By Todd Ceisner
Every pro angler has his or her old faithfuls, their tried and true, their go-to lures. Some keep them stowed away in a separate utility box for those days or situations when nothing else seems to be working. It might be a spinnerbait for this guy, a crankbait for that guy, a Spook for another.
Jordan Lee is no different. At this year’s Bassmaster Classic at Lake Conroe, there was no need to try something off the wall or tie on a prototype bait. He stuck with what he knew, what he trusted.
“There are certain baits I feel like a lot of guys use, but it’s different for everybody,” Lee said. “Some guys tend to throw certain baits more than others. I like to throw things I’ve thrown in the past. I don’t like to go out on a limb and try stuff I haven’t used in tournament.”
At Conroe, he relied upon a 1/2-oz. jig and a deep-diving Strike King crankbait to drum up the winning fish, including a 27-04 stringer on the final day. They were both baits he had plenty of experience with. More importantly, they’re confidence baits for him.
“That jig is something I’ve thrown on Guntersville and had success with it offshore,” he said. “It’s caught big ones.”
A closer look at the jig that helped Lee win the Classic this year.
Indeed, it has. When inspected closely, the actual jig Lee used at Conroe looked as though it’d seen plenty of time scraping the bottom and banging off rocks. The brown paint was completely worn off the bottom.
“That certain one, last summer I noticed how much better they eat that one that versus 3/4- or 3/8-oz,” Lee added. “I like to get away with as light as I can.”
In fact, the Classic was the first time Lee had weighed in a fish caught on that particular jig.
“I’ve just never gotten around the right scenario for it,” he said.
The area he fished at Conroe was a textbook spot for the 1/2-oz. version with a lively, brown rubber skirt. He threaded a Strike King Rage Lobster on the hook as a trailer.
“That spot was shallow and I knew that was the jig to go to,” he said. “That’s what they wanted that (final) day. I might not have gotten those bigger bites using a bigger or smaller jig. Knowing how it feels is just a confidence deal.
“I tried cranking and a big worm – meat and potato stuff. When you get around fish that size, you want to throw above average-sized baits. I didn’t throw a finesse jig. A lot of guys were shallow and throwing a dropshot.”
Lee opted to fish away from the bank and throw lures he had supreme confidence in.
“It’s a confidence things at every tournament,” he said. “If I get around some fish, I throw something I feel will work. I stick with things I have confidence in and things that have caught big fish before.”