UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Reel Chat with LUKE CLAUSEN

Reel Chat with LUKE CLAUSEN
Way back: Luke Clausen leans far back to set the hook

- MODERATOR COMMENT -
Welcome to FLW Live Reel Chat. Today we're joined by bass pro Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards, Wash., who recently won the FLW Tour title at the June 2-5 Potomac River event.

- MODERATOR COMMENT -
With nearly $1.3 million in career earnings in FLW Outdoors events, the Chevy pro is one of the most successful bass fishermen competing today. In addition to his recent Tour win, Clausen is also a past winner of the coveted Forrest Wood Cup; he was crowned champion in 2004 on Logan Martin Lake in Alabama. He is also one of the select few anglers who have won both the Forrest Wood Cup and the Bassmaster Classic.

- MODERATOR COMMENT -
Today, Luke Clausen is here to take questions from you, the fans. So, without further delay, let's get started.

Q: Luke, congratulations on your win at the Potomac. What did it feel like to finally get that monkey off your back and get your first major win in years?
-- Matt Hunt (San Diego, Calif.)
A: It was a major relief. I had a lot of frustration built up over the years. It's just a big weight off of my shoulders for sure.

Q: If you could only have five lures rigged up, which ones would they be?
-- Omar De Jesus (Ashland City, Tenn.)
A: I would have to say a Z-Man finesse worm on a shaky head; some sort of flipping bait; a small creature bait; probably a spinnerbait; and a MegaBass Cyclone -- a shallow crankbait.

Q: How difficult was it to figure out when and where to fish on a tournament day given the changing tides on the Potomac? Is fishing tidal waters more difficult than fishing regular lakes?
-- Pat Zak (Oakland, Calif.)
A: Second question first: Tidal waters are a lot more difficult because you don't know the potential of all the areas until you go through all of the tides. On the Potomac I spent all of my time in one area because I felt that one area had a lot of big fish. It was a big area, so I knew I had the potential to explore the area throughout the tournaement. That particular area had a lot of prespawn fish, and I thought it was an area that could really produce over the course of the tournament.

Q: Do you or have you used the shaky head with success in desert lakes like Mead, Mohave and Havasu?
-- John Stigar (Huntington Beach, Calif.)
A: I've never used them at Mohave or Havasu, but I have had success with them on Lake Mead.

Q: From the sound of things, it seems like you were fishing with a lot of company on day one (at the Potomac). How were you able to stay focused and committed to one area with all those other boats around you?
-- Jim Miller (Richmond, Va.)
A: Days one and two, there were a lot of boats around me. But I was fishing outside of people, especially with the higher tides. I was also fishing a lot of grass you couldn't see, so there weren't a lot of boats right next to me. There were boats 30 or 40 yards away, but I had a little bit of a niche. The quality of bites that I was getting fishing on the outside seemed to be a little better than what most people were able to get.

Q: Hey, Luke! After fishing it for a few months, what do you think about the Z-Man Elaztech soft plastics?
-- John (Atlanta, Ga.)
A: I think it's a great plastic for the majority of applications. We're actually coming out with some new baits that will work well for a bunch of other fishing applications as well. We're going to have a flipping bait come out and a smaller swimbait that will be out at ICAST.

Q: What was your No. 1 bait on the final day at the Potomac? Were you under a lot of stress?
-- Cody Hanley (Utopia, Canada)
A: I caught fish on a lot of different baits on that final day: swimming a jig, ChatterBait and flippiing assorted plastics. I really caught fish on a little bit of everything as the tides changed. And, honestly, I didn't really have everything figured out. As far as pressure, I really wasn't under a lot of stress on that final day. I was pretty calm. I wanted to work my butt off and let the chips fall where they may.

Q: How did you eliminate unproductive water with the miles of grass beds available?
-- Jeremy (Hoover, Ala.)
A: Really, just fishing through as much as I could. I fished a lot of grass during a lot of different tides. On the Potomac you can catch a lot of fish, so I spent three days in practice fishing until dark trying to figure out which areas had the best quality of fish given the different tides.

Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards, Wash., proudly displays his first-place trophy aftrer capturing the tournament title at the FLW Tour Potomac River event.Q: Luke, great job! Do you miss fishing out West, places like the Delta and Clear Lake?
-- Rodney (Santa Clarita, Calif.)
A: Yeah, definitely -- especially Clear Lake. It's probably my favorite lake. I haven't been able to get back there now for several years, but it's always been a lot of fun.

Q: For an angler (or co-angler) that has done well in tournaments and is looking for sponsors and thinks they can help a company, what advice do you give them when pursuing a sponsorship?
-- Omar De Jesus (Ashland City, Tenn.)
A: My best advice is to build as many relationships as you can with people/companies. Your best opportunity is to catch a lot of fish so the companies start coming to you.

