MCGAHEYSVILLE, Va. — Jeff Lugar is on quite a roll winning the B.A.S.S. Nation Mid-Atlantic Divisional and the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, so how does he feel about his chances of winning three championships in a row?
“If it wasn’t the Bassmaster Classic, I might say good, but I think the statistics speak for themselves for the Nation guys,” Lugar said. The late Bryan Kerchal is the only Nation angler ever to win the Classic, so Lugar knows he has his work cut out for him.
The Rockingham Bass Anglers club member is looking forward to sharing his Classic experience with his sons, Travis, 18, and Tyler, 14.
“They are extremely excited and can’t wait to go and see the Classic in person,” Lugar said. “They love to fish and look up to all the pros and follow the tournament fishing. So to go compete against those pros is a tremendous sense of pride for me, and for my boys to be able to say their dad has fished the Classic is an accomplishment for me.
“I know guys have called making the Classic a dream come true, but I would always call it a fantasy versus a dream because I never thought I was going to make it,” he said. “It was a fantasy that I kept going after but didn’t really think I would make it.”
Lugar had never been on Lake Guntersville until the production manager for a plastics company took off work for three days in November to pre-fish the Classic waters. The Virginia angler took his son Travis to pre-fish with him and spent some of his time looking at various spots, but he also tried to find fish for Travis to catch.
Winning the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship helped Lugar pick up sponsorships from Triton, Mercury and Lowrance, which allowed him to buy a new boat. So Lugar’s sons and Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation friends will see him sporting a new ride during the Classic.