With all eyes on the Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year battle between Nitro pro Edwin Evers of Talalla, Oklahoma, who sat 30 points ahead of Mercury pro Aaron Martens of Leeds, Alabama, the other significant battles to make it to the Bassmaster Classic via points or by virtue of a win were overlooked by many. Power-Pole pro Chris Lane from Guntersville, Alabama shifted the focus back to the battle on Lake St. Clair out of Detroit, Michigan for the last event of the Bassmaster Series for the 2013 season by taking an 8-ounce lead with 22 pounds 9 ounces over former Bassmaster Classic champ Skeeter pro Mark Davis from Mount Ida, Arkansas. Both anglers need a win to qualify for the Classic.
Rounding out the Top 5 were Aaron Martens in third with 21 pounds 14 ounces, Lew's pro Bill Simonton of Freemont, Ohio with 21 pounds 2 ounces and Shimano pro Kotaro Kiriyama of Moody, Alabama with 20 pounds 7 ounces.
"I feel good," said Lane. "I figured something out. I swung for the fences and it paid off for me today. If I end up not doing good it's not in my hands, it's in God's hands.
Chris Lane Day 1 Elite Series Lake St. Clair (Seigo Saito)
"I fished with 6-pound Stren line today and did not lose any fish. Last tournament I lost a lot of fish. I hope this holds up for me tomorrow. Maybe things are turning around for me."
Davis had a rough start.
"I was really boogered up this morning," said Davis. "After drinking five cups of coffee and making a run I lost two big ones. I sat down and ate a Snickers bar. I got over the mully grubs and caught them. What a great place to fish. Today I didn't see any of them northern gators I saw in New York."
"I think I've had 12 hours sleep over the last three or four days," said Martens. "I ran a long way. It was rough. Where I found the fish there was only one other boat. I don't want to think about the Angler of the Year. I just want to think about having a chance to win the tournament. I've been fishing really good, unconscious, since the first tournament of the season where I did terrible."