Rick Clunn just landed a four pounder. That's his first keeper of the day, and a great way to get started. He's now got two spectator boats and two camera boats following him.
Greg Hackney continues to throw a crankbait along a riprap bank near the Illinois Bayou dam, and he continues to catch fish. He just made his first cull of the day, by ounces. His 5 fish probably weigh 8 or 9 pounds. But every angler on the Elite Series will tell you how much more confidently he fishes with a limit in the livewell.
Rick Clunn's reputation as the Zen Master is partially based on the perception that he's keyed into all the natural elements in his surroundings. That he can feel and smell and hear things that affect the fishing.
We just saw a little evidence of that. After Rick caught the 4-pounder, a spectator boat got a little too close for comfort. Barely looking up from the fish Rick respectfully ask the spectator to move back and explained why with a wave of his hand.
Then we we're having a quiet discussion with Matt Dennis, Bobby's son about the RC3 crank bait and how Rick was using it today. We're sitting 75 yards away from Rick, barely talking above a whisper, and he interjects into our conversation, "No it's the RC4."
Greg Hackney has made a short run up Illinois Bayou to the dam and spillway, and he's switched gears, throwing a crankbait as he works his way up the right bank, near a water treatment facility. There's a lot of current in here. And, apparently, a lot of fish. Hackney caught three short fish before catching another that went on the measuring board before going in his livewell. That's No. 4. And he just caught another short one.
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Michael Smith
Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Lance Roe
This morning Rick Clunn is alternating between throwing a crankbait and a spinnerbait. He's working his way down the bank of Piney Creek now, with its rocky banks. It looks like both baits are from Luck-E-Strike. And that would make sense because Rick is a Luck-E-Strike guy.
In the photo is a Luck-E-Strike RC2. (As we later learn) Rick is throwing the RC4 which is a little bigger. It's a square-bill crankbait designed by Clunn and Bobby Dennis. In case you're slow like me, the RC in the name stands for Rick Clunn. Our boat driver Tim Preator called it his favorite square-bill. "They've made a lot of money off me," he laughed.
It probably goes without saying, but a signature bait is a testament to a long and successful career.