The Father’s Day Gift That Changed It All: The Story of JT Lamberth 

Who would have thought that one gift could help set the course for the rest of your life – especially if you aren’t even the recipient of that gift? That is what happened to JT Lamberth when he, his mom, and sister gifted his dad a Pelican 103 Jon boat for Father’s Day when he was only five years old. It started as some leisurely father-and-son quality time, then quickly progressed into something more. His uncle and grandfather saw that fire in JT at a young age, and then upgraded them to a boat that was a little more suitable for a budding angler. 

Fast forward to the present day, and JT is a senior at Alabama Christian Academy, has his own YouTube channel called Fishing with LamJam, is fishing national tournaments, has sponsorships from companies like Big Lip Lures Custom Paint, and Jigs and Jesus, and is getting ready to head to Troy University this fall to join their fishing team. 

The Father’s Day Gift That Changed It All: The Story of JT Lamberth 

JT has already received a Chancellor’s Scholarship, as well as the Alabama B.A.S.S. Nation William C. Florence, Jr. Scholarship. More accolades are in the works, and they are well deserved. While his academic and fishing abilities rank him high as a worthy candidate, what I find most commendable is his desire to find ways to improve the sport, our lakes, and the world in general. It is apparent that he is wise beyond his years, and his father Ray tells me that his time on the water has contributed substantially to his growth as a person. While JT’s family sees the growth in him, he is very self-aware, and is able to identify some of those pivotal moments too. 

JT attributes part of his personal growth to a chance meeting with Clay Dyer at a benefit dinner at church when he was in eighth grade. Dyer is a competitive angler who was born with no lower limbs, no arm on the left side and a partial arm on the right. That didn’t stop him from being all he could be on and off the water though, and from taking the chance to share that with the younger generation. It’s hard to not see the excitement on his face when he talks about his mentor. “Clay has taught me a lot about fishing, God, and how to be a better man.” The two have fished together and stayed in touch over the years. JT is also the new owner of Dyer’s boat, bringing their connection even closer. 

I first heard about this exceptional young man from Darrel High, who is the State Youth Director for Alabama Bass Nation. He shared with me that JT believes in giving back to the tournament scene and has helped with so many community service projects. “As the volunteer coordinator for the Bassmaster Elite Series, I’ve had JT help me with fish care, parking vehicles, and organizing other clubs. I also have several projects coming up that he is helping with, like aquatic planting on Lake Martin.” Darrel says that he is a great example of what he expects from their upper-class students. 

From JT’s point of view, he hopes he is setting a good example for those younger anglers, and he feels that they need to see the importance of helping. He didn’t always feel this way though. Younger JT thought it was all about just showing up to fish, but competitive fishing has helped him mature and grow as a person. He quickly learned that he also wants to be a part of helping make the sport even better for generations to come. 

He said it best in one of his scholarship essays: “I want to be a part of the solution, and not the problem.” He’s very intuitive for his age, and told me that when he first started fishing tournaments in the seventh grade. That’s when he started to see problems with a few of the lakes he fished. “Some of the lakes were in poor condition and I saw the effect it was having on the health of the lake and the fish.” With his eyes newly opened to the problem, and his participation in tournaments, he realized that he wanted to pursue a field of study where he could make a difference. 

This fall he will start his pursuit of a degree in Environmental Studies. His goal will be to work with the Alabama Department of Natural Resources Freshwater Fisheries Division. That’s not going to stop him from competitive fishing, though. JT hopes to make it to the professional ranks one day. I believe he will, and since I had the chance to spend some time talking about fishing and life with this future pro angler, I had to seize the opportunity to get a couple fishing tips from him too. I’m proud to say I was able to get him to spill the beans on his favorite go-to lure… the Shakey Head Green Pumpkin/Green. He says this has been the most consistent go-to for him, and based on his astonishing competitive track record, I’m headed to get one for my tackle box now.  

Brandy is a contributing journalist for several online and print publications and is a member of Outdoor Writers Association of America. She also holds roles as a news reporter for an Orlando based radio station, works for a tourism technology company, and owns and operates Based in Florida, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, metal detecting, birding, and traveling.


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