Clunn Still On For Texoma
Jan 29th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jan 29th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
Rick Clunn of Ava., Mo., qualified for his 32nd Bassmaster Classic on Saturday through the back door, but the Bassmaster Elite Series pro still wants to walk through the front door, which for him is next week’s Bassmaster Central Open at Lake Texoma in Denison, Texas, set for Oct. 30 – Nov. 1.
“I’ve still got a shot based on my own performance at the last Open on Lake Texoma,” he said. “That’s the way I’d prefer to make it. I’m still going to Texoma.”
Clunn is only 19 points out of third place in the Central Open standings. The top three points finishers will earn berths to the 2009 Classic, Feb. 20-22 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La.
This past Saturday, Elite pro Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., unlocked the back door to the Classic for Clunn when Lane double-qualified through the Bassmaster Southern Open circuit. Because Lane will now take his Classic spot through the Opens division, Clunn has been added to the Classic roster as the 38th qualifier through the Elite Series’ Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points system.
While qualifying for the Classic on his own is the primary reason he’ll compete at Texoma, Clunn has two more incentives.
“I’ll do everything I can to move the guy behind me up,” Clunn said.
That guy behind him would be fellow Elite pro Rick Morris of Virginia Beach, Va., who finished 39th in the 2008 AOY points.
The third reason Clunn wants to compete at Texoma is to settle an old score – with himself.
“The last tournament I fished at Texoma I would have won, but I had a mental lapse and came in 14 minutes late,” Clunn said, recalling the 1993 Bassmaster Invitational event. “I had the biggest bag of the tournament, and lost (credit for) 14 pounds. We’d just gone from three to 10 flights, and I put the wrong check-in time in my head. I sat within sight of the weigh-in for four hours trying to help my partner catch fish.
“You should never allow a controlled variable to beat you, and I did, and it will haunt me the rest of my career. Maybe if I go there and win this one, it won’t haunt me quite as badly.”
Clunn finished 48th at that 1993 Texoma event. He was 9 pounds, 11 ounces out of first.
The 2008 Texoma Open will receive extensive coverage on Bassmaster.com through all three days.