Kelly Jordon Video
Kelly Jordon reveals his winning tournament tactics, what it's like to be a pro, and a surprising announcement!
Glenn: Hi. I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com and I'm here with elite angler Kelly Jordon. Kelly, it's great to have you here today.
Kelly Jordon: Thanks for having me here. It's great to be here.
Glenn: Kelly, when you start preparing for a tournament how far in advance do you actually start preparing for it and doing your investigation on the lake you are going to fish on?
Kelly: Well, we have an off limits period of 30 days so if you're going to actually talk to anybody or get any kind of information that's not public, meaning the Internet, fishing ports, whatever, you have to do that a good bit in advance. That could mean it's worth nothing or worth something or worth whatever.
Typically, the information that you really need is going to be the most current information being weather, whatever. Sure you need to do map study and have an idea of the way a certain lake or body of water fishes.
You kind of need to visualize the event. But the thing is we have so many of them so close together. You got to approach that game, the game you're in and worry about the next one the next week. That's what I do.
Glenn: Okay. Once you get on that body of water what's the first thing you look for? Do you start driving around looking at your graph or do you put the trolling motor down and just start fishing in that area? How do you start taking it apart?
Kelly: Well, hopefully you do the right way, let me rephrase that by saying you hope that the way you attack it is the way you can win that event. Now you hedge your bets and you already have your practice time or what you are going to do figured out when you get there. Maybe have a game plan.
You definitely have some goals for the event. You definitely want to play some hunches. You've already walked through that in your mind a couple of times. And that's based on the information you have gathered at the time.
Predominantly lake levels, rain, no rain, flood, no flood, low, and the water temperature, what time of year. And the cover that's present in the lake. You've got to take all that together, shake it in a crystal ball and then get your results right there. You go in with some notions, some preconceived notions but the hard part is using those and being able to be fluid with them. Meaning change and go.
The fish are going to be the ultimate judges on if what you are doing is correct or not correct and you've got to be pretty intuitive to pick up on that. So pretty much if it's not working don't do that any more and do something else. Or try new areas and figure out how to win the tournament.
In our tournaments a lot of people think, hey you get it all figured out, you go do your stuff, you find your area. That doesn't happen very often. A four day event is crazy. You catch them one day. You got to catch them the next day. Then you got to catch them the day after that. And then you have to catch them again the day after that.
The best anglers in the world. It's crazy. You hear people talk about fishing from the seat of their pants. That's during the tournament. That's still practicing and changing with the conditions and just letting it rip. A lot of times you end up doing that and winning an event. And everything that you thought you were going to do the first day, by the third day is thrown out the window.
Glenn: So let's say you are in the tournament and things aren't beginning to pan out the way you expected it to or conditions change. What's on of the first things you do?
Kelly: Well, hopefully change. Make the right change.
Glenn: Do you change lures? Do you change depth? Do you change locations?
Kelly: Well, I can't say that. It's too complex. It depends on everything else that's happening. And that's where your knowledge of fishing and your intuition and having all the tools available that we have today. Meaning the highest quality graphs, the sight imaging, the Humminbird sight imaging, stuff like that. Whether or not that can effect what you are doing.
The different baits that we have. We got baits from swim baits to jigs to different tops. It covers everything that an angler has at his disposal today.
The equipment we got. The conditions that might be thrown at you. The options are endless and that's one of the things that's kind of bewildering too. I know it's bewildering to a guy that's trying to make it work at home on his home lake when something crazy happens. There are almost too many choices. In a tournament it's tough.
I guess probably the strongest advice I think I could give anybody when stuff changes is go back to basics.
Glenn: Go back to basics meaning?
Kelly: If it gets really tough slow down. A fish proven technique, and lures.
Glenn: Throw what you know.
Kelly: Yeah. Throw what you know but there are certain basics. Catch them anywhere, anytime. Most of those are slow moving and involve using pretty big hooks.
