Chris Lane's winning pattern inside the pattern boiled down to 'textbook old-school fishing' - Major League Fishing
Chris Lane’s winning pattern inside the pattern boiled down to ‘textbook old-school fishing’
7m • Dave Landahl • Bass Pro Tour
Davis shares guide tips for catching fall crappie
3d • Mitchell Forde • Bass Pro Tour
Mark Daniels Jr. spends treasured week at sea with no cell service
5d • Alan McGuckin • Bass Pro Tour
Kevin VanDam experienced two firsts during final tournament 
2w • Luke Stoner • Bass Pro Tour
Crappie fishing, confidence keyed Rose’s smallmouth success in 2023 
2w • Mitchell Forde • Bass Pro Tour
Power in persistence: Daniels rebounds for a successful finish to 2023 season
2w • Mitchell Forde • Bass Pro Tour
Bass Pro Tour Fantasy Fishing winner Weems leaned on Wheeler, format change to claim season-long title
1m • Kendra Cousineau • Fantasy Fishing
Bass Cave with Matt Stefan
1m • Bass Pro Tour
BACK TO BASICS: Mark Daniels Jr. walks you through his Garmin LiveScope settings
1m • Major League Lessons
2024 Bass Pro Tour dates and locations set
1m • MLF • Bass Pro Tour
MATT LEE: Mercury pro’s blunt assessment of his 2023 Bass Pro Tour season
1m • Matt Lee • Angler Columns
TORO CUT LINE: Anglers gave it their all at Stage Seven
1m • Bass Pro Tour
General Tire Heavy Hitters 2024 is taking shape
1m • Mitchell Forde • Bass Pro Tour
GALLERY: Roster for REDCREST 2024 is nearly set
1m • Mitchell Forde • Bass Pro Tour
VanDam’s plans for “retirement” – Alaska, and living life on his own schedule
1m • Bass Pro Tour

Chris Lane’s winning pattern inside the pattern boiled down to ‘textbook old-school fishing’

Team Mercury Pro tapped into a deep well of Florida knowledge to claim win
Image for Chris Lane’s winning pattern inside the pattern boiled down to ‘textbook old-school fishing’
Chris Lane's $100,000 payday came thanks to some old-school knowledge about Kissimmee. Photo by Garrick Dixon. Angler: Chris Lane.
February 25, 2023 • Dave Landahl • Bass Pro Tour

Alabama pro Chris Lane made his first ever Bass Pro Tour Championship Round appearance during the 2023 season opener on the Kissimmee Chain in Florida. Not only did he crack his first BPT Top 10, Lane took home the win on waters he’s extremely familiar with.

Though the Mercury Pro Team angler lives in Guntersville, Alabama, Lane is a native Floridian who’s spent countless hours fishing almost every inch of the Kissimmee Chain. Unlike many anglers over the decades who’ve fallen to the “home lake curse,” Lane’s encyclopedic knowledge of Lake Kissimmee and his understanding of Florida bass and the nuances of coaxing bites from this heavily pressured fishery gave him the juice to take home the big red trophy and $100,000 payday.

“Honestly, my win was just textbook old-school fishing,” Lane admitted. “I used my knowledge of these waters to focus on areas I knew in the past held larger bass. Of course, things can change in a fishery over the years, but fishing areas that I knew had the potential to produce 8-pound plus bass were my focus – although never did catch a really big bass like that.”

Breaking the code

The first two days of the event left Lane scratching his head, thanks to handful of stumbles and no truly giant bass to show for his efforts.

“Day 1 was a tough bite,” Lane admitted.  “Catching a 6-pounder was a big deal, and I stayed where I thought I’d get a better bite, in a place where I shook one off in practice. Never happened. On Day 2, I changed up and fished new water, but I missed opportunities for bigger bass due to my own mistakes, wrong casts, bad positioning. But on that day, I switched to 20-pound Bass Pro Shops XPS Fluorocarbon and that helped a lot with getting bass out of the heavy cover. They’re really strong this time of the year.”

Focusing on big fish influenced the areas that Lane fished throughout the tournament. He explored the mouth of Kissimmee Lake, but found it to be cold, rough and windy – not what he was looking for in his pursuit of bigger largemouth.

“I knew where to go with the wind,” Lane said. “This probably sounds cliché, but I was not concerned about catching 3-pounders, I was looking for big giants. I put myself in position to catch bigger fish. I’m shocked I didn’t catch a big fish like an 8- or 9-pounder with all the 4- and 5-pounders I did catch.” 

Relying on some Florida staples

Lane relied on a tried-and-true Bass Pro Shops Stik-O Worm throughout the week.

Lane’s approach was as classic as it gets for Florida bass fishing in February. He pitched a Bass Pro Shops Stik-O Worm to various kinds isolated vegetation (though he did catch a few on a River2Sea Lane Changer topwater). His approach was old school but effective; knowing where to go on Kissimmee – especially since the final day was on Saturday and the recreational anglers were out in force – was the key that allowed Lane to surmount the 12-pound cushion that Knockout Round leader Mark Davis had over Lane heading into the Championship Round.

“I think these fish feel a lot of pressure,” Lane said. “There are so many fish on the bank, and people are out there catching them. A lot of them. I focused on areas and targets that were a little further off the bank and isolated. I knew quality bites would mainly be further away from shore. It wasn’t deep water, never really over 3 feet, but staying away from the crowds and other anglers was very important. And I was fishing some history, from the years of being on the water there.”

Lane’s ability to read the cover and be super stealthy were also key components to his success.

“I fished fast – if I didn’t get a bite, I’d move on,” Land said. “I fished with the wind so I could make accurate casts and pitches. I made longer casts in calmer conditions and shorter pitches in windier locations. I definitely tried to use stealth to my advantage (so the fish) didn’t know I was coming. Having Power-Poles and the Power-Pole Move trolling motor made that possible.”