Bass Angler Magazine

Bass Fishing Jay Yelas Inducted into the Hall of Fame

Team Lew’s Jay Yelas Inducted to the 2020 Class of Bass Fishing Hall of FameLexington, S.C.September27, 2021On the evening of September 30, 2021, Bassmaster Elite Series angler and Lew’s Pro
Jay Yelas will walk across a stage in Springfield, Missouri before an assembly of some of the most accomplished bass anglers in the world to receive the honor of becoming a member of the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. For Yelas, it will be a defining moment of a career spanning three decades of fierce competition, hardfought finishes, sacrifice, perseverance, and most notably, a commitment to make a lasting impact on the sport of bass fishing.
Nearly 20 years before, he stood on a similar stage inside the packed BirminghamJefferson Civic Center to be named the 2002 Bassmaster Classic Champion following his performance on Alabama’s Lay Lake. It was a tournament that Yelas would later call his “greatest achievement in 30 plus years of bass fishing.”
The 2002 Classic has long been considered a fan favorite. Yelas led the field all three days with a tailrace pattern, pitching a jig to undercut banks and shallow timber just below the Logan Martin Dam. It would prove to be one of the most dominant victories in Bassmaster Classic history. Yelas also became the only Classic Champion to take big bass honors on each day of the championship, including a 4pound, 13ounce largemouth at the final weighin.
With the Classic win, an FLW Tour points championship in the very same year of his legendary Lay Lake finish, and three tourlevel Angler of the Year titles, it comes as no surprise that Yelas has earned a reputation as a fierce competitor among his contemporaries. One such peer is Strike King Pro Denny Brauer, himself a Hall of Famer.
Make no mistake about it, there is no one who competes like Jay Yelas,” Brauer remarked. “He is versatile, extremely talented, and passionate about this sport. You don’t want to be a pound behind him on the last day of a tournament.” However, Brauer is quick to point out that what sets Yelas apart is something far more important and long lasting than his career winnings or his memorable Classic finish.
Jay is absolutely committed to helping children with disabilities enjoy the magic of fishing. Because of Jay, there are countless kids out there who have been able to get on the water, forget about their challenges and hold their first fish,” Brauer remarked.
Brauer refers to Jay’s work with C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, a group that is devoted to enriching the lives of children with special needs through fishing experiences. The Lew’s Pro served on the nonprofit’s board for ten years before assuming the role of Executive Director in 2015. Since the group’s inception, C.A.S.T. for Kids has held over 1,170 events and served 130,000 children.
“Jay’s team at Lew’s is proud of his 33 years of success on the water,” offered Rather Outdoors, CEO Ken Eubanks. “We also salute his work to help celebrate all children through fishing. He has grown the sport, and enriched others along the way.”Congratulations, Jay Yelas, 2020 Hall of Famer.
About Rather Outdoors
Rather Outdoors is a global outdoors corporation uniting some of the most recognizable brands in the fishing space. With historic and iconic brands such as Lew’s, Strike King, Quantum, Zebco, Fox, Matrix, Salmo and Fox Rage, Rather Outdoors provides a wide assortment of fishing products worldwide inan effort to enhance angler’s success and the enjoyment of outdoor pursuits. To learn more about the Rather Outdoors brands, visit www.ratheroutdoors.com

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