Born in Yorkshire, England in 1894, Lucas was instrumental in popularizing bass fishing through his writings for Sports Afield and later Sports Illustrated. Initially a fiction writer, Lucas wrote several western novels in the 1930s before he established himself as an authority on bass fishing at a time when trout were still considered the prized gamefish among anglers.
His writings were based on experiences from spending countless days on the water. At one point, he claimed to have fished eight hours per day for 365 consecutive days. In 1947, he published Lucas on Bass Fishing, one of the first how-to books devoted to the pursuit of bass.
It was later updated and reprinted twice, adding information about other freshwater species. In the book’s introduction, Ted Kesting, then the editorial director at Sports Afield, wrote, “When I first heard about a fisherman by the name of Jason Lucas, I put him down as another one of those piscatorial experts who are handier with conversation in a bar room than they are with a casting rod in a boat. … Then one day an associate of mine asked Lucas to write an article about bass. I read it and was amazed. This man really knew something about fishing.”
Later, Kesting assigned Lucas a series of articles on his new angling techniques. The resulting reader response was overwhelmingly positive, and Lucas was then hired as the magazine’s angling editor, a position he held for more than 20 years.