Classic Countdown: 32

33 was the story of Rick Clunn at the 1976 Bassmaster Classic.

With 33 we told the story of Rick Clunn's breakthrough day at the 1976 Bassmaster Classic. It was the day he first took the lead in the tournament he would make his own, and it was the biggest day any angler has ever had in the tournament's history.

Today, with 32, we tell more of the Clunn story because the 2009 Classic will be his 32nd. No one has fished more, and no one has left a more indelible mark on fishing's biggest tournament.

Here are just a few of the records that Rick Clunn has accumulated at the Classic:

Four Classic championships (no one else has more than two

  • The heaviest weight in a single Classic (75-9 in 1984)
  • The second heaviest weight in any Classic (59-15 in 1976)
  • The fifth smallest winning catch in Classic history (27-7 in 1977)
  • The largest margin of victory in any Classic (25-8 in 1984)
  • The only back-to-back Classic champion (1976 and 1977)
  • The 8th youngest angler to win the Classic (1976)
  • The 8th oldest angler to win the Classic (1990)
  • The first angler to lead the Classic during all three days of competition (1977)
  • The biggest comeback in Classic history (he was 10th going into the final day of the 1990 event and won)
  • Tied for the most daily big bass awards (4)
  • Had the heaviest daily catch in four separate Classics (1976, 1977, 1984 and 1990)
  • Most Classic days with the heavyweight catch (8)
  • Heaviest daily catch with a 7-bass limit (Clunn holds the top three spots in this category)
  • Heaviest daily catch in Classic history (10 bass, 33-5)
  • Most Classic appearances (32)
  • Most consecutive Classic appearances (28)
  • Most days leading the Classic (9)
  • Most Top 5 Classic finishes (11)
  • Most Top 10 Classic finishes (16)
  • Highest cumulative weight for Classic career (756-3)
  • He is one of only seven anglers who has fished the Classic in each decade of its existence

The record book entries alone are enough to establish Clunn as the greatest performer in Classic history, but his presence in the event is just as remarkable. When asked about their earliest or greatest Classic memory as young anglers, most of the Elite Series pros point to a Clunn victory as a turning point in their lives and an impetus for them to become professional anglers.

No other angler has shone as bright on fishing's biggest stage, and it's likely that none ever will.

Thirty-one is the number of different champions crowned at the Bassmaster Classic. Find out more about them tomorrow.