CAN THIS GUY WIN IT ALL? That's the question I was asking myself a week before the Citgo Bassmaster Classic, as I climbed into the boat for a day of "scout fishing" with the incredibly laid-back Luke Clausen. By the end of the day, after watching how the 27-year-old methodically broke down this huge chain of lakes in Kissimmee, Fla., I thought he had as good a shot as anybody. I shouldn't have doubted. Clausen won the BASS tour's "Super Bowl" event in a walk, staking a lead on day one with a record 29-pound 6-ounce stringer of five fish, and he never looked back. As weather conditions deteriorated throughout the competition, he held his lead on the way to a record three-day total of 56 pounds 2 ounces. That earned him the $500,000 winner's check. How did he do it? Simple. He had the best plan. The 51 competitors had an overwhelming 107 square miles of water in four lakes to cover, but Clausen focused all his efforts in a relatively small corner of Lake Kissimmee. Instead of zipping from spot to spot, he patiently and deliberately concentrated three days of fishing on an area not much larger than a few football fields. Watching him find this zone during our scouting session taught me an enormous amount about how an angler should break down a bass lake. Just over a week before the Classic started, I arrived at a remote boat ramp on the eastern shore of Lake Kissimmee. I had taken a red-eye flight from Denver the night before in order to meet this man, one of the few competitors who had agreed to let me come along and pick his brain during the event's official practice session. I wanted to ride with Clausen because he was a dark horse, and because it would be interesting to watch a guy from the other side of the country--he's from Spokane Valley, Wash.--wrestle with the intricacies of Florida's most legendary bass waters. His learning curve, I thought, would be steep.