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Inside Elite Boats: Kelly Jordon

Texas angler Kelly Jordon began fishing the Bassmaster Tournament Trail in 1996.
Texas angler Kelly Jordon began fishing the Bassmaster Tournament Trail in 1996.
Jordon has fished 192 tournaments with four victories and 33 top 10 finishes.
Jordon has fished 192 tournaments with four victories and 33 top 10 finishes.
A 17th-place finish at the GoPro Bassmaster Elite at Dardanelle presented by Econo Lodge earlier this month pushed his career money winnings with B.A.S.S. to $1,610,324.
A 17th-place finish at the GoPro Bassmaster Elite at Dardanelle presented by Econo Lodge earlier this month pushed his career money winnings with B.A.S.S. to $1,610,324.
Jordon does his work from a Skeeter FX20, powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO.
Jordon does his work from a Skeeter FX20, powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO.
His trolling motor of choice is a Minn Kota 112.
His trolling motor of choice is a Minn Kota 112.
Jordon uses a Lowrance HDS-9 unit on the bow and an HDS-12 on his dash.
Jordon uses a Lowrance HDS-9 unit on the bow and an HDS-12 on his dash.
He uses the unit on the bow for GPS and regular sonar.
He uses the unit on the bow for GPS and regular sonar. “I don’t use down imaging and side imaging much up there,” he said. “I pretty much do my homework at the console.”
The left rod locker holds as many rods as Jordon can fit into it.
The left rod locker holds as many rods as Jordon can fit into it. “I usually carry about 30,” he said. “If I’m really, really on them, I can cull down to about nine or 10. But you always have to have doubles or triples of what you’re using in case you blow a couple during the day fishing — just in case.”
Jordon uses Duckett Series Rods, including Micro Magic, White Ice II and Terex Series.
Jordon uses Duckett Series Rods, including Micro Magic, White Ice II and Terex Series.
His reels of choice also come from the Duckett Series.
His reels of choice also come from the Duckett Series. “I use 360 RBs, with a 6.3:1 and a 7.1:1 (gear ratio),” he said.
As a versatile fisherman, packing rods in tightly is a necessity.
As a versatile fisherman, packing rods in tightly is a necessity.
Jordon's many tackle boxes line up nicely in the center compartment.
Jordon’s many tackle boxes line up nicely in the center compartment.
This is the all-important deep-cranking box.
This is the all-important deep-cranking box. “I’ve got Lucky Craft D 20s in that box in all of my favorite colors,” Jordon said. “I’ve also got a few RTOs in there. Some Takahiro (Omori) 3.5s and some of the other deep divers that he has.”
Jordon's main topwater box has a little bit of everything.
Jordon’s main topwater box has a little bit of everything. “You’ll find some big Sammies in there, some Gunfish, some Pencil Poppers and the new Sammy 125,” Jordon said. “There’s also some Whoppers Ploppers and a couple of Kelly Js.”
Jordon designed the
Jordon designed the “Kelly J” prop bait for Lucky Craft.
Another topwater box features a few secret weapons.
Another topwater box features a few secret weapons. “I’ve got some out-of-production lures in there,” Jordon said. “There are some Magnum Pop-Rs, some Kelly Js and a few others.”
The soft-plastic box holds all of the baits Jordon uses for flipping. He leans heavily on craws and creature baits.
The soft-plastic box holds all of the baits Jordon uses for flipping. He leans heavily on craws and creature baits.
Known as a big-fish specialist, Jordon uses some large-profile plastic baits.
Known as a big-fish specialist, Jordon uses some large-profile plastic baits.
The box labeled
The box labeled “Senkos” and “trick worms” has been around the country and back again.
This waterproof box that holds hooks in their original packages has also seen its time in battle. Jordon uses Owner, Gamakatsu and Mustad hooks.
This waterproof box that holds hooks in their original packages has also seen its time in battle. Jordon uses Owner, Gamakatsu and Mustad hooks.
From flipping to drop-shotting, it's hard to imagine a type of fishing Jordon is not prepared for.
From flipping to drop-shotting, it’s hard to imagine a type of fishing Jordon is not prepared for.
He also has plenty of punch skirts from Paycheck Baits.
He also has plenty of punch skirts from Paycheck Baits. “Those are always great if you want your plastic base to appear more like a jig but have a Texas rig hook,” Jordon said. “That’s an advantage sometimes, especially in vegetation.”
Jordon was fishing giant spoons before many anglers knew they existed.
Jordon was fishing giant spoons before many anglers knew they existed.
This is Jordon's spoon box.
This is Jordon’s spoon box. “It has one of my original Big Joe Spoons,” he said. “That is an original made by Joe himself. That’s one I had before anybody knew what they were. It’s got that custom little black line down the side and the little sparkles.”
There's not much doubt about what's in this box.
There’s not much doubt about what’s in this box.
A look inside Jordon's Skeet Reese big bait box reveals a few SKT deep divers, giant squarebills and various other items made for digging bass out of deep water.
A look inside Jordon’s Skeet Reese big bait box reveals a few SKT deep divers, giant squarebills and various other items made for digging bass out of deep water.
