|Matt and Jordan Lee. B.A.S.S. photo by Seigo Saito.|
A year ago brothers, teammates and lifelong fishing buddies Matt and Jordan Lee stood side by side on a weigh-in stage in Arkansas, knowing that one would fulfill the dream of competing in the Bassmaster Classic and the other would not. Matt, the older of the two brothers won the Classic bid. Yesterday in Muskegon, Michigan, Jordan stepped up to the same situation, this time standing beside his longtime best friend and another Auburn teammate, Shane Powell, again as the last two standing with a Classic bid on the line. This time Jordan prevailed, and soon after brother Matt joined him on stage to congratulate him and hand over his keys to represent the Auburn University wrapped Toyota Tacoma and Yamaha 250-powered Skeeter FX20 bass boat that Jordan will drive and fish from for the next year.
It's kind of hard for me to wrap my mind about just what an accomplishment it was for Jordan to make his way all the way back to the bracket finals and win, but a couple of things mentioned on stage yesterday add some perspective. The Auburn fishing team was one of 143 programs in the Carhartt College Series last season, and Jordan was one of more than 600 anglers on those teams.
After a full season of fishing and the series championship on Lake Chatuge, only members of the top four teams from the championship made the Classic Bracket. Those anglers fished head to head in a bracket-style competition, with eight fishing on Friday, four on Saturday and the two that remained on Sunday. For the past two years, the final two standing have been Jordan Lee and an Auburn teammate.
Making the opportunity to fish the Bassmaster Classic even more exciting for Jordan -- if that's possible -- it will be held on Alabama's Lake Guntersville, which is where he and Matt have learned the most about bass fishing and the lake they consider "home waters."
Jordan said that his primary bait yesterday was a BOOYAH spinnerbait. On Day 1, he brought in the tournament's biggest catch and caught most of his fish on a BOOYAH Poppin' Pad Crasher. He caught the bulk of his fish around docks.