Fisherman wins $500,000 with tournament-record weight
With no previous BASS wins to his credit, Ranger Pro Luke Clausen used one of the sport’s biggest stages – an event older than he is – to notch his first win and make his place in bass fishing history.
With a three-day total and new Bassmaster Classic record winning weight of 56 pounds, 2 ounces, Clausen captured the 36th Bassmaster Classic on Sunday as the youngest competitor in the field.
Fishing Lake Tohopekaliga near Kissimmee, Fla., Clausen, a native of Spokane Valley led the event wire-to-wire, with 29 pounds, 6 ounces on the first day. Though Clausen’s day two total (14 pounds, 15 ounces) was less than his first day, he still went into the final day of competition with more than a four-pound lead over Ron Shuffield.
Facing changing weather on day three that included high winds and rain, Clausen boated his limit for the third time in the three-day event, a five-fish sack that weighed 11 pounds, 13 ounces, edging second-place finisher Rick Morris by 5 pounds, 2 ounces.
“It’s been an incredible week that started off even better than I expected,” said Clausen who became the first west coast angler to win the Bassmaster Classic. “I wasn’t out to break any records, I was just trying to catch the fish that I could catch.”
With Clausen’s win, the 36th Bassmaster Classic becomes the 21st Classic won by a Ranger Pro. In addition to taking home $500,000 in prize money, Clausen improves on his previous Bassmaster Classic appearances, a 27th-place finish in 2002 and a 26th-place finish in 2005.
Clausen was one of 14 Ranger Pros that qualified for the 36th Bassmaster Classic. Two-time Bassmaster Classic champion and long-time Ranger Pro George Cochran finished seventh with 41 pounds, 10 ounces.
About Ranger Boats
Ranger Boats, headquartered in Flippin, Ark., is the nation’s largest manufacturer of premium fiberglass fishing boats, including a series of bass, multi-species, fish ‘n play and saltwater boats. Founded in 1968 by Forrest L. Wood, Ranger Boats continues its commitment to building the highest quality, strongest performing boats on the water. For more information on Ranger Boats or to locate a dealer in your area go to www.rangerboats.com.
Genmar, with approximately 5,000 employees and nine manufacturing centers, is the builder of 12 premier brands of recreational boats and the industry’s technological leader in the United States and Europe with the development of VEC® Technology and the Roplene® process. Genmar boat brands include Carver®, Champion®, Four Winns®, Glastron®, Hydra-Sports®, Larson®, Marquis(TM), Ranger®, Seaswirl®, Stratos®, Triumph® and Wellcraft®.