Recently I had the distinct honor and
privilege of conducting a phone interview with
2012 Bassmaster Classic Champion, and MLF Bass
Pro Tour competitor Mr. Chis Lane. Chris has
established himself in competitive bass fishing
as a force to be reckoned with across the
country by virtue of his bass angling prowess.
His impressive career accomplishments read as
follows: seven B.A.S.S. wins including the
coveted Bassmaster Classic, 27 top 10 finishes
and 97 times he has finished in the top 50. That
would be an impressive record for any tournament
angler. Chris did it fishing against the best
bass anglers on the planet. He recently made the
move along with 79 other pros to fish Major
League Fishing Bass Pro Tour. In this article
are excerpts of the first interview I did with
Chris after he won the Classic and of our most
recent phone conversation. The Alabama Pro lives
with his wife and four children on Lake
Guntersville. He answered several questions
covering an array of topics.
A.C.: When I last interviewed you it was a
couple of weeks after you won the Bassmaster
Classic. How much has your life changed since
winning the Classic?
C.L.: (Laughing) it has gotten a lot busier
thatís for sure. I think I mentioned to you in
our first interview, whoever wins the Classic,
automatically becomes an ambassador for the
sport and I took that responsibility very
seriously and I still do. I want to be the best
representative for our sport that I can be.
A.C.: When I texted you about this phone call
you asked to push it back an hour because you
were eating dinner. Are you able go to a public
restaurant without fans harassing you for an
C.L.: I was actually having dinner with Paul
Elias and some of the MLF officials. People are
usually good about not interrupting when we are
trying to have dinner, but you know you just
have to embrace it and just be nice to people.
Ironically during our 2012 interview Chris
mentioned laying on the floor as a child with
his brothers watching Paul Elias win the
Bassmaster Classic on TV, and vowing to be there
someday. Today he is having dinner as a peer
with that very person.
Photo Credit: Major League Fishing
A.C.: Letís talk about the move to Major
League Fishing. What was the driving factor for
making that decision?
C.L.: It is mostly about the media coverage. You
know we (professional anglers) have commitments
to our sponsors and the more media
coverage we have the more we can promote our
sponsorsí products. With more media coverage we
have a million people tuning in to watch on TV
and social media, but thatís not all. Itís also
about conserving our resources for future
generations. With the live score tracker option
we can catch a nine or ten pounder off the bed
and release her immediately back to the bed
unharmed. That is a big deal.
A.C.: Are you going to miss the crowds at the
C.L.: There will still be people at the
weigh-ins so that wonít be much different.
A.C.: What about the armada of fans following
you around the lake. Will that change with MLF?
C.L.: Probably not a lot because on the Bass Pro
tour we know what lake we will be fishing next.
For the most part people on the water are
usually considerate of the Pros.
A.C.: I first met you when I saw you and your
son fishing the cove in front of your house on
Guntersville after you won the Classic. Will any
of your children continue the ďLane legacyĒ and
become professional fishermen?
C.L.: Watching my oldest son, I would say that
he is exhibiting what it would take to become a
professional fisherman and I believe he could do
it. He loves the sport and has a great work
ethic. Right now the rest of the kids are just
A.C.: If you were coming to Guntersville to
fish the Angler's Choice Championship what would
you do to win it?
C.L.: I would say, at that time of year the lake
will be red hot. Guys should be able to find
fish in every stage of the spawn and should be
able to fish their strength. There will be areas
where fish are staging to spawn, areas where
fish are spawning, and maybe even post spawn.
Also, donít forget to fish over the grass with
A.C. One final question. A buddy asked me to
ask this. If you had to pick only one lure to
fish with the rest of your life what would it be
C.L. Wow. If I could stay only in the southeast
part of the country I would say a lure that I
designed for River 2 Sea called a Lane Changer.
It is a top-water lure that resembles a Devilís
Horse . My grandpa and I used to wear the fish
out on that lure years ago, it flat catches
A.C.: Favorite color?
C.L. Orange Crush
C.L. If I had to fish up north too then I would
say a Drop Dead Craw by Luck-E-Strike.
A.C.: and favorite color in that?
C.L. Okeechobee Craw.
A prototype of that lure is what Chris used
in his wire to wire win of the Bassmaster Elite
Series on the Sabine River in 2015.
From our first interview in 2012:
A .C.: I know you grew up competing with your
brothers in just about everything. Between
yourself, Bobby and Arnie who is the best
C.L. On any given day I would say it could be
any of the three of us. I would never say that I
am a better fisherman than either of my
brothers. And they would never say that they are
the best. Some days I am and some days I am not.
They are both very good fishermen.
Chris Lane is without question one of the
nicest guys I have ever interviewed. Always
genuine, polite and the quintessential
professional. He continues to represent the
sport at the highest level and somehow finds
time to give back to the community. Every year
since 2009 he has hosted an annual kids fishing
camp Reeling in the Pros on Lake Guntersville.
Whoever said nice guys finish last never fished
against Chris Lane.