Facebook account:
“Melissa and I will be privileged to attend the Grand Opening of the Wonders of Wildlife. I am sure, like everything Johnny Morris has created, it will defy even the most complimentary descriptions possible. I made the statement after winning the B.A.S.S. St. John’s River Tournament, “Never accept that all your greatest moments are in the past.” This man has lived that philosophy his whole life and continues to. Most will see and be inspired by the Wonders of Wildlife, but I fear there are some who will see it as only a capitalistic venture or a monument to an individual’s ego.
For those of you who might feel that way, I offer my observations and understanding. I present this view because I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people ask, “Why does he build these museum style stores to sell fishing tackle? Why not be like others in the industry and just put up a metal building and have a lot less overhead?”
I will tell you, to me these are monuments, but not to Johnny Morris! These are monuments to all outdoors people and to the Natural World that he continuously and tirelessly fights for. At Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake, there is a Convention Center whose walls are lined with some of the greatest conservation mind’s, thoughts and quotes. If you think the many Bass Pro Outdoor Worlds are only about selling fishing and hunting tackle I offer the following: “If I fished only to capture fish, my fishing trips would have ended long ago.” Zane Grey.”
I grew up an Angler when being an Angler was observed as nothing more than playing hooky from school or work. It did not share the status of football, basketball, golf, or other sports. One of my supervisors at Exxon Oil would talk with you about golf all day, but don’t dare waste company time talking about fishing. Even after I quit my socially excepted profession, working for the 2nd largest computing center in the world, and started my angling career most thought I had a bad case of sun stroke. I confess, I will never forget the first time I was proud to be an Angler. I had gone to Springfield, Missouri, to represent one of my sponsors at the grand-daddy of all fishing stores, at their Spring Fishing Classic. I had been in a lot of tackle fishing shops, but nothing could have prepared me for this. When I walked in the front door of the Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World, I was moved. It was beautiful and I had never seen anything like it. But more than its beauty, I felt a sense of pride in who I was that I had not felt before. To this day I challenge every outdoor person to tell me that they did not feel a little of the same, their first time there. I now know that Johnny saw the Outdoors – and those who enjoy it, as important elements in the conservation of the fast disappearance of our natural world.
“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Henry David Thoreau.
I recognize now, like Johnny did from the beginning, that to conserve the natural world we have to expose as many people to its Wonders as possible. He knew that fishing is one of the last remaining vehicles for the masses to experience the natural world and understand its importance to the sanity of man’s world. Johnny’s Conservation efforts are never ending. So when you tour the Wonders of Wildlife, remember the words of Theodore Roosevelt, “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.”