Lane Wins Bassmaster Open And Classic Berth
Chris Lane poses with his winning trophy.B.A.S.S.
Chris Lane of Guntersville, Ala. decimated the competition on Florida?s Harris Chain of Lakes in the kick-off event of the 2012 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open series, picking up his third B.A.S.S. win in the process. His three-day total of 72-11 pounds was miles ahead of second place Clifford Pitch's 58-1 as Lane was the only angler to weigh in 20 or more pounds of bass each day.
The win also means Lane has earned a provisional berth in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic on Oklahoma?s Grand Lake o? the Cherokees, Feb. 22-24. If he fishes the remaining two events in the Southern Open season, he?ll cement the spot in bass fishing?s greatest championship.
Lane used a variety of baits and slowed is approach immensely, citing his thorough approach was the key to victory.
?I caught fish on several soft plastics, including 7-inch Gambler Sweebo worms, Gambler Cane Toads and the Gambler Big Easy, but I found my bass with a chartreuse Lucky Strike RC2 crankbait,? Lane said. ?I used it as a search bait. When I found bass with it, I?d pick up the soft plastics and really work the area over.?
Despite having a five-pound lead going into the final round, Lane had a scare on Saturday morning. After catching a couple of small keepers, his co-angler caught two bass weighing a cumulative 15 pounds on consecutive casts.
?I was rattled,? Lane admitted, ?but I knew what I had to do. I was making mistakes, and I needed to slow down.?
And he did. Lane?s next bass was his best of the day, a lunker that inhaled a Sweebo worm. When the day was over, his best five weighed 28-5, good enough for the Lucky Strike heavyweight of the tournament.
Day Three?s big bass of 9-13 belonged to Keith Carson of Debary, Fla.
Avery McCormick of Mobile, Ala., had the lead on the co-angler side on Days One and Two despite not catching a limit (3 bass for co-anglers) on either of the first two days. It caught up with him in the final round. He had just one bass and it weighed only 14 ounces.
Michael Bradford of Scottsboro, Ala., saw McCormick?s stumble as an opportunity. His three-day total of 27-9 earned him $35,000 in cash and merchandise, including a Triton-Mercury boat and motor package.
For a schedule of other upcoming tournaments, click here.