Bass Fishing Changes – Younger Anglers, Equipment and Tactics...

Bass Fishing Changes – Younger Anglers, Equipment and Tactics...

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Bass Fishing Changes – Younger Anglers, Equipment and Tactics Day 2: Rick Clunn Tells Bass Fishing History

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Editor’s Note: Editor’s Note: Rick Clunn of Ava, Missouri, has been a bass pro for 46 years, has won four Bassmaster Classics, has been Angler of the Year and has earned about $3 million in tournament bassing. Twenty five of today’s bass-fishing professional name Clunn as the man most admired in bass fishing. “When I asked longtime legendary angler Rick Clunn what was the biggest change he’d seen in tournament bass fishing, he answered, ‘It’s the influx of high school and college tournament fishermen,’” John E. Phillips, outdoor writer, says. “Clunn explained that, ’I guess the reason that’s such a big deal is because I never saw that trend coming.’” Part of this week’s information is from an interview with Clunn.

To be competitive, the older tournament fishermen have had to learn from these younger fishermen. I’ve started fishing with Cody Huff, who is one of the best in the nation at using forward-facing sonar. Cody’s trying to teach me how to use that forward-facing sonar. However, that technology will change not only yearly, but almost monthly. We live in a dynamic universe, so there’s always going to be change. If tournament fishermen don’t change and be willing to change the way they fish, they’ll go the way of the dinosaur.

Lures have gotten better; the paint jobs and the aesthetics of the lures are more  lifelike – far better than they were 5-10 years ago. Actually, many young tournament anglers are so much better at fishing than the old tournament anglers like me are. One of the reasons is they start tournament fishing when they are 6-years old, and most of the old pros didn’t start until their twenties. So, these youngsters have gone to school on bass fishing much longer than we older fishermen have.

Too, the quality of information is 100% better now than it was when I started fishing for bass. The equipment, especially in electronics, has given these youngsters shortcuts that we older anglers never have had. For instance, older professional anglers once found our fishing spots by triangulation. We’d see one big tree on the bank, and maybe 50 yards from that tree we’d see another tree. So, we’d try and triangulate where our fishing spot was based on where we positioned our boat after looking at those two trees. But today we have GPS, and that makes finding your bass-fishing spot much easier and much quicker. Also there are so-much better maps of the lakes, not only above water, but also underwater. Today you can see and find drop-offs, ledges and bass much easier and much quicker. Too, with some of this equipment, we can make our own maps and include places where we’ve found bass and note how we’ve caught them.

These techniques are 1,000 times better than the information we’ve had before to locate places to fish and to catch bass. I compare what’s happened to bass fishing as we older anglers walked up to the jungle of bass fishing, took machetes and started cutting paths for everyone to follow. Those who followed behind the first tournament fishermen made the paths somewhat wider. The  tournament anglers behind me chopped a path to the bass a little wider. However, today these young anglers have freeways already built to refer to and find and catch bass.

Looking for more content? Check out our YouTube channel and watch Kevin VanDam on How He Started Fishing by John E. Phillips.

Expert Guidebooks on Bass Fishing: Best Sellers

If you want to become the best you can be, find someone who’s already become the best at what you want to do and follow his or her instructions. This is what I’ve done in my new book, Bass Pros’ Season by Season Tactics.

In this book, I’ve chosen some of the best bass fishermen to give you advice on how to find and catch bass during each period of a bass fish’s life, including professionals like Kevin VanDam, Denny Brauer, David Fritts, Rick Clunn, Larry Nixon, George Cochran, Mark Davis, Woo Daves, Gary Klein, Davy Hite, Michael Iaconelli, Skeet Reese, Mark Rose, and Shaw Grigsby.

My hope is that this book will help you find and catch more bass at every time of the year and each day you’re on the water. The men included in this book are some of the best mentors I know of for successful bass fishing anywhere in the nation.


How to Bass Fish Like a Pro
If you could sit down and interview some of the best pro bass fishermen in the world, what would you want them to tell you to help you improve your bass fishing skills?

In this book, How to Bass Fish Like a Pro, Kevin VanDam explains how he catches bass consistently, and how he fishes all 12 months of the year. In the bonus chapters, he will tell you how to fish for hot-weather bass.

Denny Brauer will tell you the ways he hates to fish, how he picks the best fishing lures for different water and weather conditions, and will give you his best fishing tips for hot weather. In Brauer’s bonus chapters, he’ll teach you when to flip a jig, a tube, or a creature bait and tell you his three tips for how to be a better fisherman.

