Jordan Lee fished bass tournaments in high school and did well. Then he went to Auburn University, joined the fishing team and partnered with his brother Matt to win the Bassmaster National Collegiate Fishing Championship. After graduating from Auburn University in 2013, he joined the Bassmaster Elite Circuit and after 4 years won the Bassmaster Classics in 2017 and 2018. Lee was a young man who set high goals for his fishing career and worked hard to reach those goals in a short time. Here, he provides advice that he’d give to a young person who wants to do what he has and establish his or her name in the history of bass fishing.
The sport of bass fishing is growing and is in a good place right now with 20 percent of the anglers on the Bassmaster Elite Circuit having fished on college teams. I believe that the opportunities for a young bass fisherman will continue to get better and better in the coming years. My goal after leaving high school and fishing local and regional tournaments was to go to Auburn and get my degree. That was an important goal, because there’s nothing certain in the profession of bass fishing.
The first thing I’ll tell a young person who wants to become a tournament pro is to concentrate on his or her education, fish in high school if possible by joining a Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School team, and join a college fishing team. Set yourself up for after finishing school to get a job or to become a professional bass fisherman. You must have the money required to buy boats and tackle and pay for travel expenses and entry fees.
I went all in pursuing a career in bass fishing after graduating from Auburn, which was a big gamble. But as long as you have a college degree, if you don’t make the professional bass-fishing ranks when you first try, you’ll have a way to earn a living until you can attempt that again.
My second piece of advice to young people hoping to join the ranks of professional bass fishing is to spend a lot of time on the water under all types of weather and water conditions to attempt to catch bass. Whether you’re fishing as a co-angler in the back of someone else’s boat, or you have your own boat, fish as many different lakes as possible in various locations under all types of weather conditions. These ideas are what have helped me have the success I’ve had.