RED-HOT CHRIS LANE BURNS BASSMASTER ELITE FIELD WITH 12 1/2- POUND LEAD

Date: 03/22/2014

PALATKA, Fla. — You’d think with a 12 1/2-pound lead, you could relax.

Not in a Bassmaster Elite Series competition. Not when it’s on a big-fish factory like the St. Johns River. And not if you’re Chris Lane.

“I have to go out there and do the very best that I can,” said Lane, the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champ from Guntersville, Ala. “Anything can happen on the St. Johns River. There’s no safe lead here.”

Lane, who jumped from 15th into first on Friday after producing a monster bag of five bass weighing 37-9, brought in 19 pounds, 9 ounces Saturday for a three-day leading total of 75-13.

Lane’s 12-8 lead was over runner-up Davy Hite of Ninety Six, S.C., who weighed 24-13, Saturday’s largest catch. It beefed up his total to 63-5, moving him into second place from 10th.

Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark., anchored in third place with 61-7 over three days. Keith Combs of Huntington, Texas, was fourth with 60-9. Alton Jones of Lorena, Texas, who won the 2012 Elite event on the St. Johns, rose from eighth place into fifth with 59-4. First-day leader Randy Howell of Springville, Ala., was sixth with 58-14.

Those six head up the 12 finalists who will compete in Sunday’s final round for $100,000 and a 2015 Bassmaster Classic berth. Notable jumps into the Top 12 were Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, from 20th to 10th with 54-13, and David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., who rose from 17th to be last man into the 12-cut at 54-3.

Lane’s 12-8 lead was one of the widest margins in the Elite Series’ nine-year history. The largest was 12-15 by Idaho’s Brandon Palaniuk at the 2011 Bull Shoals event in Arkansas after three days of competition. (Palaniuk won by 12-14.)

Lane was not entirely pleased with Saturday’s conditions.

“I still caught quite a few fish today, but to me the bite was off,” Lane said.

While he had a productive St. Johns lake to himself for two days, where he’s been flipping and pitching into vegetation, he had company Saturday. Lane said they were recreational anglers who showed up to fish what was probably their favorite place.

Other factors came into play too.

“It’s shallow where I am, and the water was murkier. One of my areas I didn’t even get to fish today because the wind was blowing so hard out of the west, making that water difficult to fish,” Lane said.
Lane weighed a 9-10 as his largest bass of the day.

“I’m going to concentrate on my area tomorrow and see if I can’t put enough weight in the boat to bust this thing out, maybe get five of those 9-pounders,” he said.

Lane said he wants to hit the “century” mark, or 100 pounds in one event. Twenty-five pounds would get him there. And once he had 25 pounds, he’d come back to the docks, he said, even if hours were left in the competition day.

Hite was in second place on Day 1, then plunged to 10th on Day 2. He recovered nicely to recapture second on Day 3, thanks in part to an 8-pounder, his largest of the day.

“I caught a lot more fish, and I lost a nice fish or two, and still had almost 25 pounds,” he said. “I think tomorrow I can catch 30 pounds. I would not have said so yesterday, but now I feel like I can. Chris did it yesterday.”

Hite said he’s boating prespawn bass and postspawn bass. He said he caught about 20 keepers Saturday.
Is Lane’s 12 1/2-pound lead insurmountable?

“No, not here,” Hite said. “Sure, things have to go right. When you get those big bites, you have to put them in the boat. That’s why I fell behind yesterday. If things go right for me, and not for someone else, I can catch him.”

The big fish of the day was a 9-14 brought in by Scott Rook of Little Rock, Ark. But the 10-10 on Day 2 by Greg Hackney of Gonzales, La., held as the frontrunner for the event’s Carhartt Big Bass bonus of up to $1,500.

For his 37-9 sack of Day 3, Lane remained the top contender for the event’s Berkley Heavyweight bonus of $500.

The dozen pros in Sunday’s competition will takeoff at 7:30 a.m. from Palatka’s Riverfront Park. The weigh-in, at the same location, will begin at 4 p.m. Fans are invited to watch and follow the pros progress at Bassmaster.com, where live streaming video of the weigh-in will begin at 4 p.m. ET.