Mark Davis, in Chapter 3 of the book, explains his five secrets to becoming a better bass fisherman, how to turn your bass fishing around to the positive side, and how to catch hot-weather bass. In the bonus chapter, you’ll get six different interviews with Davis, where he tells you: three tips for becoming a better bass fisherman; his three favorite bass lures; and how to keep a big bass on the line and get it to the boat.

James Niggemeyer tells you how to become a bass pro. He also tells you how to catch bass when the weather sizzles. In Niggemeyer’s bonus chapter, he explains how to move from being a bass-club fisherman up to being a pro.

Mark Rose will explain his five favorite go-to bass lures, and how to catch bass in the middle of the summer.

In this book, you’ll hear from top-performing pro fishermen about how they catch big bass consistently, and what they do to win millions of dollars as professional bass fishermen.


Catch the Biggest and Most Bass in Any Lake
If you were having open-heart surgery at the hospital, you’d want the best doctor with the most experience and the latest equipment and techniques that money could buy to do your operation. You’d study these doctors’ credentials to learn who was the best.

This is the same type of research that author John E. Phillips has done with the best bass fishermen in the nation to solve the problem of how to find and catch the biggest and the most bass in any body of water that he fishes.

This is the same type of research that author John E. Phillips has done with the best bass fishermen in the nation to solve the problem of how to find and catch the biggest and the most bass in any body of water that he fishes.

In this book, you’ll hear about the techniques, tips, baits, lures, and tackle that 18 of the nation’s best professional fishermen use to support their families by winning bass tournaments and catching the most and the biggest bass they can in every tournament they fish.

Most of these anglers are Bassmaster Classic winners, Megabucks winners, Angler-of-the-Year and FLW Tour winners – like Rick Clunn, Kevin VanDam, George Cochran, Mark Davis, Paul Elias, Skeet Reese, Larry Nixon, Hank Parker, Ken Cook, Denny Brauer, Alton Jones, and Jay Yelas.

Also, every serious bass fisherman should know Timmy Horton, Mark Rose, Randy Dearman, Harold Allen, Mike Wurm, and Shaw Grigsby, men whose tactics you’ll find in this book. To learn how to fish for bass and change your bass-fishing trips from fishing trips to catching trips, this book is a must-have.


Winning Strategies of the Bass Pros
I learned many years ago if you want to be the best you can be, then you need to learn from the best – particularly when you want to be the best bass fisherman possible. That’s why I’ve written Winning Strategies of the Bass Pros about 11 top bassers.

If you’re wondering at what age you can start learning about bass fishing, you’ll see in the first two chapters about two young men who have come up through the ranks of collegiate bass tournaments – Jordan Lee, who won the Bassmaster Classic in 2017, and Dustin Connell, who won $100,000 in a B.A.S.S. Elite Series tournament in Mississippi in 2017. Top-name pros on both the B.A.S.S. circuit and the FLW circuit are in this book, including Kevin VanDam, Jay Yelas, George Cochran, Rick Clunn, Larry Nixon, Woo Daves, Randy Howell, Scott Canterbury, and Gary Klein.


In How to Bass Fish Like a Pro, Volume II, you’ll learn tips and tactics from 21+ Bassmaster Classic winners, two Major League Fishing champions, and 20+ Bassmaster Anglers of the Year about some of the dramatic changes in bass fishing, like:

Depth Finders: You need the latest and greatest depth finders available, since they’re the brains of a bass boat with maps, GPS, side scanning, down scanning, and forward scanning features that enable you to see underwater structures and fish 100-feet away with a 360-degree view. Today’s competitive bass anglers may have four or five depth finders located on the consoles and the bows of their boats. 

Other Changes in Equipment: Power fishing for bass using heavy line and rods, big baits, and bait-casting reels that resemble winches have given way to finesse fishing and new techniques like fishing the Ned Rig, the Neko Rig, the Chicken Rig, and the Tokyo Rig on spinning tackle and line as small as 6-10 pounds. 

The Growth in Youth and College Competitions for Bass: A young person can begin competition fishing as early as the second grade and continue throughout high school. After that, if the competitor qualifies, he/she may win a scholarship to fish on a college team that eventually may lead them to a professional bass-fishing career. 

Changes in the Ways Anglers Bass Fish: Many of the most-consistent winners never pick-up their rods to fish during pre-fishing. Instead, they’ll idle across the water, dropping waypoints from their electronics in places where they’ve identified schools of bass holding. These contestants will have at least 50-250 locations, where they’ve pinpointed schools of bass before a tournament starts.


Tomorrow: Rick Clunn – More Bass Fishing History

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