Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 04/02/2018

Story by Matt Pangrac - McMillan photo courtesy of FLW Communications

Moore, OK - Three months into the 2018 season of professional fishing, The BASS ZONE takes a look at some of the developing storylines on the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series:  

It’s no surprise that after three stops on the 2018 FLW Tour, an angler from Florida is leading the pack in the Angler Of the Year race since two of the first three stops were in the Sunshine State.  What is surprising is the fact that the Florida angler leading the way is 22-year-old Jared McMillan.  

Fishing his first full season on the FLW Tour, the young pro has recorded three consecutive Top 20 finishes in 2018 with a 4th place finish on Lake Okeechobee in January, a 9th place finish on The Harris Chain in February, and a 20th place finish on Lake Lanier in March.  

McMillan has 11 out of a possible 12 competition days this season and has brought in a limit all 11 days, averaging roughly 16-pounds per day.   He heads into the fourth stop of the season next week on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky with a 26 point lead over his closest competitor and sits inside the 2018 Forrest Wood Cup cut by a comfortable 160 point margin.  

2017 FLW Tour AOY Bryan Thrift sits in 8th place in the AOY standings, 2016 FLW Tour AOY Andy Morgan sits in 109th place in the AOY standings, and 2015 AOY Scott Martin sits in 15th place in the AOY.  

Much of the attention surrounding Jordan Lee has been about his historic back-to-back Classic victories on Lake Conroe and Lake Hartwell, but the Alabama pro is in the midst of an impressive Top 10 streak that dates back to July of 2017 when he finished in 8th place at the Elite Series stop on Lake Champlain.  

In Lee’s last six tournaments with B.A.S.S., he has logged five Top 10 finishes.  In addition to the 8th in New York, he finished in 4th place on Lake St. Clair in 2017 and closed out the 2017 Elite Series season with a 9th place finish at the TAOY Championship on Mille Lacs.   He then logged an 8th at the final Southern Open on the 2017 season.   His only stumble in the past nine months has been in the 2018 Elite Series opener on Lake Martin where he finished in 68th…but that became a distant memory just a few short weeks later on Lake Hartwell.  

In Lee’s last six B.A.S.S. tournaments, he has amassed earnings of $374,950.  

It seems like ages ago that Takahiro Omori power fished his way to an Elite Series victory at the 2018 season opener on Lake Martin.  Relying on a crankbait, Omori notched his second Elite Series win and took the early lead in the Toyota Angler Of the Year point standings.  

It’s a much better start to the season than he had last year, when Omori opened the season with a 108th place finish on Lake Cherokee.  

When B.A.S.S. announced on March 30th that the second Elite Series stop of the 2018 season on the Sabine River was postponed due to heavy rains and unsafe boating conditions, it pushed the next Elite Series stop to April 26-29th on Grand Lake in Oklahoma.  
That means that there will now be a 74 day break in the action between the first and second Elite Series stops of the 2018 season.   In both 2017 and 2016, three Elite Series stops had been completed by that same time frame and the fourth stop was getting ready to kick off.