What a week! I’m not kidding when I say it’s like a dream. Winning the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods is something that I’m still trying to wrap my head around.
The thing I want to do right now is recognize some of the people who made this possible. Each of them, in one way or another, owns a piece of that trophy. And, I’m not just saying that. I mean it.
At the top of my list has to be my mom and my dad. Thanks to them I had a wonderful life as a kid and all the support anyone could ever ask for from their parents. I can’t tell you how many times my mom got up in the middle of the night so that I could go fishing or fish a tournament. They went the extra mile.
I want to make sure my girlfriend, Kristen, gets a big mention, too. We’ve been together for a while now. She takes care of the home front while I'm traveling, which seems to be more and more these days. She works hard and spends a lot of time alone. I want her to know that I appreciate her and her efforts on our behalf.
Next is my brother, Matt. His support has never wavered over the years. It’s hard to put into words how much that means to me. Thanks, Matt!
I also want to mention Auburn University and say thanks for their support of our fishing team. The advisors were a big part of everything down there, too. Much of what I have learned about competitive bass fishing I learned from Darrel High and Jann Swaim.
No thank you list would be complete without a mention of my primary college fishing partner, Shane Powell. We had a lot of good times in school and learned a lot from each other.
On the professional level my sponsors deserve a shout. Without them I couldn’t fish at this level. I’m not going to mention them by name because it’s only been 24 hours since I won, and I haven’t had much sleep. I’m afraid I’ll leave one out and I don’t want to do that. They’re all on my angler page on this site and on my Facebook page, though. Please check them out and use their products when possible.
And what would all of this mean without B.A.S.S.? They’ve turned a fishing tournament into a national event. Well done, everyone.
Another thing: I know it’s traditional to talk about the things you’re going to do as the reigning Classic Champion. That’ll have to wait for another day and another column. I haven’t had time to think about it since I realized I won. And, after my first day’s struggles, I sure didn't expect to be in this position.
Whatever I do, though, I can assure you that I’ll be the same Jordan Lee that I’ve always been, that I’ll keep fishing as hard as I can and that I’ll always conduct myself in a way that reflects positively on my family, my friends, B.A.S.S. and myself.