A fine start to 2020!

I am extremely thankful for a great start to the season! I had a strong finish on the St. Johns River, FL, Elite, Feb. 8-11 – our first #basselite of the season – placing 4th at the weather-shortened event.

From mid-pack to 4th place at the wind-shortened St Johns River Elite, Palatka FL, Feb. 2020!

With Lake Chickamaga being postponed, I am really looking forward to the Classic! As a three-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier, I am ready now more than I have ever been. Birmingham, Lake Guntersville, here I come! I hope to see you all there soon!

Looking at the schedule for the year, we will be at Birmingham next for the Bassmaster Classic, March 6-8. From there, it’s on to the Chickamauga, TN, Elite tournament, March 19-22. You can check out the full schedule at www.bassmaster.com.

From there, I  will be traveling to Lake Eufaula, AL, Santee Cooper, SC, Sabine River, TX and Lake Fork, TX – then head north to the St. Lawrence River and Lake Champlain in New York, wrapping up the regular Bassmaster Elite Series season at Lake St Clair near Detroit, MI. Wish me luck!

The road ahead…

Just two Elite’s and one Southern Open into the 2017 Bassmaster season, there’s still plenty to look forward to. And, after my success at the “Big O” Elite, man, am I looking forward to it!

Toledo Bend is next on the calendar… April 6-10. I’m sure ready to give that one a go. Wish it was next week… momentum is a good thing! Waiting is tough…

Lake Okeechobee Open practice early 2017

I’ll get in some practice on Sam Rayburn and Ross Barnett on my way out to the Classic. Speaking of the Classic, come visit me while I work the show in Houston, TX, March 24-26th. You can find me at Lews Reels, Fitzgerald Rods, Phoenix Boats, Garmin, Go Rving, Dicks, Cabelas, Mercury, Power-Pole, Seaguar, Bass Pro Shops, Bob’s Jackplates, Bass Assassin, Bass Mafia or Tackle Addicts. I’ll be at one or another — just ask around — I would love to see you guys!

I’m looking forward to all the other tournaments, as well. We’ll be hitting some incredible bass fisheries this year! Chicamauga, Dardanelle, St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain and St. Claire. Then, in 2018, the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell, in Greenville, SC. I’ll be there — one way or the other!

After placing 3rd at the Okeechobee Elite, my best Bassmaster Elite finish to date, I can’t wait to get back out and see where this road takes me. I feel it’s destined to be a special place. Wish me luck!

Okeechobee success!

What a great tournament! I’m very pleased to say I just finished in 3rd at the Bassmaster Elite, held Feb, 23-26, on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee.

Championship Sunday on the “Big O”, 2/26/17.

How did I do it? With the unwavering support of my family, friends and fans, the benefit of some successful, pre-cut-off, practice runs with my son, Sy — and the help of some great gear.

The gear? Let’s start with the rods… Fitzgerald Rods, all the way. My personal favorite – the aptly named, all-new, “Okeechobee” heavy flippin’ rod – plus the Titan HD and the 7 ft. heavy Vursa series. I had ’em all rigged and ready: and it took all of them to make it happen. I had to change it up every day — throughout the day!

I paired those Fitzgerald Rods with Lew’s Reels. The Pro Magnesium 7.5:1 – it only weighs 5.5 oz – and the Super Duty Speed Spool 7.1:1, for flipping.

The key “line” for the week? Seaguar! I hooked them all on my 50 lb, Flippin’ Braid, 25 lb. Tatsu fluorocarbon and Owner hooks. Owner’s 3/o Jungle Flipping hook was key. It’s a lightweight wire hook that is strong enough to handle heavy braided lines and “Big O” bites.

My baits included the Greenfish TATTotally Awesome Topwater — the key to my day one 7- and 5-pounders, and Bass Assassin products. My primary Bass Assassin baits were their Bang Lures Fat Job in Gold Rush color for flippin’ and the Pure Craw in Delta Neon for sight fishing. They all got it done.

My Phoenix, Mercury, and 10 in. action Bob’s Jackplate all played a major part in my success — allowing me to get into, and take off from, the shallow waters.

The new Garmin mapping capabilities lead me to my key bites. The one-foot contours are awesome!

Bass Mafia tackle organization also played an big role throughout the tournament. I have never been more organized. I have a Bass Mafia Terminal Coffin for finesse, and a separate setup for all my flippin’ terminal tackle. It helped me save time, BIG TIME!

