With the Bassmaster Elite Series off-season comes a time to relax, a time to spend with family and a time for recruiting new sponsors. Or, if you're seven-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier Bobby Lane, it's time for the third annual Bobby Lane Cup tournament presented by Bartow High School on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Florida, Dec. 14.
"This is something I started in 2011," Lane says, "and it's one of the things I'm most proud of in my career. The tournament is one of the ways I try to give back to the sport of bass fishing and to our youth."
If you're a middle or high school angler with a young fishing partner and an adult who can act as your boat captain, you're eligible to enter the Bobby Lane Cup. The tournament will be held out of Camp Mack in Lake Wales, and there's no entry fee for qualified anglers.
"I'm really excited about the growth we've seen with the event," Lane says. "The first year we had 36 anglers. Last year we had 80, and this year we're going to have over 100. None of that could happen, though, without the support of some amazing sponsors and a great host. We've put together a fantastic team, but we're always looking for more support."
Anglers will be competing as teams in two different classifications. Teams made up of middle school anglers will be competing against other middle school angler teams in the youth division, and high school teams will be up against other high schoolers. All teams require an adult boat captain/coach.
In addition to some very valuable prizes (including a $1,200 Humminbird 899ci HD SI unit), the tournament winners are vying for a trophy that would do a Bassmaster Classic champ proud. There will also be raffles giving away more than 20 rod and reel combos, Bass Pro Shops gift cards and hundreds of fishing lures.
"If you're there, the odds are good you're going to win something!" Lane says with a laugh.
Sponsors of the Bobby Lane Cup include Spiderwire, Berkley Havoc, Humminbird, Bass Pro Shops, Livingston Lures, Gene Larew Lures, Duckett Fishing, Toho Marine & Outdoors, Maclan Corporation, Charleston Rubber & Gasket Co., Keller, R.F. Lane Company, Rodda Construction, Beef 'O' Brady's in south Lakeland, D.B. Bait & Tackle in Bartow and LB3 Outdoors.
For more information on the Bobby Lane Cup, contact Derek Boswell at (863) 513-8877 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendance at a pre-tournament registration meeting on Dec. 13 is required.