There are 56 bass fisherman all gunning for the top spot at the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell. They may have to go through Chris Lane first.
Being a former winner of the Bassmaster Classic back in 2012, Chris Lane knows what it's like to be the last man standing on stage during the final weigh in. At this year's Classic, Lane is looking to take center stage one more time and has the momentum behind him to get another title.
With two top 10s and one win in this year's Elite Series, coming from Bays De Noc, Delaware River, and St. Johns River respectively, Lane has been on top of his game coming into the Classic. Having fished his first Classic on Lake Hartwell back in 2008, only gives him more of an advantage. Recently, Chris Lane sat down for an interview to talk about what it's like to fish the biggest tournament in bass fishing and his thoughts on getting himself prepared.
WIDE OPEN SPACES: Coming into the Bassmaster Classic, how do you get yourself ready for this tournament differently than you do all the other tournaments that you fish throughout the year?
CHRIS LANE: "This is all a different mindset. It's all about risk vs. reward. With regular events throughout the year, you are trying to make points and do everything you can just to get to this event. Once you are in the Classic, you don't want to finish second or third. You are here to win. For me, there is only one spot for me to get, and that is first place."
So in the course of the tournament, what steps do you actually take to manage that risk?
"In a tournament like this, when you are going for the win, I think one of the biggest things you can do is to put yourself in a position to win. Sure, some guy might catch an eight pounder under a dock, and the whole thing was won until he caught that fish and then he ended up winning, but being in the position to win is key. To win an event like this, or to win an Elite Series event, you are fishing against the best in the world. You have to have everything fall in your lap. You have to capitalize on every opportunity. If you can do that and actually win it, then that means that everything went right."
How does fishing Lake Hartwell in the Classic back in 2008 compare to fishing it again this year?
"I can say that I caught more fish recently during 3o minutes of practice on Lake Hartwell than I did the entire tournament back in 2008. I'm bringing everything with me that I've learned in six years, plus using my Raymarine electronics. I don't necessarily think I have an edge coming into this Classic, but I have learned a lot in the last six years of fishing competitive bass fishing. What I have learned since then has been kind of neat to see. Going back and remembering my first Classic, I didn't do very well, but enjoyed the heck out of it. Now, I'm really looking forward to getting back and really trying to win it."
Anything else you are looking forward to at this year's Classic?
"I am excited to get back to South Carolina. I remember the last time we were there, they had to shut it down because there were so many people in that building. I'm excited for the show, my sponsors, and really, the fans. The weather was so rough last time we were there. I don't want to jinx it, but I'm hoping for great weather because that will be great for the lake, great for the community, and overall the sport of bass fishing. I'm just really looking forward to it."
Chris Lane will undoubtedly be looking to make up for his first Classic appearance on Lake Hartwell. If that is the case and Lane is on his A game, the rest of the qualifiers might be trouble.