The Bassmaster Elite Series Expo will open at noon Sunday at Riverfront Park. The Expo features Elite Series sponsors’ products and activities for fans. People ages 14 and up can sign up for free demo rides on Nitro, Triton or Skeeter boats powered by Mercury Pro XS or Yamaha VMAX SHO engines.

The Expo’s locally sponsored activities include a kids zone open until 6 p.m., food vendors (all day), displays and cooking demos from 1 to 4 p.m. by First Coast Technical College, merchandise vendors, giveaways, a bean-bag-toss competition with cash prizes, and Bike Florida.

There’s no admission charge for any of the activities.

ESPN2 will air coverage of the St. Johns River event on The Bassmasters, Sunday, April 6, at 8 a.m. ET. A reair is scheduled for Sunday, April 13, also at 8 a.m. ET. Fans can catch the episode again on The Outdoor Channel on May 19.

Local host: Putnam County Chamber of Commerce.

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Official Sponsors: Toyota, Bass Pro Shops, Berkley, Evan Williams Bourbon, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha
2014 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Booyah, Carhartt, Diet Mountain Dew, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Plano, Power-Pole, Rigid Industries, Shimano

About B.A.S.S.

B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series presented by Allstate, B.A.S.S. Nation events, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series, Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro.
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Media Contact: Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, dprecht@bassmaster.com, or Helen Northcutt, 205-313-0944, hnorthcutt@bassmaster.com.