Kelly: Worms and jigs.
Glenn: In all these years of being a professional angler and as you try to improve and get better and better have you learned any lessons that you've been able to apply to your life outside of fishing?
Kelly: Patience. Now it's a fine line. Sure you got to run-and-gun but you got to be able to know when to put in low gear and grind it out. Even Kevin VanDam is patient at times. If you get impatient that can be one of the worst things that you can do to kill your self in a tournament. You got to be patient and you got to make thoughtful changes.
Like I said this is all theoretical talk. Whatever we're going to do you got to be able to do it when it's on the line and that's the hardest part. And that's what separates the winners from the losers. It really is. It's crazy. We always talk about it's right here between the ears. That's where the whole game is won or lost. It really is. Sure you got to catch the fish, but.
Glenn: When you first became a pro what was one of the most surprising things to you?
Kelly: Surprising. The most surprising thing to me when I first became a pro was that I got to be in the same room with Denny Brauer. Rick Clunn. And all those guys. That was the most amazing thing to me. I just talked to Brandon Palaniuk. 23 years old. First Bassmaster Classic. I went over and introduced myself. I said hey I can't imagine what's going through his mind. Probably the same thing. Is that what you were asking?
Kelly: I had heroes. I still have heroes in the sport.
Glenn: Who is your favorite hero?
Kelly: I got several. Denny Brauer is my all time hero. Of course you got to throw Kevin VanDam in there just because he is the machine that he is. Skeet and Kevin have raised the bar to the level that it is. And hopefully I'll be the guy to raise it to the next level on the next bar and that will continue to happen as long as this sports around.
Glenn: Now, for somebody who sees Kelly Jordan as his hero and wants to become another pro, what type of advice would you give him?
Kelly: To an aspiring pro? Wow. Well, give it your all. You got to live it and breathe it. You got to have an intense passion for the sport to even have a chance to make it. Because if you don't have the passion, you are unable to give the amount of dedication it takes to make it work and go through the rigors of the road and tournament conditions that are thrown at you one week after another after another after another.
Immense failures. Questioning your self. Obviously some successes. You got to get through all that. You got to have the passion. You got to stay with it and give it your all. Give it what you can. But in the same time, it's like any other sport. Some people catch them and some people don't. Let it rip. Make it happen. Visualize it. It's like anything else.
Fishing is a great sport where you don't have to be Hercules to make it happen as well. You don't need the physical prowess. Like I said, it goes back to us earlier right here. You learn that, develop that. Passion for the sport is the only thing that will ever get you there. Nobody ever woke up and said hey I'm going to be a pro fisherman because they make millions of dollars, which is a lie.
Glenn: Well, it is really mental.
Kelly: You can't go do that. You can't compete at the level that everybody competes if you don't have a passion and a drive. If you have it you know what I'm talking about.
Glenn: Absolutely. What I want to do right now is called "the shameless plug moment." And that is you can talk about your sponsors as much as you like or let's say if you have an upcoming book or DVD or a lure or something like that. Or if you want to say hi to your family and friends or to your fans. Whatever you'd like to talk about. It's up to you.
Kelly: Well, the most exciting thing that I have going on in my life right now, my wife is pregnant. Yes. She's pregnant.
Kelly: I don't have any children. This will be number one. It's a little girl. I have no idea what to expect. Everybody says it will be the greatest experience of my life and time. So I'm looking forward to it. I can't wait. Wish me luck. Hope I'm a good dad. And, heck, wow, I don't know what to say. That's the biggest thing in my life right now is looking forward to that. We're expecting the first of June.
Kelly: Kind of in the middle of the season. Toward the end of it. So that may pose some problems. But it's all good. We're going to roll with the punches. Ten fingers. Ten toes, and everybody's happy. That's what we're looking for.
Glenn: That's awesome. There you have it ladies and gentlemen. Kelly Jordan. He is going to be someone's dad soon. This is Glenn May with BassResource.com.