Lane rules in Palatka, Davis Leads AOY
Dominating is the fashion in which Bass Pro Shops/Mercury pro Chris Lane took out his opposition this week at the Bassmaster Elite Series event on the St. John's River out of Palatka, FL. Lane moved into first after Day 2 and never looked back. He opted to fish away from the hordes of pros sight fishing on Lake George. Instead, Lane opted to fish Lake Dexter, casting to lily pads choosing not to sight fish. His final weight of 90 pounds 13 ounces gave a 14-pound plus edge over Yamaha pro Dean Rojas who totaled 76 pounds 9 ounces.
Rounding out the Top 5 are in third Skeeter pro Mark Davis with 75 pounds 4 ounces.
Fourth went to Yum pro Alton Jones weighing 74 pounds 7 ounces.
Fifth was Phoenix Boats pro Davy Hite who weighed 73 pounds 3 ounces.
Lane dialed in early.
"I found those fish in practice on Monday," said Lane. "I stayed out there late and the big fish were chomping. I didn't want to get excited too early, but I knew if they stayed active it was going to be good.
"God is good. I prayed to stay calm and focused. I've always believed in myself, but about four years ago I started getting more dialed in to fishing at this level. I work very hard. You have to fishing against the best anglers in the world."
Lane's primary technique was fishing various lily pad areas on Lake Dexter. Some isolated clumps, some edges. His primary color was black and blue. He used Luck-E-Strike Ringer Worms, jigs and a soft-plastic Senko-style bait.
This is Lane's second victory in the last three Bassmaster Elite Series events dating back to last year.
Rojas avoided crowds.
"I fished off the beaten path this week," said Rojas. "I decided to not fish in the crowd. It paid off. This is my third Top 12 on the St. John's. I had a great day today. I started off with three big ones and I thought I was gonna wreck 'em. It slowed down a bit."
Rojas caught his fish this week using the Big Bite Fightin' Frog and Warmouth.
"The fish didn't bite as well today for me," said Davis. "I was really out there fishing for second today. I was fishing the east side of Lake George. Last night a west wind came through and muddied up the water. Visibility was only about 12 inches. I caught three fish early, but when the sun popped out I could see the lack of water clarity.
"I've been doing this for 28 years now. You start to get a little complacent. Then you notice the young lions out here on tour now. These guys kick rear end and take names. They motivate me. I want to still compete at the same level."
Davis used either a Strike King Rage Bug or Shimmy Stik while fishing bedding fish, but not sight fishing. Davis is currently leading the Angler of the Year standings.