Watching Rick Clunn work this same area most of the day has been a lesson in just how awesome he is at this game. Win or lose, he has picked every piece of this spot apart like a technician. His amazing ability to focus on every cast has just been awesome
Shaye Baker and I have done some serious off-roading to get to this hilltop in Valeno Cove where Rick Clunn is concentrating. From our vantage point, we're also able to see John Crews.
But he is half-a-mile from Clunn, so there's absolutely no conflict here.
It's good to be high — uh, maybe that should be reworded.
P.S. We're driving this SUV like it's a rental, which it is.
Cliff Crochet, or Cajun Baby, with another keeper.
Gary Klein just gave us the prayer gesture. He has made a short move into Mexican waters, where he started this morning. He said, "I only need 38 pounds at this next spot and I'll be okay." Good spirits as normal with Gary. He continues flipping into the wood.
If Rick Clunn can surpass 100 pounds at Falcon today, he'll join Mark Davis, Michael Iaconelli, Skeet Reese and Kevin VanDam as the only anglers in history to win AOY and a Classic, earn more than $1 million in B.A.S.S. prize money and make the Century Club. Even if you're not really into clubs, that would be a pretty good club to join. One fun thing about the grouping is all the ways it could be sliced. If you add a B.A.S.S. Nation championship to the mix, only Iaconelli is in. If you require $2 million in earnings, you eliminate Ike and Davis. Require more than one AOY and Ike and Reese are out. Require more than one Classic win and everyone's out but KVD (and Clunn ... if he gets in today). Make it multiple AOYs and multiple Classics, and KVD is all alone. Make it multiple Century Club entries, and it's just Reese and Ike. So many numbers; so many ways too look at them!
The native birds have begun aggressively feeding in the Rio Grande. Klein is watching all the activity around him, and he continues casting into wood. He has really slowed down his presentation, possibly thinking the cold front is having a greater impact on today's catch than anticipated.
Josh Bertrand is just across the creek from Evers and just laid into a fish that ate his Spro Little John DD (citrus Shad). He fought it, keeping his rod tip down and keeling to keep the fish from jumping, but it was fruitless. The 5-pounder tail-walked and flipped as if it was in hot grease. As the fish made a final dive deep, it wrapped itself in a submerged tree.
Bertrand knew this, and popped his rod tip trying to free it, then he grabbed the line and pulled then finally laid across the deck and reached his hands as far into the water as possible to try and poke the bait and fish off the tree. He kept checking the line for and sign of a head shake, but there was nothing there. Nothing worked.
Finally, he was forced to break his bait off. “You know, I’ve been pretty lucky with getting crankbaits out of trees this week. I’ve been cranking on 12-pound line and have only lost a handful. Unfortunately, that was my last one of that color. I guess I was due to lose one.” As I typed this, the crankbait that was hung in the tree floated to the top. “Ha! That’s happened a lot this week. I’ve been recycling the same three crankbaits all week,” he said. “There are five isolated trees out there, and every time you hit one. You either lose your bait or you catch one.”
He’s got about 20 pounds in his livewell, but is hunting for a big bite.
We've got Rick Clunn covered like a sombrero - from land and sea. He's back on the spot where he started this morning, and this is obviously where he's going to grind it out.
Evers just laid a monster hookset into a fish, and while it looked like he was buttoned up momentarily, the fish wasn’t there. “Dang it! He knocked two feet of slack into my line and he wasn’t there." So add that frustration to his slow day. We’re going to check in with Betrand.
Oh boy, Clunn could be heating up! Two minutes after he boated his 3rd fish he hooked up with a another fish on a squarebill. This one is a good one, after a few awesome jumps he boats what looks to be a 4-1/2 pound fish. Right away he is back up and casting, you can clearly see from his body language that he is pretty pumped. Don't stick a fork in this deal yet, its far from over if Rick Clunn has anything to say about it.