WETUMPKA, Ala. — Bottoms up.
The final four qualifiers for Toyota Tundra Championship Week got the jump on the field, shaking up the points standings after the first day of the Ramada Trophy Chase on Lake Jordan.
Lane, of nearby Prattville, Ala., wowed the hometown crowd with the big bag of 17 pounds, including a hefty 4-12 kicker. He needed this kind of start to make things happen.
"I'm in a four-way tie for 12th, everything is out of my control," he said. "I just have to go out and fish, and whatever happens, happens."
Happen it did. Fishing a number of the 100 spots he has yanked in fish on Jordan, he cranked from last to second, and now trails AOY leader Skeet Reese in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings by 15.5 points.
"My main goal is to win one of these events. An AOY would just be unbelievable," Lane said. "I'm not even going to think about it yet."
Hackney was the big surprise, working two patterns that he says made him kind of inconspicuous. He flipped up a 16-9 bag to pull into fifth in the standings.
"I'm fishing two different ways," he said. "It's a grind. If it works, it's great, but it's like watching paint dry all day."
Martens was the next big mover, his 14-0 bag landing him in fourth. He found there was a magical time when the fish bit better, but with his estimate of catching more than 60 on the day, compared to others, that was magical.
"Not the quality fish over 3 pounds," he said. "I never got the 4-pounder. I'm saving it for tomorrow.
"There's a time of day when the fish get really active. I figured out between about 9 and 11 you have to be on your good stuff."
In practice he had bigger bites, including the 4s, but he has to be happy catching numbers and knowing he's on them.
Klein, who came into the Trophy Chase saying he had nothing to lose, showed he wasn't kidding. His 13-6 stringer was fifth-best on the day and puts him in seventh in AOY points.
From their ninth-place tie with 177 points, the four played a nice game of leapfrog.
Reese was actually grateful the bottom turned over, because it not only allowed him to maintain his lead, he actually increased it by half a point. He'll be rooting for those to show their Sunday best.
"Russ is going to be tough to beat here," he said. "He's a hometown boy."