Toyota Trucks Bonus Bucks — always have to say “Thank you!” to Toyota for the great towing. Plus, I got paid :-). Also, hats off to Leer for keeping the gear in the bed of my Tundra safe and dry.

My Power-Poles held me steady for the sight fishing — and helped me bag a steady 20 pound average for the entire Big O Elite!

Then there’s my “lucky” gear… Lucky Greenfish hat. Lucky black socks. Lucky stinky jersey — I never changed it — wore it all 4 days! Lucky Nike shoes. My “Buddy Evans gold coin”… thank you, Buddy Evans, for making such a difference in my family’s life.

Also… Thank you to my wonderful daughter, Gracie Prince 🙂 Love you girl! Thanks to my wonderful buddy for life, my son, Syler Prince (extra thanks for being my Okeechobee practice competition!). And, of course, tons of “thanks” to my incredible wife, Kelley!

I know many, many, fishy prayers were said… and answered. So I’d like to extend an extra special “thank you” to ALL of you prayer warriors :-). Couldn’t have done it without you!

Finished strong on St. Johns!

I sure wanted it BAD… but, honestly, I had no problem handing it over to The Legendary Rick Clunn! Got off to a slow start – but then built some momentum. Catching Friday’s, 10-8, “Big Bass of the Day” helped bump me way up the leaderboard! By Sunday, I ended up finishing 6th at the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series opener, in front of a hometown crowd, on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Florida. A huge “Thank You” for all your prayers and support… it sure has meant a lot. My hometown fans were awesome!  Lots of family, friends and other local well-wishers in attendance! Sure appreciated it. What a great turnout we had – throughout the entire tournament. What an incredible week!

Took 6th at the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series opener on the St. Johns River in Palatka, FL. Not a bad way to start the season!

I’d like to extend a huge “Thank You” to all my sponsors – in particular Futch’s Depot, Kubota Tractor Corporation, Fitzgerald Rods, Gator Tackle Co., YUM, Booyah Baits, Garmin Fish & Hunt, Bob’s Machine Shop, Phoenix Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Lew’s, Seaguar and Power-Pole.

How did I do it? Here are a few details on some combos that got me a 6th place finish at the St. John’s River Bassmaster Elite… Fitzgerald Rods Stunner Series: 7’3” medium- heavy, 7’3” heavy, 7’1” medium-heavy, Lew’s Pro Magnesium Speed Spool, 12 lb. Seaguar Tatsu Fluorocarbon and new 30 lb. Seaguar Flippin’ Fluorocarbon, Booyah Baits One Knocker, Smithwick Lures Devil’s Horse, YUM Wooly Bug, Bomber Lures Fat Free Shad & Yum Breaking Shad rigged on an Underspin.

#KubotaStrong

Next stop – Winyah Bay, SC, Elite. Wish me luck!

Sacramento River Elite.

First off, thanks for visiting my website. I know… it’s been a while since my last post. Why? Not much to say about those first two Elite Series tournaments. That happens sometimes… it’s fishing.

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Landed this feisty 8-pounder on day 2!

Sure have enjoyed California, though! Every bit of it. From the relaxing start and recreational fishing on Clear Lake – to the longest-trip-to-my-fishing-hole ever, most anxiety-ridden, memory-making, gas-sucking week I have yet to experience in my fishing career. All ending with a most appreciated, much needed and long overdue (in my opinion) top 50 (30th place) finish in the Sacramento Bassmaster Elite tournament… whew!!! What a relief! And WHAT FUN! Did I say “I LOVE fishing on Saturday?” I LOVE FISHING ON SATURDAY!!!!  The only thing better would be fishing on Sunday – of course. I really wanna make that top twelve cut… fishy prayers for Havasu!!!

OK, now for the details. I had a ball fishing the Sacramento River delta… once I was able to get out of the driver seat, that is. After two hours driving the boat, it was fish after fish, cast after cast… catch after catch… day after day. And, more importantly, keeper after keeper! That’s hard to beat – anywhere. During any tournament, the big bites are the key – and I was fortunate enough to get a few! I couldn’t be more thankful for my Seaguar line – I got ’em to the boat, each and every time!  To see that 7-pounder jump out of the water, head shaking and all… that was a fisherman’s dream getting him to the boat and in the live well! I just love happy endings!!!

I’m really looking forward to the next Elite Tournament, at Lake Havasu! Wish me luck.

