Winning tips from 2012 Bassmaster Classic winner Chris Lane

March 9, 2012

Chris Lane won the most recent Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open on the Harris Chain in dominating fashion with a three-day total of 72 pounds, 11 ounces. While many anglers were flipping or sight fishing, Lane looked deeper at largemouth that were staging to move up and spawn. His winning pattern can be taken as a blueprint of the right thing to do during the springtime in Florida.

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  • An important part of Lane’s success was locking through into Lake Griffin. Despite the limited time he had there each day, the quality fish he was able to locate made the wait worth his time.
  • Chris Lane spent time early in the tournament and early in the day fishing up close to the pads. As the sun came up and as the tournament went on, he pulled off and focused more on the bigger females that had yet to move up.
  • A Gambler Cane Toad in black was his lure of choice for fishing up in the pads.
  • He rigged the Cane Toad with the new high-speed Revo MGX and 50-pound Stren Sonic Braid to make long casts, get positive hook-ups and haul bass in through the pads. The 7.9:1 Revo allowed him to make a long cast and move a lot of line when he needed to.
  • Chris Lane primarily used a black Gambler Sweebo worm. This bite-sized morsel accounted for much of his 28 pounds, 5 ounces on the final day.
  • Lane used a 7-foot, 1-inch All-Star worm rod with 15-pound Stren blue mono. He was fishing the bait especially slowly and methodically, so feeling a bite was critical. “I’m making long casts and the bite was so light, I really needed to feel everything,” Lane said. “The reason I threw mono is so when I set the hook, it would slide into their mouth. The mono provides just the right amount of stretch.”
  • Lane used both a 3/16- and 1/8-ounce weight, depending on how hard the wind was blowing.  Big largemouth like this were the result.
  • Lane rigs up a black Sweebo worm on the final day, a key bait and color. “The fish were biting that color all week,” Lane said. “I pay attention to what the co-angler in the back is doing. They weren’t catching them. The fish were really keyed into the specific presentation I had.”
  • This Luck “E” Strike RC2 crankbait also helped Lane search for bass quickly. When he got a few bites in an area, he would slow down and fish the Gambler Sweebo worm to pick up the less active bass.
  • Lane drops this big largemouth into the net. The sizeable bass came from the same staging area as most of his big ones on the final day. “The only thing I can think of – I don’t think they were spawning – is that was their transition,” Lane said. “They were schooled right along the edge of the pads, waiting to go up and spawn. I caught an 8-pounder and another 8-pounder jumped with it, so I knew big fish were there.”
  • Note the black Gambler Sweebo worm hanging out of this monster’s mouth. And the pads are a good cast length away. It was that subtle drop off the edge of the pads that concentrated the majority of the bigger fish.
  • Lane may have an intimate knowledge of many Florida lakes, but his Lowrance electronics played a role in helping locate productive areas and get back to the sweet spots during the tournament, especially when making a long run and going through a lock.
  • Lane pointed to both his Atlas Jackplate, which helps get the boat up in shallow water, and his new 10-foot Power-Poles. “I was sitting in 9 feet of water, so I needed them,” Lane said. “When I needed to stop and fish an area slower, I could.
  • Using his MotorGuide trolling motor, Chris Lane moved slowly and methodically along the line of lily pads. When he wanted to stop, he dropped the Power-Poles with the remote switch and seined the area. It proved to be a winning combination.
  • According to Lane, the whole package is important to the success of an angler. “Each tool you use as a professional fisherman has a meaning and success ratio,” Lane said. “The team I have, I needed all of it. They have stuck with me and I can’t thank them enough.”
  • (Pictures and story from Bassmaster.com)

Brought to you by Millers Boating Center, which opened as a tackle shop back in 1978,  and is the largest boat dealer in North Central Florida, is a family owned and operated business located at 1661 NW 57  Street,  about two miles north of Ocala on Highway 441.

For more information contact: Jeff Miller – Ph – (352) 622-7757 Jeffm@millersboating.com

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