Rick Clunn

Every once in a while something happens that just makes you stop and reflect. Not just reflect but really marvel. Two weeks ago my most influential fishing hero gave me one of those moments. He was fishing the BASS Elite event on the St. Johns River, and at the age of 69, just three months shy of 70 years old, he won the event. You may think that’s not that big a deal, but I beg to differ. It’s a really big deal! To say the competition in these events is tough is an understatement. He is almost 70 years old fishing against a field of 20-30 years old guys, and he whooped them. It’s significant to me because he is the guy that I dreamed of being as a kid. He helped inspire me to fish for a living, and now at the age of 69, he is still doing it, still able to not only compete, but win. I’ve been professionally fishing now for 28 years, and the same week Clunn won, I finished second in an FLW Tour event – makes me realize that my best days may be yet to come. I might still have another good 20 years ahead of me! Truly that is a great feeling. Fishing is a sport that is physically and mentally challenging. Clunn has always been one of the strongest mental competitors out there, and he has managed to stay strong physically as well. That is motivating! As I have reflected on the significance of Clunn’s win, I realize how rare it is that the same guy who inspired a 22 year-old to dive into competitive bass fishing is still a legitimate competitor in the sport and continues to inspire me 28 years later.