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A Chat with MLF Pro Chris Lane
By Ron Niswonger, U.S. Anglers Choice contributor

 

 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 autograph?
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 weigh-ins?
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 too young.

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 lipless crankbaits.

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 and why?
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 them.

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 fisherman?
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.