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Bass Dude

Clunn IN his Tracker

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Did ya hear the story about how he got it stuck?  It's kinda funny when you hear about the best of the best having days like this.

BOSSIER CITY, La. You'd think that after fishing 31 Classics and winning four of them, both records, Rick Clunn ought to have this thing down pat. Or at least have practice down pat.

But it's still fishing, in which even the masters falter. Even in practice.

Clunn was in his v-hulled aluminum jet boat exploring some of the many backwaters that the Red River's meandering has left over the years. The water's low enough right now that some of those pockets and ponds are inaccessible with anything but a light aluminum craft. Others are just barely reachable even with a light boat.

Clunn thought he'd found one of the latter, with only a stretch of perhaps 30 yards of shallow water to traverse. No sweat. He floored it. The boat slowed, slowed and stopped across before planting its nose into the muddy silt and, as a v-hull is wont to do, tilted to one side.

It was at that point that Clunn remembered he had left his cell phone in his truck.

The first tournament of the year is that way discombobulated. He got out of his boat and into the ankle-deep water to survey his predicament. Pretty soon he found he couldn't budge the boat. "I knew nobody would ever come by," he said. "I knew I had to wade out to the river."

He put on his life preserver and grabbed his push pole. The water went to knee deep. "Then," he said, "the sand broke and I stepped in quicksand."

It was at that point that Clunn sank in all the way to his thighs.

If not for his life preserver and push pole, which he held perpendicular to his sinking body, he might have gone in deeper and could have stayed there for quite a while. "If I couldn't have gotten out, it could have been 12 to 13 hours for them to send a search party," he said. "It might have been all night. That spooked me. That was the only time I felt a little more than just stupid."

The push pole saved him. With the hook at the pole's end, he reached a willow tree on a nearby island and dragged himself to safety. Then he waved his life preserver to flag down a boater from the main river channel.

The boater didn't recognize his hitchhiker until they returned to the marina.

"When I got out of the boat, he asked, 'Are you fishing the tournament this weekend?'" Clunn said. He thought briefly about saying no. Then he fessed.

"I said, 'Yeah, actually this'll be my 32nd,'" Clunn recalled. The man freaked out he'd just saved Rick Clunn.

Clunn told him, "You can't tell a soul."

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It is good to see that one of the best in the business has brain farts too :D :D!!!  

Glad he's OK too.

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I know first hand that it's not fun having your boat stuck and thinking you'll never get it out.  Once on the Delaware River, which has a tidal flucuation of 8', yes eight feet!  I found myself stuck in the back of a creek because the tide moved out and I was distracted by a great fishing day.  Took almost 4 hours to get enough water to let me out!  All the while the fishing turned off!

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There is a good pic on the Bassmaster website of Steve Kennedy using a push pole to get himself out.  Then the next pic, the push pole is in half!!!   One half still in the water and the other half in Steve's hand.  He's got a nice grin on his face too!!!

He's quite the character

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