Throwback: 45 and counting

Photos: Cal Tatum (Right) Dave Gliebe (Below)


Can you imagine what it would be like to win 45 boats? Not many can. With the exception of Gary Dobyns, most will never come close to winning that many boats.

Dave Gliebe doesn’t have to imagine, he lives the dream.

After placing second at the BASS Open on Clear Lake in October, Dave took home his 45th boat. Those who know Dave aren’t surprised, he is the most instinctive bass angler in the nation. Besides possessing a God-given gift of knowing when, where and what to throw, Gliebe has honed his skills with countless hours on the water. Once again, Gliebe counted on his trained instincts to finish second at Clear Lake.

In the end, Gliebe weighed 15 bass totaling 46-1, finishing second to Mark Tyler’s 48-14. More than half of his total weight was caught on the last day. Dave Gliebe’s instincts helped him catch a five-fish limit weighing 23 pounds, 10 ounces.

His first couple of days were successful, as far as numbers are concerned. He was catching 80 to 100 fish per day but the fish were all small. After the first day of competition he was in 16th place with a weight 13-13. Far behind the first place angler, Bill Siemantel’s 24-12.

Gliebe’s day two performance didn’t help much. He dropped from 16th to 24th when he weighed in a mere 8-10.

On day three, Gliebe did what he does best, he listened to his instincts.

Gliebe’s motor started running rough when he came off plane. With possible engine problems, Gliebe decided to stay where he was and then he planned on going in early. He started flipping jigs and Senkos and throwing an occasional spinnerbait. He hammered a seven pounder off the top of a rock and really felt he had discovered the “mother lode.” Unfortunately, the spot didn’t produce as well as he originally hoped. He moved over to Long Tule Point to flip the tules. He spotted a local boat fishing in the area and decided to head over to a small island not far off the Tule Point.

It didn’t take long for Gliebe to realize he needed to slow his presentation, someimtes deadsticking a Senko on the bottom for up to 30 seconds. He spotted a “rodent patch,” a clearing in the tules where muskrats grab clams to eat, flipped into it and nailed a six-pound fish.

Gliebe can tell you where he caught every fish, but it’s important to note that the last few fish were caught along a 50-foot stretch of tules, but not all were caught in the tules.

By now his instincts were on high alert. He caught fish in the tules, he caught one over five pounds over the grass on the outside of tules. At one point he noticed hydrilla fanning out and moving back and forth in the current. Something told him to fish it and he nailed another bass that was nearly seven pounds. Dave hammered a six-pounder near the tules again and then the last fish, another nearly six pound fish, was sitting on top of a rock.

Gliebe ran out of time and had to pull the trolling motor up and head for the ramp.

“I feel confident that with a bit more time I might have won the tournament,” said Gliebe.

When Dave Gliebe speaks about “getting the call,” many wonder what he means. He has even been known to talk about “listening to the voices.” With Gliebe, it’s all about instincts and learning how to allow yourself to follow those instincts. There must be something to it, 45 boats, three trucks and a Cadillac later, it has paid off for Dave Gliebe to listen.

Since the early 70s, Dave Gliebe has been a force to reckoned with on virtually any body of water, at any time. It doesn’t matter if he is fishing the Delta, Clear Lake or Okeechobee. You would think that with his success and longevity he would be looking at hanging up his jigs, but you would be wrong. Dave Gliebe isn’t finished yet. There are still a few more boats he wants to win. So, don’t let him fool you ... this soft-spoken, daydreaming angler still has a very competitive streak in him. He’s not flashy, he probably won’t have his own fishing show, and it’s doubtful you will see him running around with the “jet setters.” But, what you will see, is Dave Gliebe headed down the road pulling boat number 46 sometime soon.