When a twenty year-old Daniel Clancy set the then Angler of the Year points record of 295/300 and claimed the 2012 Bass Pro Angler of the Year title, many picked him as one to watch in years to come. However, what followed was actually quite the opposite; Clancy hung up the rods after the 2013 season, sold his boat and gave tournament angling the rest it probably deserved after having competed on various levels since he was twelve years old.
Having won over $10,000 over his ABT Bass Pro career it would be safe to assume the Hunter Valley basser was in the form of his life when he decided it was time for a break. Clancy had sewn up an Angler of the Year title the year before. But it was a long time coming for Clancy, and a number of factors makde the decision to hang up the Millerods for a while a bit easier. “Being in a serious and committed relationship meant a lot of my time was spent making up for all those weekends away at tournaments. My partner Nikki and I spent a fair bit of time doing some international travel and weekends away with absolutely no fishing rods in the luggage.” Daniel also re-kindled his love of archery and bow hunting, and spent a lot of time honing his skills. “I spend a lot of time in the mountains and on the range. It’s a great way to gather the mind and keep grounded.”
Now, the soon to be twenty-four year old steps back into the spotlight, for a place on the ABT BassCat Bass Pro tour in 2016. Clancy purchased an old, second hand bass boat in late 2015 and spent the off-season stripping, re-carpeting, painting and generally overhauling the boat to prepare it for the rigors of a year on the tournament trail. Clancy watched his close friends Peter Phelps and Mitchell Cone dominate the end of year championship week in 2015 and their success prompted him to swap the bow for the boat in 2016. Phelps and Cone achieved a clean sweep of the MegaBucks, winning all three sessions and big bass. They then went on to finish 1st and 4th having sat 1st and 2nd going into the final day of the 2015 Bass Pro Grand Final. Clancy says his phone was on meltdown throughout the whole year, but especially on the Grand Final weekend. “Their 2015 season was a major impact on my decision to get another boat and make a move back into the scene. We are all good mates on and off the water and throughout the whole year my eyes where glued to the computer and constantly refreshing to see how they had done. I had the boys on speed dial come competition time. I don’t think I missed a single detail from pre-fish to the final weigh-in. These boys are on top of their game and watching Phelps win the grand final and make a dream come true with the trip of a lifetime really got the blood pumping! I was never going to miss that Grand Final weigh-in and watched two good mates fight it out; I wish I ad been out on the water with them.”
When asked what he is most looking forward to when he hitches the boat on for the first time in a few years, you get an insight into what keeps a great angler passionate about the sport they love. “Getting back into it and picking up everything I have missed out on, learning the new techniques and formats. It’s a hard sport to take any time away from without major impact.” He adds, “for me there is no better feeling than cracking a pattern that you know no-one else has up their sleeve. I’m looking forward to getting that feeling again, although it may not be in my first season.”
While Clancy has been missed from the Bass Pro series since 2013, he hasn’t hung-up the rods entirely. In fact, Clancy and Cone won the 2014 BETS Bass Grand Final in some horrendous weather on his home waters of Lake Glenbawn, which shows he is still an angler to fear when he gets going.
The 2016 ABT BassCat Bass Pro series has re-kindled old sparks, ignited new ones and kept the fire burning for all the diehard tournament bassers in Australia. It was the series that set the wheels in motion for Carl Jocumsen’s rise to Bassmaster Elite Series pro and now the Grand Final champion at the end gets to experience the life every bass angler in Australia would love to live even if only for a moment. So get your boat organised, prep your tackle and enter for your chance to compete against Australia’s best.