A mere 2,354 miles is the
distance from Folsom, Calif. to
The West Coast, the Perfect Training Ground
Some of the top bass fishermen in the world have roots in
the West Coast and Justin Lucas thinks that is not a coincidence. The reason he
believes this happens is the diversity of the fishing. “The thing that prepared
me the most for fishing at this level is all of the travel I did fishing the
Future Pro Tour with my grandfather. We would have tournaments on Berryessa,
The West Coast is known for two extremes in bass fishing,
the ultra-finesse techniques and the super-sized swimbait. Justin Lucas has
used both of them to his advantage when fishing across the country and has done
very well with both around his home of
On the other end of the spectrum, the dropshot is still not heavily used despite it being a well-established and proven technique. “Some of the guys down here will fish all year long with a jig, spinnerbait, crankbait and maybe a worm. There are still people who have never used a dropshot!” added the FLW Tour pro.
On the other hand, there are some things that he has picked up fishing across the country that he wishes he learned sooner. “The swim jig is absolutely something that would crush them at grass-filled waters like the Delta and Clear Lake. I look back and think ‘that would have worked so good there and wish I would have tried it,” reflected Lucas.
The Fishing Culture
It’s fairly well known that bass fishing in the Southeast is
more popular and generally more accepted. Justin Lucas was surprised about just
how many people fish for bass in
How the West is perceived?
“They all think what I am using is weird stuff, they can’t figure out why I am catching fish on something like a wacky-rigged worm on a dropshot. It works, but they always think I’m about to do something crazy,” laughed Lucas.
The West does have a good reputation though for producing monster bass and anglers across the country see this. “Everyone wants to go to Clear Lake, they are always asking me what it’s like there. It’s probably what I miss most about Northern California, that and the Delta because any cast can be a 13 or 14 lb fish, or Shasta and Oroville because they are so fun to fish,” shared Lucas. As you can tell Lucas misses many things about Northern California and has not forgotten his bass fishing roots.
Which is better,
I decided to put Justin on the spot and ask which lake is
better. He was quick to answer
That is a testament to how good Guntersville is and also shows that even one of the most popular lakes in California does not get as much pressure as the lakes in Alabama. “Everyone comes down here to fish and the lake still produces giant fish” said Lucas.
Justin Lucas is the latest example of a California-raised bass angler moving to the South to pursue his dreams. Like Aaron Martens, Gary Klein and others before him he has followed his passion across the country, but still takes pride in where he learned bass fishing. His western taught bass fishing skills have translated to the rest of the country and he continues to be a rising star in professional bass fishing.