Lane Leans on Topwater for Elimination Round Win at Challenge Select - Major League Fishing

Lane Leans on Topwater for Elimination Round Win at Challenge Select

Image for Lane Leans on Topwater for Elimination Round Win at Challenge Select
April 16, 2018 • Joel Shangle • Select Events

COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Almost from the first “lines in” of the day at the third Elimination Round of the 2018 MLF Challenge Select in Columbia, South Carolina, Chris Lane had a feeling that bites were going to be few and far between on Lake Murray.

Suspicions confirmed: It took Lane nearly 45 minutes to record his first bass on SCORETRACKER, and then another 30 minutes to add his second.

But that second fish – a 3-pound, 14-ouncer that hit a River2Sea Rover – clued the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion into his primary pattern for the day: covering water with topwaters.

“As soon as I picked up that fish on the Rover, I thought to myself ‘Okay, so they’re going to bite topwater today’, so I figured that once the sun got a little higher, I’d have a chance with topwater,” Lane says.

That gut feeling paid off as Lane racked up 10 fish for 19-10, finishing the day with a comfortable cushion over Neal (14-5), Keith Poche (14-2) and Brandon Palaniuk (14-1).

“It was hot, sunny, slick calm, and I could tell that the fish were pretty scattered,” Lane admits. “It seemed like we were all picking up a fish here and a fish there – I’d get a bite, move to another point, get one more bite and move on to the next one. As we got further into the morning, I just figured that I’d be better off if I could just cover as much water as possible.”

Lane stuck to that philosophy throughout the day, alternating between the Rover (a walking bait) and a River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130, a louder, more intrusive topwater that Lane threw in hopes of catching more quality fish.

“I just knew I wasn’t going to get many bites, so I figured my odds of catching keepers would be better with the Whopper Plopper,” Lane confirms.

Lane’s keys
Lane fished both the Whopper Plopper and Rover on a 7-foot-4 medium heavy Bass Pro Shops Johnny Morris Platinum Signature Series rod and an 8.3:1 Johnny Morris Platinum reel spooled with 50-pound Bass Pro Shops XPS Hyper Braid.