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Lane Wins 2009 BASS Elite Series on Ky Lake

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From BASS:

For three days, Bobby Lane seemed destined to take his first BASS victory.   The Lakeland, Fla.,  Bassmaster Elite Series pro  opened up a nearly  9-pound advantage, barely scratching the surface of a foolproof spot on massive Kentucky Lake.   The  second-year Elite pro and  two-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier had it so good he was able to take a nap on the water Friday while defending his area. But on Saturday, the final day of competition at the SpongeTech Tennessee Triumph, things took an unexpected  turn.  

First, a nerve-wracking fog delay of more than 2 hours demolished Lane’s productive early bite.   Then, Lane had to contend with an armada of spectator boats – nearly 120 by some counts –that  were parked near his money spot.   But Lane, a veteran tournament angler, stuck to his guns and held on to accumulate  16 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday for  a four-day total of 97 pounds, 9 ounces, which was enough to hold off four-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year Kevin VanDam (92-1) of Kalamazoo, Mich.  

With the wire-to-wire victory, Lane earned $100,000 and moved up to 11th in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.   That position puts the 35-year-old in fantastic shape to qualify for the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, set for Feb. 19-21 on Lay Lake out of Birmingham, Ala., and advance to the inaugural Bassmaster Elite Series  postseason, the Toyota Trucks Championship Week, which will play out Sept. 10-18  on Alabama’s Lake Jordan and Alabama River featuring  the top 12 anglers in the AOY standings.

“Early this morning, all I wanted to do was get on that spot,†said Lane, whose brother younger brother Chris also fishes  in  the Elite Series.   “That was one of the most stressful moments of my life sitting there waiting and was probably about the worst thing that could have happened to me.   But I was able to fish clean the whole day and it was my time.â€

Fishing fans can catch all of the on-the-water action from the Tennessee Triumph on The Bassmasters, which airs Saturday, June 13, at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2. The daily weigh-ins for all regular-season Elite events and the two postseason events will air live on ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, while a wealth of unique content will also be available at Bassmaster.com.

On Saturday, Lane’s primary spot – an area filled with heavy shell that generated high numbers of baitfish that bass were feeding on –    proved nowhere near as fruitful  as it had in  the first three days.   While he was able to land four keepers in the area during the first hours of competition, the size  of the fish couldn’t compare to those on Days One through Three.   So, Lane made a decision to run elsewhere – a last resort – and was able to fill out his limit with a fifth keeper.

Still, he wasn’t satisfied.   In the back of his mind, he said he was calculating over and over again to determine if he had blown what was his best chance at a victory.   With a little more than two hours remaining in his competition day, he  retrned  to  the  primary spot  he had nicknamed  the “promised land†and boated his biggest bass of the day, a 5-9 brute.  

That was enough to seal it,  as VanDam made a half-hearted charge that wasn’t quite enough.   Lane used  several  baits to considerable success,  including a Berkley Power Worm and a swimbait,  but a crankbait landed the last fish.   Doubly satisfying for Lane was that he scored victory fishing a style he doesn’t consider a strength.   A shallow-water specialist who excels on Florida fisheries, he mastered the art of ledge fishing for one week.

Perhaps lost in the shuffle was Lane’s calculated gamble that he executed the first three days.   Lane made the interesting decision – a risky one – to scour his productive area for just more than 3 hours  through  the first three days, leaving nearly 20 hours on the table.   It proved to be a key to the victory.

“They didn’t pull current today and the wind wasn’t blowing early and that was just a terrible combination for me,†said Lane, whose daughter, Alexis, graduated from  pre-kindergarten Friday back home in Florida.   “I love to do it but I’m not a big ledge fisherman.   I wasn’t happy all day but this victory really means a lot to me.â€

While VanDam fell short at Kentucky, he will take solace in his lead – albeit a tiny one – in the 2009 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.   By virtue of jumping over Skeet Reese of Auburn, Calif., into second place here, VanDam maintained his lead in the season-long standings.  

VanDam, the defending champion on Kentucky, said the majority of his bass fell for a Strike King Series 6 extra deep crankbait.   He was allowing the bait to hit bottom – usually comprised of shell – where the bass would attack it.  

“Kentucky Lake is absolutely awesome,†said VanDam, a two-time Bassmaster Classic champion.   “While I’m never satisfied with second place, the ultimate goal is the Angler of the Year and I feel good about my chances there.â€

The Angler of the Year is  title is worth  $200,000 and it is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the sport.   Reese, the 2007 AOY, continued his incredible run in his effort for the AOY, scoring fourth at Kentucky with 90 pounds, 7 ounces.   Russ Lane of Prattville, Ala., moved up one spot to third with 90-9.   In fifth was Rick Morris of Lake Gaston, Va., with 88-6.  

The field was cut to the top 12 anglers for the final day.   Up next for the Elite Series is the June 11-14 Genuity River Rumble on the Mississippi River out of Fort Madison, Iowa.

Kentucky Lake has hosted 11 BASS events.   Straddling the Kentucky-Tennessee border, Kentucky Lake is 185 miles in length, with 160,000 surface acres and 2,380 miles of shoreline. Lake Barkley, a navigable canal, adds another 80,000 surface acres.


FINAL STANDINGS- SPONGETECH TENNESEE TRIUMPH- KENTUCKY LAKE

 

2009 SpongeTech Tennessee Triumph 6/3-6/6

Kentucky Lake, Paris   TN.

(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 4

 

    Angler                                     Hometown                           No./lbs-oz   Pts     Total $$$

 

1.   Bobby Lane                         Lakeland, FL                       20   97-09   320 $100,000.00

  Day 1: 5     29-14         Day 2: 5     24-09         Day 3: 5     26-03         Day 4: 5     16-15    

2.   Kevin VanDam                     Kalamazoo, MI                     20   92-01   295   $26,000.00

  Day 1: 5     28-11         Day 2: 5     21-09         Day 3: 5     21-03         Day 4: 5     20-10    

3.   Russ Lane                           Prattville, AL                   20   90-09   290   $20,000.00

  Day 1: 5     26-02         Day 2: 5     21-02         Day 3: 5     20-11         Day 4: 5     22-10    

4.   Skeet Reese                       Auburn, CA                           20   90-07   285   $15,000.00

  Day 1: 5     25-15         Day 2: 5     22-10         Day 3: 5     23-05         Day 4: 5     18-09    

5.   Rick Morris                       Virginia Beach, VA           20   88-06   280   $14,000.00

  Day 1: 5     26-00        Day 2: 5     16-10         Day 3: 5     23-01         Day 4: 5     22-11    

6.   Steve Kennedy                   Auburn, AL                           20   87-04   276   $13,500.00

  Day 1: 5     17-09         Day 2: 5     26-14         Day 3: 5     18-15         Day 4: 5     23-14    

7.   Britt Myers                       Lake Wylie, SC                   20   86-09   272   $13,000.00

  Day 1: 5     22-00         Day 2: 5     19-15         Day 3: 5     24-07         Day 4: 5     20-03    

8.   Kelly Jordon                     Mineola, TX                         20   85-03   268   $12,500.00

  Day 1: 5     18-03         Day 2: 5     26-05         Day 3: 5     19-12         Day 4: 5     20-15    

9.   Gerald Swindle                 Warrior, AL                         20   84-06   264   $12,000.00

  Day 1: 5     21-00         Day 2: 5     22-01         Day 3: 5     22-01         Day 4: 5     19-04    

10. Byron Velvick                   Del Rio, TX                         19   81-07   260   $11,500.00

  Day 1: 5     27-06         Day 2: 5     19-07         Day 3: 5     19-13         Day 4: 4     14-13    

11. Jeff Kriet                         Ardmore, OK                         20   80-15   257   $11,000.00

  Day 1: 5     23-07         Day 2: 5     24-14         Day 3: 5     17-00         Day 4: 5     15-10    

12. Fred Roumbanis                 Bixby, OK                             20   79-02   254   $11,500.00

  Day 1: 5     23-07         Day 2: 5     23-01         Day 3: 5     19-05         Day 4: 5     13-05    

———————————————————————–

 

BIG BASS

Day

 1     Bobby Lane                             Lakeland, FL               07-15                   $0.00

 2     Fred Roumbanis                     Bixby, OK                     08-04                   $0.00

 3     Michael Iaconelli               Runnemede, NJ             06-10                   $0.00

 4     Byron Velvick                       Del Rio, TX                 07-12                   $0.00

 

BIG BASS OF TOURNAMENT

        Fred Roumbanis                     Bixby, OK                     08-04           $1,000.00

———————————————————————–

Totals

Day     #Limits       #Fish           Weight

 1              93             479           1720-14

 2               86             465           1565-02

 3               45             242             851-07

 4               11               59             229-07

———————————-

                235           1245           4366-14

 

2009 TOYOTA TUNDRA BASSMASTER ANGLER OF THE YEAR STANDINGS

 

2009 SpongeTech Tennessee Triumph – SpongeTech Tennessee Triumph Pro Points After Kentucky Lake, Paris, Tenn.   Ending 06-06-2009, Day 4

——————————————-

Place   Name                             St                       Pts

——————————————-

  1 Kevin VanDam                   Mich.               1593

  2 Skeet Reese                     Calif.             1578

  3 Alton Jones                     Texas               1477

  4 Aaron Martens                 Ala.                 1465

  5 Todd Faircloth               Texas               1371

  6 Gary Klein                       Texas               1370

  7 Michael Iaconelli         N.J.                 1364

  8 Mark Menendez                 Ky.                   1339

  9 Randy Howell                   Ala.                 1318

 10 Brent Chapman                 Kan.                 1313

 11 Bobby Lane                       Fla.                 1305

 12 Cliff Pace                       Miss.               1291

 13 Kelly Jordon                   Texas               1281

 14 Greg Hackney                   La.                   1274

 15 Byron Velvick                 Texas               1258

 16 Kevin Wirth                     Ky.                   1253

 17 Kevin Short                     Ark.                 1249

 18 Bradley Hallman             Okla.               1246

 19 Russ Lane                         Ala.                 1245

 20 Fred Roumbanis               Okla.               1244

 21 Casey Ashley                   S.C.                 1232

 22 Tommy Biffle                   Okla.               1225

 23 Gerald Swindle               Ala.                1219

 24 John Murray                     Ariz.               1210

 25 Shaw Grigsby                   Fla.                 1206

 26 Jeff Kriet                       Okla.               1196

 27 Davy Hite                         S.C.                 1193

 28 Matt Herren                     Ala.                 1191

 29 Mark Tucker                    Mo.                   1187

 29 James Niggemeyer           Texas               1187

 31 Jami Fralick                   S.D.                 1181

 32 Dean Rojas                       Ariz.               1180

 33 Denny Brauer                   Mo.                   1173

 34 Steve Kennedy                 Ala.                 1169

 35 Timmy Horton                   Ala.                 1168

 36 Takahiro Omori               Texas               1151

 37 Greg Vinson                     Ala.                 1146

 38 Matt Reed                         Texas               1135

 39 Mike McClelland             Ark.                 1130

 40 Boyd Duckett                   Ala.                 1129

 41 Jason Quinn                     S.C.                 1120

 42 Jason Williamson           S.C.                 1116

 43 Rick Morris                     Va.                   1108

 44 Bill Lowen                       Ohio                 1088

 45 J Todd Tucker                 Ga.                   1086

 45 Dave Wolak                       N.C.                 1086

 47 Terry Butcher                 Okla.               1082

 48 Stephen Browning           Ark.                 1073

 49 Edwin Evers                     Okla.               1070

 50 Brian Snowden                 Mo.                   1066

 51 Matthew Sphar                 N.Y.                 1065

 52 Terry Scroggins             Fla.                1058

 53 Kotaro Kiriyama             Ala.                 1048

 53 Kenyon Hill                     Okla.               1048

 55 Marty Stone                     N.C.                 1047

 56 Billy Mccaghren             Ark.                 1041

 57 Pat Golden                       N.C.                 1036

 58 Todd Auten                       S.C.                 1032

 59 Dustin Wilks                   N.C.                 1028

 60 Bernie Schultz               Fla.                 1026

 61 Jeff Connella                 La.                   1019

 62 Britt Myers                     S.C.                 1015

 63 Jared Lintner                 Calif.             1011

 64 Mark Tyler                      Okla.               1010

 65 Mark Davis                       Ark.                 1006

 66 Chris Lane                       Fla.                   999