Meet Rick Clunn
Rick Clunn recently joined the Battle Born Team and we are overjoyed to have him as part of the family! He is a pillar in the community and is the definition of a fishing legend. Rick has accomplished astonishing things in his lifetime as an angler and family man.
Originally from LaPorte, Texas, Rick has fished in over 450 tournaments and has a jaw-dropping four Bassmaster Classic titles.
He caught his very first bass at the age of six. Having always enjoyed the sport, Rick decided to see what competing was all about. He attended his first classic in 1974 at Lake Wheeler, where he finished 16th place. After an impressive finish, Rick returned the next year and finished 8th on Currituck Sound.
After moving up the line and feeling more comfortable with competing, Rick was faced with a tough choice. After two years and two Classics, Rick had to decide whether he was going to continue pursuing fishing as a career.
In November 1976, the very next year, Rick went on to win his first Classic. With an impressive total weight of 59 pounds, 15 ounces, Rick had without a doubt found his calling. His first Classic win catapulted him into the spotlight and his continued wins have kept him there for decades.
Rick qualified for the 1977 Classic again the next year. When he won again, the back–to–back Classic champ cemented himself as a bass fishing legend and a part of the sport’s history.
Wanting to share his knowledge on the sport, he wrote and published his first book, “Rick Clunn’s World Championship Bass Fishing” in 1978 to much success. Once Rick’s dream was realized, he began racking up an impressive number of wins across the country.
In 1983 he won the Bass U.S. Open Bass fishing tournament at Lake Mead in Nevada. Then went on to win his third Bassmaster Classic in 1984. Here he achieved the record for seven–fish weight at 27 pounds, 5 ounces. He held this record until it was very recently broken at the 2020 Classic!
Over the next two decades, Rick fished all over the nation and racked up more and more wins. In 1986 at Lake Mead, he won a U.S. Open Champion for the second time in a decade. In 1987 he won the Alabama Invitational, no small feat.
He was crowned Bass Angler of the Year in 1988. Surprisingly, this is the only time he received the Bass Angler of the Year title. Rick had four remarkable Top Ten finishes in 1980, rounding out this decade of fishing on a high note.
Rick rang in a new decade fishing by winning his fourth Classic at James River in 1990. Winning four Classics is a massive feat, and Rick is the first angler to get four Bassmaster Classic wins. He is currently tied for most wins with Kevin Van Dam. Rick is also one of only three anglers in history to win back-to-back Classics.
With his 1990 Bassmaster Classic win under his belt, Rick continued to fish and find the balance between competing and personal life. He continued to participate in Bassmaster tournaments across the country. After years of professional fishing, his expertise was noticed and acknowledged as he was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2001.
He celebrated victory yet again at the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series. Rick may hold the record for oldest person to win a tournament (at age 69 in 2016) and to win a Bassmaster Elite Series (at age 72 in 2019), but he doesn’t think age has anything to do with it. He explained to Bassmaster, “never accept that all your best moments are in your past. I’m not in my peak, everyone knows that, but that doesn’t mean you’re still not going to have great moments.” This positive point of view proves that his training, work ethic, and talent has spanned decades, and that Rick Clunn truly is a bass fishing legend.
Throughout those four decades of bass fishing, Rick has racked up an impressive number of records. With 32 appearances, Rick has without question attended the most Bassmaster Classics. Not to mention that he has qualified for an impressive 28 championships in a row. He also has 11 top five Bassmaster Classic finishes.
Rick also holds the record for heaviest winning catch. Back in 1984, the limit was seven bass (the limit has varied between five and ten bass over time), and Clunn’s three–day catch weighed in at 75 pounds, 9 ounces. He beat out the closest competitor by over 25 pounds and it is still the weight record to this day!
He is a member of the “Century Club,” meaning he has caught over 100 pounds of bass at an event. He is also the first angler in competitive bass fishing to win a million dollars. But the sport isn’t about money or winning to him, it’s about finding your passion and using it.
Understanding the seasons and how to fish differently in each one gives Rick an edge over the competition. He tends to prefer the clarity of fishing in the fall and over the typical spring fever. For Rick, fall has an edge to it; it’s not easy or expected. And he stands by the fact that his love of fall fishing is an advantage.
While Rick Clunn has mastered his art of bass fishing, he continually looks for peace and passion in his everyday life. He believes in being true to yourself first and foremost. Like he told BassPro, “whether it translates into honors and awards must be set aside,” he explained. “Being happy and in harmony with the rest of creation comes only when you pursue your heartfelt dreams. Real dreams are dynamic. There is no final destination.” To read the rest of the article, click here.
He is known as the Zen Master for a reason. His relaxed attitude towards fishing coupled with hard work has brought him continued success at a fraction of the anxiety. And now with Battle Born Batteries powering his boat, the Zen Master doesn’t have to worry about where his power is coming from. This powerful duo is unstoppable together, so keep your eyes open for what’s next.
Now living in Ava, Missouri, Rick still enjoys competing and relishing in the adventure of it all. As he told Bassmaster, “my angling journey has been my greatest teacher. It has become my infinite quest to reconnect with the wonders of creation.” The 74-year old enjoys spending time with family: wife Melissa, and children Sage, River, Brooke, and Cortney. He loves sharing his expertise and continues to write featured articles on the Bassmaster website. He is, in a word, legendary. We wish Rick best of luck this season and the Battle Born Family knows we have a lot to look forward with Rick fishing this fall.