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Lucas rockets up Pro Bass Fishing ladder in DC

By: Nick Pecoraro Telegraph Correspondent
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Folsom native Justin Lucas has been on the Pro Bass Fishing tour since 2010. Over the weekend of May 20 he had the tournament of his professional life in Washington, DC. Lucas, a 2004 Folsom High School grad, began the Potomac River Major in 90th place after the opening day of the tournament. By the end of the weekend, Lucas found himself just three ounces shy of a first-place finish. The 26-year old angler, now residing in Guntersville, Ala., jumped 70 spots into 20th place after day two of the tournament and up to fifth after the third day. Lucas said that he felt like he figured something out after the first day. ?I switched up my technique a little and it made me a little more comfortable,? he said. ?It?s a big timing thing. There was the right amount of grass growing in the water over certain stretches that were really good. The fish are constantly changing throughout day, especially when the tide is at its lowest point. I was just trying to make up some ground and ended up making a huge jump.? On the final day of the major, Lucas netted 16 pounds, 9 ounces worth of bass, falling just short of the winner Scott Martin, who is a National Guard sponsored teammate of Lucas. Lucas tallied a total of 66 pounds and three ounces over the four-day stretch. The three ounces that separated Lucas from Martin for the top spot of the tournament cost him a first-place check worth $125,000. Lucas settled for a nice payday of $35,000 instead. ?It was definitely bittersweet. There were so many things I could have done to win. It?s a little tough when you?re in that moment, though, and you only have eight hours to fish every day,? said Lucas. ?It?s hard to do well and it?s hard to do well multiple days in a row. Great fishermen know how to make adjustments on the fly.? Lucas is currently 45th in the Wal-Mart FLW Tour while earning more than $45,000 for the year. He feels that if he can make one or two more top-50 finishes, he can qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup.