He nailed down a spot in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic by winning the recent College Classic Bracket on the Grand River in Michigan. Lee came out on top of the eight-angler bracket over three days of fishing competition.
It was a bittersweet victory for the 22-year-old Auburn University bass angler from Cullman. Lee was in head-to-head competition with his longtime Auburn teammate and friend Shane Powell. Lee understood the pain his fishing buddy was experiencing. Last year, Lee finished second behind his older brother, Matt Lee.
The past few years has been an emotional roller coaster for the entire Lee family. Two years ago, Matt and Jordan finished second in the college championship behind Stephen F. Austin University. The Auburn duo narrowly missing a chance for a Classic slot when in the final minutes a four-pound bass jumped off at the boat.
Last year in the sweltering heat on Beaverfork Lake in Arkansas, the two brothers were toe-to-toe in the final bracket. Matt came out on top and earned a spot in the 2013 Classic on Grand Lake of Cherokee near Tulsa, Okla. However, Jordan was on hand to cheer for his brother.
This year in Michigan, Matt was dockside cheering for his brother to bring in another college championship to the family and a 2014 Classic slot. Along with the Classic berth Jordan also received a $5,000 check for Carhartt and paid entry fee to the Bassmaster Opens of his choice.
Matt came up on stage after the weigh-in and presented his brother with the keys to a new Toyota truck and a Skeeter FX20 bass boat with a 250HP Yamaha outboard. Both the truck and boat are wrapped in Auburn University colors. Jordan gets to use the rigs for a full year.
Jordan dominated the tournament on the Grand River weighting a five-bass limit each day. On the final day his total weight was just over 12 pounds. Jordan had a limit of bass in the first 90 minutes of competition. He used a white Booyah spinner bait and a frog throughout the event.
Thousands of college anglers competed in divisional tournaments across the country for a chance to make it to the college championship. From the championship the top four teams make it to the Classic Brackets with the top angler winning the Classic slot. This year Matt was in the championship again. He and his partner finished in the fifth spot, just outside the cut for the brackets.
It was a long and demanding fishing year for Jordan. Watching his brother in the Classic. Then balancing college studies with bass tournaments. Jordan knew one slip in any event could erase his chances of making it all the way to the Classic.
However, Jordan rose to victory. No longer number two in the shadow of his older sibling. The pain of defeat is gone. Now is his chance to shine. Hollywood couldn’t have scripted these events any better. In two years, two brothers from Auburn make it to the Classic, the biggest fishing event in the world.
Oh yeah, this year the Classic is on Lake Guntersville. The lake where the Lee brothers learned to fish.
Charles Johnson is the Star’s outdoor editor. You can reach Charles at ChrJohn7@aol.com