Bass Fishing Pro Luke Clausen Reveals Weirdest Catch
Imagine Luke Clausen's surprise when he discovered what was on the end of his Carolina rig.
"I caught a pair of ladies panties on a rig in Lake Washington one time," the Washington pro said. "A great big pair of granny panties. I remember they were filled with silt and I had to get my hook out of them. It was a pretty disgusting deal.
"At first, I couldn't imagine what it was because they were filling with water as I was dragging them off. I was hoping it wasn't a body or something."
Martens Gets Far Away from Fishing
What does a man who was born to be a fisherman do in the aftermath of a highly successful Bassmaster Tour season that included winning the Bassmaster Angler of the Year title and a runner-up performance in the Bassmaster Classic?
In the case of Aaron Martens, you get as far away as possible from serious fishing.
The Alabama pro returned to his native southern California, where he has spent the last few weeks with family and friends, soon after Classic XXXV in Pittsburgh.
When we caught up with Martens, he was fishing Lake Casitas with friends and had just unhooked a 5-pound largemouth.
"That was our first fish," he said with a smile that penetrated cell phone waves. "We haven't been fishing too long. A 5-pounder's always a good start."
Martens said he has avoided the business of professional fishing as much as possible since the Classic, where he came within 6 ounces of winning fishing's biggest title.
"I've been doing family things," he said. "I'm leaving for Cabo (San Lucas, Mexico) tomorrow. That's my real vacation.
"I went on a calico (saltwater bass) trip, which was the most fun thing I've done in a long time. We went on a four-day Carnival cruise to Catalina Island and Encsenada and me, Leslie, the baby, my one niece and two nephews. I treated them to a cruise and it was a lot of fun," he said. "I'm not thinking about sponsors or business for another week or two. I needed a little time off."
Bassmaster pros Jeff Kriet, Kelly Jordon, Bud Pruitt and Kevin Wirth recently went offshore out of Galveston, Texas, in search of some truly big fish. Fishing from a 31-foot boat, the anglers ran 90 miles offshore.
At one point, they hooked into a huge fish that struck their chum line. All four pros grew tired of battling the big fish, which they assumed was a big blackfin.
"Well, last in line for this particular blackfin was Kevin Wirth," Jordon said. "The rest of the story is that the supposed blackfin jumped, but it was not a blackfin after all. It was an 80-to 100-pound sailfish. Numerous people screamed to try to regain the rod, but Kevin, with a barrage of choice words, made it very clear that this was his fish. The sailfish put on quite a show, jumping at least 15 times and never made a long run. It just circled the boat, and all the jumps were within 40 yards of the boat."
Bassmaster pro David Walker and father-in-law Jeff Simms of Punta Gorda, Fla., recently finished second in a professional redfish tournament in Florida. The pair brought four redfish to the scales that totaled 29 pounds, 1 ounce.
The duo used Berkley Gulp Shrimp on spinning tackle to earn the $10,000 runner-up prize.
In the bass world, Walker is known for his second-place finishes. The Tennessee pro is one of the most successful Bassmaster anglers never to win a national tournament.
But in an Oh, Boy! Oberto Redfish Cup event out of Lake Charles, La., a pair of Bassmaster pros didn't fare nearly as well. Stephen Browning and Greg Hackney teamed up to finish 16th with four reds weighing 22.42 pounds.
DID YOU KNOW?
2005 Classic contender Greg Gutierrez of California is not the only talented fisherman in his family. His son, 17-year-old Greg Jr., is a four-time California state CastingKids champion who once finished third nationally. In addition, he is the International Game Fish Association's junior world record-holder for peacock bass (a speckled bass caught in Brazil that weighed 26 pounds).
Texan Ben Matsubu celebrates his 43rd birthday on Sept. 9. Georgia's Johnny Lesesne is 47 on Sept. 11. Alabama pro Randy Howell turns 32 on Sept. 25, while Art Ferguson of Michigan will be 41 one day later. Kentucky's Mark Menendez becomes 41 on Sept. 28.
IF I HADN'T BECOME A BASS PRO
Top western pro John Murray says he would likely be a teacher, like his parents.
THEY SAID IT
"Even if there are certain decisions that BASS makes that I don't agree with 110 percent, I can honestly say this: I can look back over the last three or four years when they made decisions that made my think, 'What in the world are they doing?' In the long run, it always works out. Are there some things I wish we could tweak and make a little bit better? Probably. But I also truly think we have a group there that really does want this sport to get bigger. They want it to get better. They want the payouts to increase. But they're running a business, too. We're not going to get everything we want next week. And that's part of it. If I go out there and do my job and if I promote my sponsors, if I work with the media and if I catch fish, the rest will take care of itself." North Carolina pro Marty Stone.