Bassmaster Classic champion Jordan Lee played a lot of baseball in his younger years growing up around Cullman, Ala., and right now, the easy-going 26-year-old feels a lot like one of former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra’s famous quotes: “It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
Go to Lake Conroe, win a Classic. Go to Lake Hartwell the following year, win another Classic.
Go to Grand Lake last week knowing there are bass on spawning beds that poor water clarity won’t permit him to see. Work hard. Fish hard. Notch another top-12 finish.
Fire up the Tundra and head straight to the next event at Kentucky Lake, realizing once again there are bass on spawning beds that poor water clarity won’t permit him to see.
“There’s a lot of bass on beds here, but it won’t be much of a sight-fishing tournament because the water’s been high and off-colored, and beds are hard to see here, just like at Grand Lake last week,” Lee said.
And much like northeast Oklahoma last week, the weather forecast is one to make the Chamber of Commerce proud here in Henry County, Tenn. Lots of sunshine and temps perfectly suited for nothing more than the Carhartt Force long-sleeve shirt you seeing Lee wearing here.
After two very long, but comfortable days on Kentucky Lake, Lee predicts weights very similar to Grand Lake.
“I averaged 17 pounds a day at Grand and finished 10th, and I’m guessing that’s just about exactly what it’ll take here for a top 12,” he says.
Unlike Grand, the water is in the bushes on Kentucky Lake, but it’s falling fast. And while there’s tons of shallow habitat to cast or pitch to right now, the TVA will likely suck as much as two feet of water out of this massive reservoir by the start of competition, which again could bring flashbacks of Grand’s mostly dry shoreline habitat.
Still, just like Grand, Lee feels this will be a shallow-water tournament.
“The water temps are in the 60s and warming daily, fish want to be shallow," he said. "I’m not saying somebody won’t slip off the bank and win off a gravel bar or shell bar, but for the most part there’s going to be a lot of guys fishing shallow."
Finally, there are the intangibles that seem so similar to Lee at Kentucky Lake, just like Hartwell, Conroe, and Grand – he’ll be one of the very last anglers to leave the boat ramp.
“It’s 6 p.m., and I’ll probably be out here until pretty much dark at 8 p.m. – I’ve got a lot of work to do,” he grinned as the sun began to fall in the western sky on Wednesday near Buchanan, Tenn.