BassWestUSA - January/February, 2011, Page 46

Where the pros shop!

ng i p p i sh FRee l oRDeRs al eR $50 ov

TB: How has being a co-angler helped you as a pro? JL: It has helped me be a more ver- satile sherman. It has also made me more patient. When you are shing from the back of the boat, you sh as hard as you can to just to get ve bites every day. Those days when I had to sh all day without a limit in the livewell, and then to catch your fth sh in the last hour of the day really toughened me up mentally. TB: What has been your biggest tran- sition from a co-angler to shing from the front deck as a pro angler? JL: Actually it was much harder for me to transition to the back of the boat and to get used to shing as a co-angler. My whole life I shed from the front of the boat and went where I wanted to go. To adjust and sh from the back, it took some time. Of course, the competition is much tougher on the pro side, but I’m learning more about handling that every time that I sh now at the pro level. Honestly, the biggest adjustment was getting in my mind that I could compete against the best pros in the business and learning to just trust myself and my instincts. My most memorable moment this year was at Fort Loudon-Tellico Lakes, Tennessee. I had spent all of my practice in Tellico until the last four hours of the last practice day. I decided to go down to see Loudoun and caught two keepers real quick and then began to run up and down the lake. I marked over 30 spots on my Lowrance that I had never shed. I shed those spots for the rst time during the rst two days of the tournament and af- ter Day Two, I was in 10th place. I really “ shed the moment” like they always say. I lost two key sh in those rst two days that would have, without a doubt, put me in 2nd or 3rd place. The last day I didn’t do as well, and fell to 40th place, but it was

still an awesome experience just to know that I had the opportunity to excel in that event and even beat some of the famous veterans I have always admired and read about. TB: Now that you have seen the lakes on the FLW Tour schedule and you’ve had the chance to sh most of them in 2010, what do you feel are some of the big differ- ences between East and West Coast shing? JL: The lakes that we sh on the East Coast are often more river-based than lakes in California or even the West in general. If there is one weakness West- ern guys have compared to the rest of the country, it is that they have less experience shing rivers. Most of these river lakes are nothing like we have back home except for maybe the Columbia River in Washington. The Columbia is similar to the Tennessee River in that there are offshore sh from post-spawn all the way into early autumn. That was part of the reason why I decid- ed to move to Guntersville, Alabama. Not only do I love that area, but it is a popular tournament stop and it is the Tennessee River, and a TVA (Tennessee Valley Author- ity) lake. I knew that aspect of my shing needed improvement, and I wanted to be able to get as much experience shing a river-based lake like Guntersville. Another thing is you have to be pre- pared to take shelter out here! I know it sounds funny, but I am not kidding. There are thunderstorms that roll through the East Coast from spring into fall and they can get nasty! I don’t ever want to get struck or even come close with lightning. So when I see a thunderstorm brewing, I look for a place to take cover until it pass- es through. TB: I notice that Alabama seems to be a common spot for guys from the West to relocate there. It’s almost like an aspir-

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January/February 2011

Justin is an emcee for National Guard College Fishing events

As a co-angler on the California Delta, Lucas bagged a beast of 13 lbs 9 oz as a co-angler on the California Delta.