What Rick Clunn did the last time the Elite Series was here should encourage all 35 anglers who made the Day 2 cut on the St. Johns River yesterday. Clunn was in 31st place after two days in March 2016, almost 8 pounds out of the lead. At the end of the day, after he sacked 31-7, Clunn had a six-pound lead.
As we've seen the previous two days, there's plenty of "big magic" in the St. Johns River. It came in the form of the 11-pound, 2-ounce bass John Crews caught and the 9-13 Mark Menendez landed on Thursday. Yesterday, Clifford Pirch took big bass honors with a 10-4, but there was also a 9-12 caught by Patrick Walters and an 8-15 by Greg DiPalma.
So first place at the end of the day isn't out of reach for anyone today. And it could be the 72-year-old Clunn - again. In practice this week he landed an "11- or 12-pounder." And Clunn isn't facing the 31st-place, 8-pound deficit he was last time. He's in 5th place, six pounds behind leader Chris Johnston. Plus, Clunn thinks he'll be helped if the wind blows as predicted today.
"I'm catching some on a moving bait, and I'm catching my bigger ones on that," he said. "If the wind blows, they'll hit it better. I'm only getting one or two bites a day on that moving bait, but they're good ones."
The "moving bait" that Clunn is using is a Luck-E-Strike Hail Mary lipless crankbait.