A c-c-c-cold Classic!

Man, was I was pumped and ready for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic in Greenville! Having had a couple of very successful practices on Lake Hartwell, before the cutoff, I was ready to roll! I also started official practice with GREAT success… too good, some might say. I ended up landing a couple of 4-pounders, plus 5 lb. and 6 lb. fish! Things were looking good.

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On day 2 of the Classic, I hit the stage with 14 lbs.

First day rolled around and the dadgum fish had moved out! Or, maybe I was just fishing a bit too fast for them. Either way, not much success on day 1. Still, with my practice results, I had enough confidence and determination to push me into day 2 with a great deal of momentum and hope. I came back to the stage with 14 lbs. on Saturday. Not bad for an icy day in February – but not enough to make Sunday’s cut. If only day 1 would’ve gone a little differently… but, isn’t that what many of us say?! After all the weigh-ins were finished, I ended up in 34th place. But, despite the cold, despite missing the cut, I’m sure glad I got the invite. There’s nothing like the Classic!

Now, I’m looking forward to the new year. Planning to do all I can, each and every day – in preparation, practice and tournament competition. I’m going to give the 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series everything I’ve got – in order to qualify for next year’s Classic!

Oh yeah… about that Classic weather… yes, it was a bit chilly! 12 degrees… 9 degrees… something like that. Anyways… cold, freeze-your-boat-to-the trailer, degrees! But, when you make sure your core is warm – cover your head, wear gloves and use hand warmers – it sure helps out. I was literally sweating underneath all those layers!!!

Extreme cold, high winds, pouring rain, blazing heat… Whatever the weather – and we see it all – I try not to let it clog my thoughts. I try not to think about anything but fishing… ”FOCUS… fish… think positive!!!” An attempt to brain wash myself? Maybe… but it works!

Onward to the Bassmaster Elite Series… Wish me luck!

Power to spare in 2015!

VZ250SHO_3-4_starboardGonna keep it short here, but I just wanted to say – I sure am loving my new VMAX SHO! Yamaha Rocks! And Rules! I got the new 920 Phoenix to 78.4mph! Whoa!  Phoenix+Yamaha SHO+Bob’s Jackplates = perfect match! I got the power, that’s for sure!

All geared up and ready to hit the water running! And running fast! Classic, here I come…

#gottalovethewindblownlook

Thank you, BluewaterLED!

First, let me extend a sincere “Thanks!” to all my sponsors. Without you, I couldn’t do what I do.

That being said, I would like to especially thank one of my newest sponsors – BluewaterLED – for the new 2015 Elite year!  It’s great to be part of the BluewaterLED family!  Thanks to Eric and his wife Jennifer, my boat and truck are looking sharper than ever – glowing bright and blue!

I can see clearly now!  I can see everything on deck. The lights truly make a world of difference –not to mention how great they look.  My live wells, rod boxes, deck and all are all lit up – I love it!  All I  know is I am not getting any younger and my eyesight is not getting any better.  The BluewaterLED lights are just what I need to best rig my tackle. Every little bit helps, and my new BluewaterLEDs help a lot! These lights are the best, by far. So  “Light ‘em up!”

I couldn’t be happier that Bluewater hooked me up with not only great products, but great people. You guys are awesome!

2015 Bassmaster Classic, hear I come! With no small thanks to BluewaterLED, and the rest of my incredible sponsors. It’s gonna be a GREAT year!

bluewater-led-wrap-RV3

My 2015 rig, all wrapped up and ready to hit the tournament trail! Super-fast and extra-roomy 920 Phoenix with Yamaha VMAX SHO, all decked out with BluewaterLEDs – and towed by my trusted Toyota Tundra.

#themorelightthebetter #bluewaterLED #answertoprayers #nomoremissingeyesonmymicromagicduckettrods

Bassmaster Classic Bound!

As the “first man out” of the 2015 Classic, I had one final chance to be the “last man in’”. And, you’d better believe I took it! First, I needed to enter the Lake Norman Southern Open, and then I needed one of several things to go my way, More on all that, later.

