How to Fish Bass Tournaments and Prepare Yourself Mentally...

How to Fish Bass Tournaments and Prepare Yourself Mentally...

Comments Off on How to Fish Bass Tournaments and Prepare Yourself Mentally With Rick Clunn Day 3: Flipping and Pitching to Catch Bass with Rick Clunn Adaptive Fishing, Bass Fishing, Fishing Advice, FIshing Tournaments, How-To

How to Fish Bass Tournaments and Prepare Yourself Mentally With Rick Clunn Day 3: Flipping and Pitching to Catch Bass with Rick Clunn

Show This to Your Friends:

Editor’s Note: With the Bassmaster Classic taking place on Lake Guntersville in northeast Alabama March 6-8, 2020, many anglers are dreaming of chasing bass to make dollars. I’ve interviewed my longtime friend of 40+ years Rick Clunn about how to fish bass tournaments.

Clunn of Ava, Missouri (, has won every major bass tournament in the nation in more than four decades of competitive bass fishing. He’s won four Bassmaster Classics besides numerous national and regional tournaments. Many have called Rick Clunn a fishing machine, however, those of us who know Rick realize that knowledge powers the Rick Clunn fishing machine. He’s the consummate student of bass fishing – reading, studying and researching to determine not only the best way to catch any bass but also the most-productive way to take big bass. Clunn believes three techniques will catch more big bass consistently in tournaments than any-other tactic you can use. “Basically three strategies produce wins in national bass-fishing tournaments,” Clunn says.  “They are crankbaiting, spinnerbaiting and flipping and pitching.” Clunn also emphasizes that a successful tournament bass fisherman must prepare himself mentally before the tournament.

If you’ll research the records of national bass-fishing tournaments, you’ll see that the flipping-and-pitching strategy has dominated the wins in many of these contests, since flipping and pitching allow you to be very precise with your fishing. No matter what lure you cast, that lure won’t catch bass if you don’t put the bait where a bass is holding and close enough to the fish to make it strike. If you can choose between dropping your lure beside a fish or not dropping the lure beside the fish, always put the lure as close as you can to the fish. Flipping and pitching enables you to place your bait right next to a bass holding in thick cover.

To take more big bass with the flipping-and-pitching tactic, I feel you need to mentally decide where the bass is holding on the cover you want to fish. You can’t think about the obstacles that will prevent you from putting a lure where you believe the bass is holding. Once you decide where the bass are on the bush, brush, stump or whatever type of cover you’re fishing, then you have to be mentally disciplined enough to put that bait as close to the bass you can – regardless of how you have to move your boat or cast your lure. When you flip and pitch, you can fish through cover or cause your bait to fall vertically right beside the cover. Most bass fishermen act like general practitioners to catch really-big bass. I suggest you become a surgeon, dissecting the cover and using the flipping-and-pitching technique to put a big lure in front of a bass’s face that it will eat.

I’m fishing with the same tactics and the same lures as everyone else. But I’m convinced that one of the reasons for my success is that I’ll fish these strategies longer than most other anglers will. Often a fisherman only may try one of these tactics for about 30 minutes. If he doesn’t catch a big bass or any bass, he’ll switch lures and techniques. Then that angler may change to smaller lures that are less physically demanding to fish. I’ve learned with these three bass strategies, that you must fish them for at least 3 to 10 hours to make them successful. I believe that 80 percent, if not all of the tournaments I’ve won, have been with these three tactics and lures – crankbaits, spinner baits and flipping and pitching.

To learn more about catching bass, check out John E. Phillips’ book, “Bass Pros’: “Season by Season Tactics” at, and available in Kindle, print and Audible versions.

Tomorrow: Preparing Mentally and Logically for a Bass Tournament with Rick Clunn

Comments are closed.