B.A.S.S. Communications and BassFan Staff
Former back-to-back Bassmaster Classic champion Jordan Lee is headed back to the Bassmaster Elite Series in 2024. Lee will return to the Elites via a Legends spot in the field, which opened when Larry Nixon announced his retirement recently
In just five seasons competing in major B.A.S.S. events, Lee, of Grant, Ala., amassed more than $1.1 million in earnings through wins in the 2017 and 2018 Classics and dominant performances in both the Elites and the Bassmaster Opens, notching 21 Top-10s and 36 Top-30 finishes.
He spent the past five seasons on the Bass Pro Tour, where he was a three-time winner. He triumphed in the circuit's inaugural event in 2019 and was the 2020 BPT Angler of the Year.
“It is great to welcome Jordan back home to the Bassmaster stage, where he built such a fantastic career spanning from college to the historic back-to-back Classic victories,” said Lisa Talmadge, tournament director for the Elite Series.
Said Lee: "This is really exciting. I’m really looking forward to the challenge of being back on the Elites. I know, from a competition standpoint, there are a lot of guys on the Elite Series that are young, hungry and eat, sleep and breathe this sport.
“When I started my career at B.A.S.S., I didn’t really know what was going to happen, but winning those Classics changed my life. To this day that’s what people know me from. I still have people bring it up and talk about it pretty consistently.”
The Classic stage is a big part of the reason Lee felt coming back to B.A.S.S. was the best thing for his career.
“The two Classic wins are what most people still remember me for even to this day,” he said. “Those two wins were definitely the highlight of my career. The atmosphere of the Bassmaster Classic is unreal, and I don’t think anyone can argue what the Classic means to the sport of bass fishing and what it can do for an angler’s career.
“If I’m able to get back to the Classic, I know it’s going to put a huge smile on my face seeing all the fans, my family and just being back on the big stage. That’s what everyone dreams about, and I’m hoping I can get back there.”
Lee said that nother factor that made the five-time Classic qualifier desire a return to B.A.S.S. was the fan support that he’s felt from fans.
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to the B.A.S.S. fans,” said Lee. “I’ve always been appreciative of the fans. Honestly, the fans are what keep you going when things get tough. I don’t take it for granted at all.”
Anglers earn one Legends point for each Bassmaster Classic victory and one point for each Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. According to Elite Series rules, up to two Legends qualifiers can be added to the Elite field per season.
When compared with other anglers who inquired about a Legends exemption, Lee had the most points based on his two Classic titles. No spots are being cut from the 2024 Elite field to make room for Legends qualifiers.