BassWestUSA - November/December, 2009, Page 33

Clunn, loved the out- rick Clunn Crankbait Bass doors, and while he fished for meat with bait, his favorite was fishing for bass with artificials.” From the time he was a young- ster, Clunn went fish- ing with his father, and his interest was especially piqued by a time he didn’t get to go with his father. It was at a va- cation to visit his mother’s side of the family at the age of six that Clunn would have his first experi- ence with the fe- rocity of a black bass, and it would leave him marked with the desire for more. “My father never left me on the bank when he went fishing, but he did that day because of so many people in the boat,” said Clunn. “I was heartbroken, and he knew it, so he let me use his favorite rod with a red head Lucky 13 tied to it.” With the promise that his dad would take him fishing later, Clunn would walk the bank casting the topwater Lure, but like any child, was preoccupied with nature, kicking rocks and look- ing around. It was during one of those distracted moments that he heard the splash of a bass striking the lure. “I fought it and became scared of it initially, so instead of reeling, I dragged it up on the bank,” he said he remained frightened until it dislodged the lure and began flopping toward the water. “I dove on it, and put it on the stringer to show off to everyone when they returned; I was hooked myself.” Before that time, Clunn had, like his father, fished primarily for food, but he became aware of a sense of fairness that fishing with artificial brought to the sport. “I began to feel like fishing with bait was too much of an advantage to the angler, and found a love for fishing lures myself,” he said. “I began to develop an awareness that I was using my wit against the senses of the fish. I had to make the simple lure do things to make it feel alive to the fish; the bass made a decision to be involved, there was a kind of romance to it.” He continued to fish with his father, mainly for the enjoy- ment of it, until Sam Rayburn opened. His father called him when he was about 25 years old and said he was hearing about people catching a ton of bass. “He promised we’d catch a hun- dred bass at Rayburn, so we went for a couple of days,” Clunn remembered. “We only caught one fish, and were thinking that it wasn’t as good as we’d heard.” After two days, they were nearly ready to leave when a lo- cal bass club arrived to begin weighing their fish. “I remember

November/December 2009


photo by BaSS


s - Seigo Saito