Back to the tournament. After two days of fishing, I had weighed in with 20.9 lbs. – good enough for 21st place at the Lake Norman BASS Southern Open. It was a great tournament, but one without a lot of big fish. I was really glad to catch the weight I did. I fished shallow and deep. Top water, shallow, and drop shot, deep. Just sent my bait straight down! They just didn’t seem to bite with long casts. I caught a number of fish deep, but only small ones – 14-inchers. I got most of the larger fish up shallow. I finished pretty decent in the standings, but didn’t make the final day’s cut. Next came the hard part – awaiting my Classic destiny. The next day was exhausting… waiting, constantly checking the BASS Blog for updates… and biting my nails during the final day’s weigh-in. I think I was more tired NOT fishing and waiting for the weigh-in results than I would have been fishing a third day!

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Day 1 at the Lake Norman Open.

Of course, it took a strong finish at the AOY Lake Michigan Elite to make my outside chance at Classic qualification even possible. A good showing at the AOY event meant I still had a chance to get in. It put me “on the bubble”, right on the edge of making the cut for the Classic. So, I decided to check on the possibility of fishing this year’s last Southern Open, and my wish was granted – thanks to Chris Bowes and BASS. With that, I decided to take a chance at shaping my own Classic destiny, which would lead to greatly increasing my possibilities of getting that coveted invitation!

Basically, I needed one of the following things to happen at the tournament in order to secure a Classic berth: for a current Classic qualifier to win, becoming a double qualifier and bumping me in, or for a “newby” – an angler new to the 2014 Southern Opens – possibly even a local fisherman, to enter and win, sending the next Elite Series pro in line – me – to the Classic (only Open winners that fish all 3 Opens in a region get a Classic invitation). Actually, having not entered all three Southern Opens, I could have even bumped myself in – with a win. That didn’t happen. But, hey, as long as it happened, I didn’t care how it happened. And it did happen! After it was all said and done, the Lake Norman Southern Open win went to the GREAT Andy Montgomery! By winning, Andy became a double qualifier… and my hero! I have now officially received my 2015 Classic invitation. Thank you Andy! Thank you, so, so much!

2015 Bassmaster Classic… HERE I COME!

Weathering The Michigan Elite

At the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship at Bays de Noc, Escanaba, Michigan, we spent more days waiting out the wind than we did fishing. High winds and big waves caused an unprecedented three-days-in-row cancellation, turning what was to be a three-day tourney on Lake Michigan into a two-day event.

Michigan_RV_cliff-prince-IMG_3382

A couple from my best smallmouth bag, ever – 21.4 lbs!

In the end, it was worth the wait. I caught some pretty nice bags up there, that’s for sure. That place has the biggest smallmouth I have ever seen – and a bunch of them! They sure liked my 4 inch Yum Dinger green pumpkin tied onto my 6 lb, Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon line. Good stuff!

Day 1 wasn’t bad – I weighed in with 16.2 lbs. Then came the three-day cancellation. Ooh-boy! Had a lot on the line on day 2 – still having a mathematical chance to qualify for the Classic with a really strong finish. And a strong finish I had, weighing in with 21.4 lbs, That was the largest bag of smallmouth I had ever weighed in… you gotta love tournament days like that! I ended up finishing 16th – not bad for a Florida boy chasing smallmouth. But, in the end, it wasn’t quite enough to get me into the Classic. Not yet anyway. I was “the first man out”. But there’s still hope…

Yes sir, I’m hoping to go from “first man out” to “last man in”. I have one last chance to get a seat in the Classic, and you’d better believe I’m gonna take it! I’m heading up to Lake Norman, North Carolina for the season’s last BASS Southern Open event. There are a couple ways I can still get into the Classic. First, if an Elite Angler in the top 39 in AOY standings wins the Lake Norman Open, I’m in the Classic. Second, If a guys who has not fished all three Southern Opens wins the tournament, I’ll get bumped into a Classic berth. It just so happens, I could be one of those guys, and bump myself in! Wouldn’t that be a sweet way to end the season!

Wish me luck at the Lake Norman Open. I’ll need all I can get, and then some!

Cuyaga Lake Bassmaster Elite

Culling-at-Cayuga-2014-prince_3_0

Time to cull at Cayuga, August 21, 2014

Cayuga practice went really well, with quality bites coming on both the YUM Vibra King Tube and Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbait. But, once again, once the tournament started I had to change my tactics. The first day I caught all of my fish on the Drop Shot YUM 4 inch Mighty Worm. On day 2, I caught a couple on the drop shot and then a couple more on the YUM Vibra Tube. After Friday’s weigh-in I wound up in 53rd place, and sitting 40th in points going to into the AOY Championship. I’m planning on really doing my homework for the next three weeks. I sure want to make the Bassmaster Classic!