The all-important squarebill box features plenty of smaller squarebills, including several models that are no longer on the market.
The all-important squarebill box features plenty of smaller squarebills, including several models that are no longer on the market. “That’s kind of my stash box,” Jordon said. “I’ve got a lot of BDS 1s and 2s in there. A lot of people really love those, and they’re really hard to find.”
A closer look at the squarebill box.
A closer look at the squarebill box.
Jordon won't part with a good bait because of normal wear and tear.
Jordon won’t part with a good bait because of normal wear and tear.
One of Jordon's boxes features a wide range of suspending jerkbaits.
One of Jordon’s boxes features a wide range of suspending jerkbaits. “I use mostly shad patterns,” he said. “The ones that I use the most are Slender Pointers, Flash Pointers and Flash Minnows — all from Lucky Craft.”
The right rod locker holds a throw cushion, a spare life jacket and various other odds and ends that help Jordon on the tournament trail.
The right rod locker holds a throw cushion, a spare life jacket and various other odds and ends that help Jordon on the tournament trail.
It also holds a selection of buzzbaits and spinnerbaits.
It also holds a selection of buzzbaits and spinnerbaits.
Even in the age of cellphones, a flare gun is a necessity for emergencies.
Even in the age of cellphones, a flare gun is a necessity for emergencies.
It seems every big-fish specialist keeps a box of 7-inch Basstrixx swimbaits.
It seems every big-fish specialist keeps a box of 7-inch Basstrixx swimbaits.
Also in the right rod locker, you'll find a box of big deep-diving crankbaits.
Also in the right rod locker, you’ll find a box of big deep-diving crankbaits. “Those are the big deep divers that you can cast a long way,” Jordon said. “They’ll dive 25 feet on a long cast.”
Extra line, hooks and some of Jordon's favorite big squarebills occupy this box.
Extra line, hooks and some of Jordon’s favorite big squarebills occupy this box.
Jordon uses every inch of space in the rod locker.
Jordon uses every inch of space in the rod locker.
A day box carries a little bit of everything — hook sharpeners, dipping dyes, reel oil, reel lube, reel grease, sunscreen and different pliers and tools. It's also where Jordon keeps his Woo Daves Pocket Rockets for retrieving snagged lures.
A day box carries a little bit of everything — hook sharpeners, dipping dyes, reel oil, reel lube, reel grease, sunscreen and different pliers and tools. It’s also where Jordon keeps his Woo Daves Pocket Rockets for retrieving snagged lures. “You clip those on your line and it knocks your crankbait off if you get hung up,” Jordon said. “They work like a champ.”
Rope. You can never have too much of it on a bass boat.
Rope. You can never have too much of it on a bass boat.
A typical cooler setup features snacks and drinks for a long day on the water.
A typical cooler setup features snacks and drinks for a long day on the water.
Jordon does most of his scouting during pre-practice from behind the steering wheel.
Jordon does most of his scouting during pre-practice from behind the steering wheel.
His weapon of choice at the console is a Lowrance HDS-12.
His weapon of choice at the console is a Lowrance HDS-12. “I use it for side imaging and down imaging,” Jordon said. “That’s my office. I’ve got everything right there in one unit.”
Jordon's Power-Pole controls are easily accesible on the dash.
Jordon’s Power-Pole controls are easily accesible on the dash.
He raves about the seats in the Skeeter.
He raves about the seats in the Skeeter. “The finish is awesome,” he said. “They don’t get hot. It’s like a weave deal that somehow doesn’t get hot in the bright sunshine. They also have high backs that give great support.”
The box behind the driver’s seat holds everything from medicine and spare rain pants to zip ties and tools.
The box behind the driver’s seat holds everything from medicine and spare rain pants to zip ties and tools.
Jordon says a bottle of New Skin is always in his boat.
Jordon says a bottle of New Skin is always in his boat. “It’s the best stuff ever if you get a cut from line, or a fish pricks you or you get a hook in you,” Jordon said. “You can cover that with New Skin real quick and just go on and fish like nothing happened.”
Jordon's doesn't mess around when it comes to sunscreen.
Jordon’s doesn’t mess around when it comes to sunscreen.
In the box behind passenger seat, you'll find a spare prop, prop wrenches, a fire extinguisher, a pair of stainless steel pliers and jumper cables.
In the box behind passenger seat, you’ll find a spare prop, prop wrenches, a fire extinguisher, a pair of stainless steel pliers and jumper cables. “You should never go fishing without jumper cables,” Jordon said.
A first-aid kit — because anything can happen on the water.
A first-aid kit — because anything can happen on the water.
A spare prop and prop wrench are sitting at the ready.
A spare prop and prop wrench are sitting at the ready.
The battery box carries four Size 31 Optimum batteries.
The battery box carries four Size 31 Optimum batteries. “They’re maintenance free,” Jordon said. “They can be totally submerged or turned sideways and they still run.”
A removable step gives easy access to the front deck.
A removable step gives easy access to the front deck.
Jordon's familiar signature is found on the side.
Jordon’s familiar signature is found on the side.
Thanks for the tour, Kelly!
Thanks for the tour, Kelly!