2014 Bassmaster Elite Series
St. Johns River, Palatka, Fla., 3/20-3/23
Standings Day 3
Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Chris Lane Guntersville, AL 15 75-13 100 $500.00
Day 1: 5 18-11 Day 2: 5 37-09 Day 3: 5 19-09
2. Davy Hite Ninety Six, SC 15 63-05 99
Day 1: 5 24-01 Day 2: 5 14-07 Day 3: 5 24-13
3. Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 15 61-07 98
Day 1: 5 18-03 Day 2: 5 26-07 Day 3: 5 16-13
4. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 15 60-09 97
Day 1: 5 14-12 Day 2: 5 28-02 Day 3: 5 17-11
5. Alton Jones Lorena, TX 15 59-04 96
Day 1: 5 18-01 Day 2: 5 21-11 Day 3: 5 19-08
6. Randy Howell Springville, AL 15 58-14 95
Day 1: 5 27-03 Day 2: 5 20-02 Day 3: 5 11-09
7. Justin Lucas Guntersville, AL 15 57-15 94
Day 1: 5 19-12 Day 2: 5 24-15 Day 3: 5 13-04
8. Paul Elias Laurel, MS 15 57-07 93
Day 1: 5 19-05 Day 2: 5 24-14 Day 3: 5 13-04
9. Dean Rojas Lake Havasu City, AZ 15 54-15 92
Day 1: 5 17-15 Day 2: 5 19-07 Day 3: 5 17-09
10. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 15 54-13 91
Day 1: 5 12-11 Day 2: 5 21-02 Day 3: 5 21-00
11. Jason Williamson Aiken, SC 15 54-07 90
Day 1: 5 17-14 Day 2: 5 16-11 Day 3: 5 19-14
12. David Walker Sevierville, TN 15 54-03 89
Day 1: 5 14-07 Day 2: 5 20-01 Day 3: 5 19-11
13. Randall Tharp Port Saint Joe, FL 15 54-02 88 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-02 Day 2: 5 15-10 Day 3: 5 20-06
14. Bobby Lane Lakeland, FL 15 53-11 87 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-13 Day 2: 5 20-00 Day 3: 5 18-14
15. Jacob Powroznik Port Haywood, VA 15 53-00 86 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-01 Day 2: 5 17-13 Day 3: 5 20-02
16. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 15 52-11 85 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-02 Day 2: 5 24-00 Day 3: 5 08-09
17. Mike Kernan Wylie, TX 15 52-01 84 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-14 Day 2: 5 18-02 Day 3: 5 13-01
18. Jared Lintner Arroyo Grande, CA 15 51-11 83 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-15 Day 2: 5 16-04 Day 3: 5 22-08
19. Scott Rook Little Rock, AR 15 51-00 82 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-10 Day 2: 5 13-12 Day 3: 5 20-10
20. Chad Morgenthaler Coulterville, IL 15 50-09 81 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-03 Day 2: 5 15-01 Day 3: 5 21-05
21. Matt Herren Trussville, AL 15 50-04 80 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-03 Day 2: 5 18-02 Day 3: 5 15-15
22. Gerald Swindle Warrior, AL 15 49-03 79 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 21-15 Day 3: 5 15-13
23. Fred Roumbanis Bixby, OK 15 48-13 78 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-10 Day 2: 5 20-11 Day 3: 5 18-08
24. Casey Ashley Donalds, SC 15 48-07 77 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-09 Day 2: 5 11-00 Day 3: 5 16-14
25. Andy Montgomery Blacksburg, SC 15 47-14 76 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 22-06 Day 2: 5 10-01 Day 3: 5 15-07
26. Ott DeFoe Knoxville, TN 15 47-08 75 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-10 Day 2: 5 20-10 Day 3: 5 14-04
27. Terry Scroggins San Mateo, FL 15 45-14 74 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-05 Day 2: 5 14-09 Day 3: 5 17-00
28. Russ Lane Prattville, AL 15 45-08 73 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 18-15 Day 2: 5 15-09 Day 3: 5 11-00
29. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 15 45-07 72 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 21-06 Day 2: 5 10-14 Day 3: 5 13-03
30. Grant Goldbeck Boerne, TX 15 44-11 71 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-02 Day 2: 5 14-15 Day 3: 5 13-10
31. Jeff Kriet Ardmore, OK 15 44-09 70 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-11 Day 2: 5 14-03 Day 3: 5 15-11
32. Cliff Crochet Pierre Part, LA 13 44-08 69 $10,000.00
Day 1: 4 08-05 Day 2: 5 22-03 Day 3: 4 14-00
33. Nate Wellman Newaygo, MI 15 44-03 68 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-11 Day 2: 5 17-05 Day 3: 5 15-03
34. Takahiro Omori Emory, TX 15 44-02 67 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 22-01 Day 2: 5 15-02 Day 3: 5 06-15
35. Pete Ponds Madison, MS 15 43-11 66 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-07 Day 2: 5 21-07 Day 3: 5 11-13
36. Mike McClelland Bella Vista, AR 15 43-07 65 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-01 Day 2: 5 18-10 Day 3: 5 10-12
37. Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 15 43-04 64 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 16-15 Day 2: 5 14-08 Day 3: 5 11-13
38. Casey Scanlon Shawnee Mission, KS 15 42-12 63 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-09 Day 2: 5 15-15 Day 3: 5 12-04
39. Marty Robinson Lyman, SC 15 42-03 62 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 24-01 Day 2: 5 10-10 Day 3: 5 07-08
40. John Murray Phoenix, AZ 15 42-01 61 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-13 Day 2: 5 09-07 Day 3: 5 11-13
41. Bradley Roy Lancaster, KY 15 40-12 60 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-04 Day 2: 5 18-00 Day 3: 5 10-08
42. David Mullins Mt Carmel, TN 13 40-03 59 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-03 Day 2: 5 20-05 Day 3: 3 07-11
43. Tim Horton Muscle Shoals, AL 15 40-01 58 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-11 Day 2: 5 15-07 Day 3: 5 06-15
44. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 15 40-00 57 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-06 Day 2: 5 16-13 Day 3: 5 09-13
45. Kenyon Hill Norman, OK 15 39-11 56 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-06 Day 2: 5 15-04 Day 3: 5 09-01
46. Jamie Horton Centerville, AL 15 39-06 55 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 17-09 Day 2: 5 13-01 Day 3: 5 08-12
47. Jared Miller Norman, OK 14 39-02 54 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-11 Day 2: 5 21-01 Day 3: 4 03-06
48. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 15 38-12 53 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-06 Day 2: 5 15-10 Day 3: 5 08-12
49. Brett Hite Phoenix, AZ 15 37-10 52 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-13 Day 2: 5 16-04 Day 3: 5 07-09
50. James Niggemeyer Van, TX 12 34-13 51 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-05 Day 2: 5 10-15 Day 3: 2 03-09
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 97 521 1440-06
2 99 515 1514-05
3 46 243 705-06
———————————-
242 1279 3660-01

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