Jordan Lee wins second Bassmaster Classic title in a row
After 30 years in the outdoor industry, the Bassmaster Classic remains one of my favorite events. SoI loaded up my gear and headed to Greenville, S.C., when I got the call to photograph the 2018 B.A.S.S. championship for Bassmaster Magazine, which was held March 15-18 on Lake Hartwell.
And the experience didn’t disappoint.
Each day began of the event with at 4:30 a.m. and ended no earlier than 10 p.m., hours after the daily weigh-in wrapped up. But who can complain about photographing the top bass anglers in the world?
After shooting the daily blast-off, I hopped into a boat and was chauffeured around the lake to capture all the action. The first two days started with defending Classic champ Jordan Lee — who went on to clinch his second championship in a row. This young man can flat-out catch fish, and I captured some images of him setting the hook and landing bass on the first two days.
But my favorite image of the event doesn’t include a fish. It taken early on Day 1, and spectator boats and one other photographer were set up on one side of Jordan Lee, who was fishing a shoal between an island and the main bank of Lake Hartwell. The photographer is a family friend of Lee’s, so I asked if he thought I could move to the other side of the angler without interfering with Lee.
“I think that would be OK, but you’ll be shooting into the sun,” he said.
I smiled, thanked him and asked my driver to run around the island.
That move allowed me to capture images of the sun shining off the line as it spooled off Lee’s reel, illustrating how a spinning rig operates. The line can be seen running out of the frame in the upper right corner, offering a great leading line to the angler. It was perfect.
In all, I captured 7,451 images of the competitors fishing on Lake Hartwell and weighing in bass during the daily weigh-ins at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.
The slideshow above begins with the aforementioned image of Jordan Lee casting with 14 other photos selected by B.A.S.S. to send out to media outlets. Along with Lee, you’ll see perennial fan favorite Gerald Swindle, 2016 Classic champion Edwin Evers, 2015 Bassmaster Classic winner Casey Ashley and Brent Ehrler as they work Lake Hartwell in hopes of clinching the 2018 championship title.
Just use your left and right arrows to scroll through the images to enjoy all the action.
The days were long and tiring, but I had an absolute blast — and I can’t wait to do it again next year.