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Monday, April 4, 2016

Not just the youngsters are winner; Clunn wins BASS tourney at 69

Rick Clunn takes BASS title at age 69.

At age 39-plus, Peyton Manning won his second Super Bowl ring. The first one came with the Indianapolis Colts, and this one with the Denver Broncos.
The feat was exceptional for Peyton at his age. In fact it is exceptional for anyone at any age. However, what Peyton did as a 39-year-old battered National Football League player will long be remembered and admired.
So it was with interest recently that some writers brought up Peyton’s name in a comparison with the feat of professional bass angler Rick Clunn, who now is 69 years old and won the recent Bassmaster Elite series.
On Nov. 5, 1976, Clunn, who hails from Missouri, claimed his first B.A.S.S. victory in the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Guntersville.
It was his first giant step toward becoming a true legend in the sport of professional fishing as Peyton has become a living legend in professional football..
Earlier in March of this year, Rick won for the 15th time on the B.A.S.S. circuit — and in many ways, this step might have gone even further toward cementing his legacy.
Clunn, who will turn 70 in July, caught five bass that weighed 19 pounds during Sunday’s championship round and won the Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River in Florida easily with a four-day weight of 81-15. The win was bolstered by a monumental catch of 31-7 during Saturday’s semifinal round.
“I was certainly feeling some pressure after having such a big weight yesterday,” said Clunn, who finished 4 pounds ahead of second-place finisher Greg Hackney (77-15). “Through the years, you just learn to hide it better. Having my son (River) here helped a lot.”
After catching 16-11 and 14-13 the first two days, Clunn was in 31st place and seemed a longshot to make Sunday’s Top 12 championship cut. But the incredible catch of 31-7, which ranked as the third-best five-bass limit of his career, gave him the lead going into the final round with 62-15.
And while Peyton Manning has decided it is time to retire from the batterings in pro football, Clunn has not talked about any plans to hang up his rod on the pro circuit.

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