BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 44

H T I W A Q& L A N O I T A N O R P D R A GU S A C U L N I T S U J

PHOTOS BY FLW OUTDOORS

Justin Lucas responds with elation at the news of his tournament victory on the Columbia River.

BY TYLER BRINKS

EVERY

so often, a young an- gler erupts out of nowhere and sets the bass shing world ablaze, as Justin Lucas has done in the last few years. He arose out of the co- angler side of the sport as the most domi- nant co-angler that FLW had ever seen in the Western Division (and arguably all of FLW Outdoors). Justin’s staggering statis- tics from the back of the boat include ve wins and eleven top-ten nishes. He is the perfect example of how someone can start out as a co-angler to learn as much as pos- sible and then make the move to the pro- fessional side. This California native may still be best known for his domination of the co-angler world, but that’s all behind him now. In

2010, Justin made the leap to the pro side of the FLW Tour Majors. He’s been busy making a new name for himself as an FLW Tour pro shing for Team National Guard, and he’s made a new home for himself in Guntersville, Alabama in order to be cen- trally located to sh the FLW Tour stops. Bass West USA contributor Tyler Brinks, had the opportunity to sh with Justin recently on world famous Lake Okeechobee, Florida. Known for its huge bass, Okeechobee’s name is derived from the Seminole Indian words meaning “big water”, and it’s the second largest fresh- water lake (after Lake Michigan) wholly within the lower 48 states. Justin’s rst words upon seeing the Big O for the rst time were, “Wow! This place is huge!”

TB: Fishing new lakes is a common occurrence for a newcomer to the national tournament trails. What is your approach to shing a brand new body of water? JL: I enjoy going to a new body of water. It is a huge challenge, yet fun at the same time. For example, trying to break down the 800+ miles of shoreline on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake was a little daunting compared to say, Lake Shasta, California with only 370 miles at full pool! I am still learning the best way for me to approach new bodies of wa- ter, but what I did this past year has worked well for me. I was pleased with my results and will continue to approach new lakes that same way, which all boils down to that I just ne-tune things as I learn along the way. I also try to pre-practice at each place that I haven’t been to yet. It is very impor-

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January/February 2011