During the early days of B.A.S.S. tournaments obscure lures were thrust into the spotlight after the baits won the events. Some of the winners reluctantly shared their secrets, which landed on the pages of Bassmaster magazine. The Cotton Cordell Big O comes to mind.
There could be another lure to be made famous, this one by Rick Clunn, a master of squarebill crankbait fishing. Working with Ichikawa Fishing and it’s Japanese director, Tetsuya Ichikawa, he designed a squarebill like none other.
The RC King Kong Shad 10 is larger than other squarebills, and ideally it works best when retrieved at extremely high speeds, another unique attribute for the category.
In order to achieve that action, a lure made of the tightest tolerances was necessary, and thus the reason why he chose to work with the precision results of a Japanese company.
“Nowadays more and more in tournament fishing you’ve got to catch big bass in order to win,” said Clunn.
“When designing this bait I followed how native predators live by the laws of conservation of energy,” he continued.
“Predators are not going to expend a lot of energy, unless they can get it back in return.”
Translated, that means big bass prefer to gobble down one big meal, instead of expending energy filling their bellies with snacks. One big mouthful of a bluegill or gizzard shad takes less effort than chasing down smaller baitfish to satisfy the appetite.
The bait is 3.5 inches long and weighs 1 3/16 ounces, and it’ll run at depths up to 10 feet. That’s way deep for a squarebill and Clunn wanted it that way. The flat head lines up with the flat bill to allow the bait to run that deep.
“You can still fish it shallow, but it’ll run at the same depth as a conventional medium-diving crankbait, so you get two lures in one,” he said.
There is also a note of irony to this entire story. Ironically, Clunn’s affinity for squarebills began in 1976, the year he won his first Bassmaster Classic. One of his winning baits was the Bagley Honey B, a squarebill crankbait.