2014 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #1 presented by Allstate
Lake Tohopekaliga - Kissimmee, FL, Jan 23 - 25, 2014

Powdered sugar and green pumpkin

Jordan Lee (top bunk) and Andrew Hamilton are bunked up in a cabin with other anglers fishing this week's Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #1 presented by Allstate on Lake Tohopekaliga.

Hey, everybody, my name is Jordan Lee. While my older brother Matt got pretty good at blogging during his reign as the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series national champion last year, this is all new to me.

If you read Matt’s blogs, you know our dad taught us to do our best. So I promise to do my best in the months ahead as I share an inside look at life as a young competitive bass angler, while offering you a few simple fishing tips along the way.

Right now, Matt and I, along with full-time pro angler Justin Lucas and former college anglers Dustin Connell and Andrew Hamilton, are all staying at the same cabin here at the Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #1 presented by Allstate on Lake Tohopekaliga. That’s Andrew Hamilton in the photo. He’s my bunkmate this week.

See, that’s the cool thing about bass fishing; there’s a whole bunch of us that hang out together even though we compete against each other on the water. Heck, Dustin Connell fished for our rival, the Alabama Crimson Tide, but we even let him hang out with us.

Once we got off the water yesterday, we were all across the street from the cabin eating seafood and hush puppies covered in powdered sugar; and while I can’t say I’ve ever had powdered sugar on my hush puppies, I can say the non-stop discussion on how to catch a bass among this group of buddies happens pretty much every day.

A lot of what Matt and I know about bass fishing is self-taught, but there’s no doubt that running around with a guy like Justin Lucas has been a benefit to our knowledge of the sport. Justin has taught me to pay close attention to every little detail. He’s proved to me that in fishing, just like in life, little things can make a huge difference. He’s shared a lot of insight about the best knots to tie, as well as a lot about swimbaits, and lots of other tips, too.

Speaking of tips, assuming the lakes where you live aren’t frozen over, I’ve got two tips for ya.

First, when the water temp is in the low to mid 40s, try dragging a compact 5/16-ounce Booyah Pro Boo Bug Jig on 10- or 12-pound line across the rocky bottom of your favorite clear water lake or pond. Just drag it nice and slow across the bottom. If you can’t feel your jig dragging across the bottom, you’re either moving it too much – or you’ve got a bite.

Green pumpkin is my favorite color for dragging a compact finesse jig like this. Move the jig by slowly sweeping your rod tip, and reel in slack line as you go. Again, make sure you’re fishing in the clearest water you can because cold and muddy water is about the toughest condition you can face.

My second tip is that when you come to Florida to go fishing in the winter, don’t assume it’s going to be tropical. The sunrise temp is going to be around 40 degrees the whole time we’re here. Trust me, I packed way too many Carhartt Tacoma shorts for this trip.

Until we visit next time, wish my runnin’ buddies and me good luck. And let’s all hope it gets a little warmer during this tournament than they’re forecasting!

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