Q: Did you take some things from the "Ultimate Match Fishing" show, where you have won two times, and apply them to this recent win -- I mean like fast thinking at times, quick adjustments, things like that?
-- Carig (Leroy, N.Y.)
A: Well, I think the more fishing you do in general, the better off you are. Anything you do in competitive fishing tournaments teaches you something. But I can't think of any one thing off the top of my head that made a difference on the Potomac.

Q: Luke, congrats on the win! Will the new Z-Man craw be available in different sizes, and what colors, and, of course, WHEN? Love their products!
-- Jeff H. (Grand Blanc, Mich.)
A: It should be out after ICAST and be available for order sometime in late December. I don't know the colors just yet, but I'm sure I'll have some input. But if you want to suggest any colors, go to the Z-Man website and tell us what you're looking for, and I'm sure they'll take that into account.

Q: What is your go-to topwater bait, and what rod and reel do you use?
-- Johnny Davis (Petal, Miss.)
A: I really throw two topwaters almost exclusively: a MegaBass Giant Dog-X and a MegaBass Pop Max. For bushes and shallow fishing, I use a 6-foot, 6-inch medium-heavy rod with 15-pound mono. When I need to be casting farther, I'll use a 7-foot medium-heavy rod when fishing baits like the Giant Dog-x.

Q: Luke, congratulations on your win. I am wondering if the grass where you were fishing was dead or alive and what kind of bottom was it growing on? Also, what made the spot unique?
-- P.J. Pahygiannis (Olney, Md.)
A: It was a milfoil and coontail mix, and all alive. Coontail grows on a harder bottom than milfoil, so I was looking for a mix. Fish always relate to a mix of grass better than one type of grass.

Q: How is river fishing different than fishing lakes or reservoirs? What's the main thing an angler should take into consideration when approaching such a venue?
-- Jim Interlandi (Chicago, Ill.)
A: Current is the biggest thing in a tidal fishery or other rivers. You need to use the current to your advantage and fiind the place where the fish are using the current to ambush fish.

Q: Do you think that your pattern at the Potomac was a pattern that was fading or would get stronger in weeks to come?
-- Jason Henderson (Smithfield, Va.)
A: I think it was getting stronger. It seemed like there were new fish every day, with fish moving in to spawn. However, as of right now, that pattern might be getting weaker as the fish are Chevy pro Luke Clausen of Otis Orchards, Wash., raises his hands in victory after capturing the tournament title at the FLW Tour Potomac River event.done spawning and moving into the main river.

Q: Do you have a girlfriend?
-- Joe Renosky (Indiana, Pa.)
A: Yeah, I do, and I hope Joe's not interested.

Q: Tell us your plan for Kentucky Lake.
-- Todd (Hendersonville, Tenn.)
A: I'm going to spend my whole time fishing out deep. I haven't had a spectacular practice, but I feel like there is a 99-percent chance the tournament is going to be won out deep.

Q: You said earlier that you would keep a spinnerbait rigged if you could only use five baits. In the summer, do you use the spinnerbait shallow or for deeper applications like offshore humps and standing timber?
-- Spencer Smith (Bowling Green, Ky.)
A: It really just depends on the fishery. In the summer, you can use a heavier spinnerbait to fish deeper. Keep the spinnerbait moving fast, and I'd use double-willow blades.

Q: What area of the Potomac did you fish for the win?
-- Tom (Richmond, Va.)
A: The Mount Vernon area.

Q: Do you consider this win a momentum-changer?
-- Omar De Jesus (Ashland City, Tenn.)
A: I was hoping that was the case until I started practicing here (on Kentucky Lake).

Q: What is your go-to bait while fishing in rough conditions?
-- Alec Louque (Paulina, Louisiana)
A: I would say a crankbait or a spinnerbait.

Q: Good afternoon. What do you think is the biggest mistake a co-angler makes? What do you think is the No. 1 lure for a co-angler at Kentucky Lake?
-- Omar De Jesus (Ashland City, Tenn.)
A: I would think a Texas-rigged 10-inch worm is the best bait for a co-angler on Kentucky Lake. The worst thing a co-angler can do is fish the same exact way as the pro. You can do something close or fish a different area, but don't do the exact same thing.

- MODERATOR COMMENT -
Unfortunately, that's all the time we have to chat with Luke today. Thanks, once again, to all the fans who tuned in and participated in today's Reel Chat. And a special thanks to Luke Clausen, the recent FLW Tour winner on the Potomac River, for giving us his time and insights into bass fishing. Check back shortly for a complete transcript of today's FLW Live Reel Chat.

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