Monday, the world greeted Jordan Lee as a legend.
Back-to-back Bassmaster Classic wins are a feat of unimaginable difficulty. With his 2018 Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods win, Jordan Lee joins two of professional bass fishing’s greatest ambassadors, Rick Clunn and Kevin VanDam, as the only anglers to have achieved the greatest prize in all of tournament fishing in consecutive years.
Coming into the third day of the Bassmaster Classic on South Carolina’s immense Lake Hartwell, Plano Pro Lee sat within striking distance of the championship in a solid 6th place. Obstacles to victory included a formidable list of some of the world’s best bass anglers, along with funky fish in an exasperating state of flux. Hartwell’s bass, you see, had transitioned from a pre-spawn, ghost-like presence to active spawning activity within a matter of hours.
Lee’s 2018 Classic success is largely due to his decision to fish the way he often does on his home water in Alabama. Working the plentiful docks that line many stretches of Lake Hartwell’s bays and coves proved to be a great decision.
“I just wanted to cover as much water as I could to give myself the best chance of putting a bait in front of a fish,” Lee explained. “On this lake, I knew boat docks were going to play because they always do — and that’s what I like to do.”
Focusing his efforts on smaller-statured spotted bass throughout much of the tournament (he weighed in all spots on day two with a total weight of 12-2) was risky, but his preferred approach worked out in the long run when everything fell-together perfectly Sunday.
“Today, I went in the back of this one little pocket and the water was 57 degrees,” he said. “I caught a fish — probably my biggest one of the day — and then it turned out there were bass under every dock in there. They were swimming around by my boat. It was just loaded.”
When the final tally of three days of extremely challenging fishing took place Sunday evening at Bon Secours Arena in downtown Greenville, South Carolina, Jordan Lee’s total weight of 47-1 anchored him at the top of the field. With fans on their feet, the arena exploded with raucous cheers as a jubilant Lee repeatedly thrust his fists into the air in victory.
An outstanding showing by California’s Brent Ehrler wasn’t quite enough for the win – he finished second with a total weight of 46lbs 1oz, followed by Oklahoma’s Jason Christie, who fell to third place with 45lbs 15oz after leading the first two days of the tournament.
After the initial explosive celebration, Lee’s fiancé Kristen joined him on stage and was presented with a large bouquet of red roses. The couple shared one of the most memorable moments of the weekend as the record Bassmaster Classic crowd raised the roof with continued applause.
“I have been lucky enough to work with Jordan since he started fishing the Elites. Those of us who have known him have seen how much he has grown in the sport and become an angler you can never overlook,” says Plano Marketing Manager Chris Russell. “He has an uncanny knack of making great adjustments to the any given situation – one of the hallmarks of the best of the best. He’s a great angler and a role model to the high school and college anglers that are climbing the ranks today. We are proud to have him on the Plano Team.”
Any great fisherman will agree that success is often accompanied by a measure of sheer luck. But, pro anglers that consistently bring home winning bags doubtless possess a little something extra. Years of hard work and intense focus on the craft and the sacrifice associated with the highest level of professional bass fishing prove these elite anglers deserve every bit of respect and adoration fans and sponsors give them. Plano is proud to support some of the finest anglers on the water and congratulates Plano Pro Jordan Lee on his outstanding accomplishments at the highest level of professional bass fishing.