Some Major League Fishing debuts are tougher than others. That was definitely the case for Justin Lucas when he made his first MLF appearance at the second Elimination Round of the 2019 MLF Summit Select at Lake Murray in Ardmore, Oklahoma.
“Well, it was a really crappy day of fishing so I didn’t enjoy it very much,” Lucas reflected. “It was unexpectedly very tough. I tried to fish off the bank a little but deeper than everybody else and learned very quickly that isn’t how you win those events.”
Lucas reeled in a non-scorable 14-ounce smallmouth on his first cast of the morning, some tough luck that set the tone for the rest of the day. The Guntersville, Alabama native finished the round with no weight on the SCORETRACKER™ and failed to advance to the Sudden Death Round.
Lucas’ strategy was to look for deeper water off the banks while the rest of the competition focused on shallow water near the shoreline.
“I just thought I would have better luck and more numbers of fish running down lake into some clean water,” Lucas summarized. “I was throwing topwater over some deeper points and then trying to back off with a drop shot on those points, but obviously that was not the deal.”
Now that he’s completed his first MLF event, Lucas can reassess some advice he received from seasoned MLF pro Mark Rose after the event was completed.
“Looking back on it I learned a lot of lessons,” Lucas recalled. “I had THE best deep-water fisherman tell me after the event ‘You’re going to get your brains beat in if you try and fish off the banks’ and he was right.”
The fast-paced nature of the 2019 Summit Select may have caught Lucas off guard. However, with the 2019 MLF Bass Pro Tour getting started Jan. 28, Lucas hopes to use his experiences to help him have a good showing at the Kissimmee Chain.
“I’ll have time to look for some of the subtle stuff that I like to fish, and that I’ve kind of built my career on,” Lucas said. “I’ll try to find some stuff out of the way from everybody else. But, as soon as I qualify for (MLF Cup events) again, I’ll be going straight to the bank like everybody else.”