Clunn Doesn’t Do What He Used To

(ESPN/BASS photo.)

Rick Clunn. If they gave out black belts in fishing, he’d have the blackest. No doubt.

But lately his fishing has been like watching Michael Jordan play for the Wizards. Just…not…there.

I say that with the greatest respect, and lucky for me he feels the same way, judging by a recent article in a KC, MO paper. Excerpts below, all quotes are Rick’s:

> This is the quote that stood out for me the most: “When I was at my peak, I would do anything to make it happen. I would use techniques that I didn’t necessarily like if that’s what it took. I don’t do that anymore.” [Why not Rick? We’d love to see you pull those huge stringers out of thin air again, man!]

> “I’ve always made my career living by Robert Frost’s words: ‘Two roads diverge in the woods. I take the one less-traveled.’ I found success by taking the path less-traveled; doing something different than the other fishermen did. But that’s not as easy anymore. With the increased knowledge of today’s fishermen, they figure things out. And a lot of times you have to fish in a crowd if you want to compete. And I won’t do that. So, sometimes I pay the price.”

> “People don’t realize that the difference between where I was and where I am now is a razor edge. At this level, you’re constantly walking the tightrope between greatness and mediocrity. I know I can still catch fish, and I can compete at a high level. But the bottom line is that I have to prove it.”

> “But you get down on yourself. Most athletes’ toughest critic isn’t the fans or the media, it’s themselves. And that’s how it is with me. Confidence is a fragile thing. And sometimes, that affects me.”

> “I came home from a tournament where I had struggled, and [his wife Melissa] had all my trophies out and on display. She told me, ‘Every time you walk in here, I want you to think of who you are and what you’ve accomplished.’ ”

> He’s said this before: “My dominance was always from early summer into early winter, and we don’t have tournaments there anymore. But I’m not making excuses. You have to adapt. And you have to be motivated.

> “Once, I was the very best at what I did. And it’s hard to walk away from all of that.”

> “As long as I launch my boat and I’m still intrigued by this mysterious puzzle, I’m going to fish. There are no two days alike in bass fishing, and that’s what fascinates me. I still feel that I can compete. If I didn’t feel that way, I wouldn’t still be out there.”

> “I’d like to win the Bassmaster Classic one more time,” he said. “Years ago, when I won those first Classics, my daughters were young and it really opened their eyes. Dad really did have a job. Now I have young boys, and I’d like to have them see me win. That would mean a lot.”

More: KVD

> KVD is quoted in the same article: “You can never count Rick out. He can still fish at a very high level.”



  1. Brian

    January 12, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I like another quote from a piece about Clunn and KVD from the day before:

    He said he hopes Kevin VanDam wins another Classic soon to equal his record. “I told him last year not to take too long to win No. 4, because then we could go head-to-head for No. 5. The one goal I still have is that fifth Classic.”

  2. Alex Voog

    January 12, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Rick Clunn has nothing that he needs to prove to anyone – except himself. His wife Melissa is awesome. I would like to see him, if not win one, at least contend for another classic win.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Gitcha Bassin' Fix

To Top