Getting Up To Speed on Jordon Lee
One of the biggest stories in bass fishing this year has been the stunning back-to-back Bassmaster Classic wins amassed by 26-year old Jordan Lee of Grant, Alabama. There are so many interesting layers to Lee’s amazing Classic double that if you like bass fishing at all, now’s the time to get up to speed on one of the pro ranks’ brightest young stars.
Lee won the Classic on Conroe in March of 2017 and the Classic on Hartwell in March of 2018, making him only the third angler in history to win back-to-back Classics. He now joins pro fishing icons Rick Clunn and Kevin Vandam in the rare real estate of Classic doubles in a span of 12 months.
Listen to the 2018 post-Bassmaster Classic Press conference with Lee as he talks about the lures and techniques used to win. Notice how there isn’t one particular lure/pattern that drove the win, but rather a variety of both.
Lee has never won any other pro- or AAA-level fishing event. He won the Bassmaster College Series National Championship in 2013, which qualified him for his first Bassmaster Classic in 2014. He has fished a total of four Classics and won two of them making him the youngest pro to hold that honor.
In both Classic wins, Lee pulled off stunning come-from-behind performances on each event’s final day—catapulting from 15th place at Conroe and 6th at Hartwell.
With that, Lee has never led any Classics—just won them.
In this video, three of professional fishing’s best commentators react to Lee’s second consecutive Bassmaster Classic win.
Lee actually showed a penchant for such final-day heroics in his very first Classic on Guntersville when he started the event in 40th place after day one and then caught back-to-back 24-pound bags to rally to 6th.
At 26-years old, Lee represents a new generation of professional anglers who aren’t as flamboyant as some of the well-known pros from BASS’s ESPN era. During that time, bright colors, break dancing, and big personalities were part of the Bassmaster Classic spectacle.
Today’s new generation of 20-something pros are more reserved, low-keyed and discreet, yet so sniper-like with a rod and reel. Some of them, like Lee, came from the collegiate fishing ranks, earning degrees while learning the ropes in bass fishing through highly visible college fishing platforms developed by BASS and FLW.
Along with two Classic trophies, Lee also has a marketing degree from Auburn University.
Lee’s dedication to his craft through time on the water is well known. His Carhartt-wrapped truck and empty trailer can often be spotted at ramps around his home lakes of Guntersville and Smith, even under the nastiest of weather conditions. His peers say it’s not uncommon for Lee to return home from a grueling multiple-tournament road trip, only to launch his boat at Guntersville the very next day.
Listen in as Mark Zona provides some candid thoughts on Lee’s work ethic in his blog.
What makes Lee and this new generation of young, talented anglers rather unique is that they don’t necessarily subscribe to the conventions of traditional bass fishing patterns in the way their veteran predecessors did.
Instead of dialing in a pattern and committing themselves to it for an entire day, they’re far more unattached and freewheeling during tournament hours. They have no problem fishing five or six different types of patterns in different types of water in a single day.
This is not to say they don’t understand the traditional bass fishing patterns. They’re well versed in virtually every one that’s available, but just don’t put as much stock into the longevity of a particular pattern, and therefore don’t get locked into something that’s going away.
The immense fishing pressure today’s popular tournament lakes experience tends to break up and fragment the traditional patterns. And this new generation of pros seems to be much better at stringing together different parts and pieces of fragmented patterns and weaving them into a lethal partial-pattern patchwork for big wins—exactly like Lee did at Hartwell in March. In all, he mixed and matched four or five different pattern segments together without ever being pulled down the rabbit hole by any particular one.
The biggest competitive advantage this generation of anglers seems to be inherently keyed in on is timing: Getting the most out of one pattern piece, then bailing and jumping on the next one to get the most out of it. Simply put, they let a myriad of changing conditions dictate the when and the where of pattern switching.
Whether you’re already a big fan of Jordan Lee or have never heard of him before, check out this intense interview minutes after his second Classic win.
For those interested in gleaning knowledge from the young two-time Classic Champion, here’s Lee discussing the finer points of stroking a jig:
Lee discussing jig fishing in general:
This piece also includes some interesting thoughts about whether or not hooking fish in practice is a detriment to tournament performance, as well as some humorous commentary on keeping other competitors from knowing you have a fish hooked up in practice. This interview is over an hour long, but you can skip to the 27:15 mark of to get started with Lee’s segment.
Additional videos to get further up to speed on Jordan Lee:
The Neko rig has been a hot technique on the pro Tours, here is how Lee rigs his:
Watch Lee shock the fishing world with a 27-pound catch on the final day of the 2017 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Conroe.
Here’s a closer look at the lures Lee used to win the 2017 Bassmaster Classic on Conroe:
Great tip on the importance of finding hard bottom spots when fishing offshore: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_jCqE4Oh_nw
Mike Iaconelli interviews Jordan Lee about his 2017 Bassmaster Classic win on Ike Live:
As a graduate of Auburn University and a College Series National Champion, Lee offers his advice on a getting a college education.
Now, what’s your name again? A timeless interview with a “young” Lee after he fished his first Classic in 2014 as the College Series National Champion:
Finally, some fun personal facts about, and insights from, Jordan and his brother Matt Lee: