“John was all about getting four or five bites — all about catching big fish, tournament-style fishing,” Lane said. “He didn’t want to throw a spinnerbait. He wanted to flip and use the frog and go out and catch 6-pounders. I think the next grass tournament he fishes, he’s going to do pretty well.”
As the day advanced, the wind picked up even more — reaching 25 mile an hour gusts — and making Power–Pole anchors a necessity.
“I’d never used Power-Poles, but we wouldn’t have been able to fish at all without them,” Holtman said. “I see how much they can help. Some of the areas we were fishing were big grassy mats, and the Power-Poles anchored the boat so we could fish without using the trolling motor. I can’t wait to put the Power-Poles on my boat. I think they’re going to make a difference in my fishing.”
Along with the fishing trip with Lane on the champ’s home waters, Holtman won an 8-foot Power-Pole Sportsman; $200 each in fishing gear from Snag Proof, Berkley and Luck “E” Strike; a two-night hotel stay; and $800 in cash.
“I want to thank Bassmaster for doing all of this — for setting me up with Chris and for the prizes from the sponsors. I’m so appreciative of that,” Holtman said. “It was a great experience, and I had a great time. Chris is such a great, humble guy and represents Bassmaster well. I really enjoyed fishing with him.”
Lane encouraged Holtman, a Rydal, Ga., resident, to fish in Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Series competitions.
“John is going to win some tournaments down the road — there’s no doubt in my mind,” Lane said. “He was really excited about flipping and about throwing a frog. He’s a great guy to go fishing with. He had some big blow ups on frogs — even in that wind. He got a lot more bites than I did.”
See more photos from Holtman's day on Lake Guntersville with Chris Lane.