Next stop – the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship tournament at Bay de Noc Escanba, Michigan, September 18-21. Wish me luck!

Philly Elite at Delaware River

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Philly fish #2, day 1, August 7, 2014

Talk about a tuff event! Bites were really hard to come by in Philly – although I did get a good many bites flipping in one of the creeks on the New Jersey side of the river. The new YUM Chirsti Craw was the bait working for me during the practice days, but, by the time the tournament rolled around I had to change things up a bit. On Thursday, I was able to scrounge up 3 keepers on a YUM 6 inch Mighty Worm Shaky Head. I had only one bite all day on Friday, and was just glad to get him to the scales. I’m no stranger to fishing tidal waters… but that 7 foot tide swing was mind boggling!

During the week in between The Philadelphia and Cayuga Elites, I was able to get in some pre-fishing. I hit the St. Lawrence, Lake Onadaga, and Lake Onieda, and had a ball at everyhttp://www.cliffprincefishing.com/wp-admin/post-new.php stop! I caught a good many smallmouth and largemouth, from 1 pounders up to 6 pounders. Had a lot of success with the new doorstep cash loans today YUM drop shot prototype… its going to be a good one!

On to Cayuga!

BASSfest 2014 in Dayton, Tn

June 11 keeper 4 bassfest imagejpeg_09At the June 11-15 Bassmaster BASSfest Elite at Chickamauga Lake in Dayton, Tennessee, I had a respectable finish on day 1 – with 13 lbs. at weigh-in. I was really excited to start day 2 and hooked a few giants that took to the bottom of the lake… as far and as fast as they could! Broke 3 biggins off!!!  At day 2 weigh-in, I didn’t have enough to make the top 50. I went into day 3 at Nickajack Lake for some “second chance fishing”.  I was ready to attack, and hoping for the best, but could only find shorts. Many on the line… but all too short! Better luck next time.

All in all, I can’t complain much, though. I had my wonderful wife, Kelley and my awesome kids, Gracie and Syler, there for the tournament. And for Father’s Day! Sure enjoyed their company! Heading home before heading north…

I love you, Daddy!

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! Thank you for everything in MY world! Catch some Big fish, I hope you WIN the next tournament!  I love you!

1957936_761608930531081_1769976910_oLove you,
Your fishing buddy,
your hunting buddy,
your Best Buddy… Sy!

Also…

We wanted to wish you a happy Father’s Day and let you know we love you very much and love going to your tournaments!

Love,
Mom and Dad!

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy!

1017730_418427334968255_1683352036_nFather’s Day is a very important day of the year. My dad is so very special. Some people ask me “Is it hard when your dad is on a fishing trip?” The answer to that is, yes, because I miss him… but I know that he is doing what he loves and it’s really cool how you can enjoy what you’re doing at work! I love traveling with my dad as much as we can. Sometimes mom even lets us miss school. I wish we could go to all the tournaments! When we go on tournaments we have to do lots of things to keep our minds off the fishing because we would be all be nervous and excited the entire day… every minute to be exact!!! We say our “Fishy Prayers” throughout the day… prayers for daddy to find the good fish… hook ’em and get them in the livewell… Prayers for a safe and happy daddy!!!  This Father’s Day when we went to Dayton, Tennessee for BASSfest… we had a great time… we got to enjoy time with family and great friends!!! A great start to our summer!!!!

Love to my Daddy… from his favorite girl 🙂

Thank you to all that help us out with those “Fishy Prayers” for our Favorite Fisherman! Happy Fathers Day to our Favorite Fisherman Daddy!!!! Love to my Clifford D!!!

– Gracie Prince

19th at Dardanelle Elite.

dardanelle_saturday_19th place with 46-12-5-17-14 cliff-prince-4M2Z5741Man, they sure do have the fish in Lake Dardanelle! I never imagined that it would take more than a 3 lb. average to make the top twelve at the Bassmaster Elite tournament held there May 15-18, in Russellville, Arkansas. On day 1, I landed a couple of good ones – enough to keep me in the running. But I also lost a couple of nice ones that sure would have helped the cause! On day 2, I expanded my area, fished clean, and weighed in with a better than average bag. I finished Friday safely within the cut. On day 3, I caught a lot of fish, but missed a couple of key bites. Bottom line, I didn’t make the day 4 cut, but I’m very thankful for my 19th place finish. Tennessee, here I come!

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