Chris Lane's 12-8 lead after three days over his closest challenger is the second largest in Elite history. (Brandon Palaniuk led by 12-15 in 2012 on Bull Shoals.) The largest margin of victory in Elite history was 15-9 (Mike McClelland in 2006 on Grand Lake). The largest margin of victory in BASS history is 25-8 (Rick Clunn in the 1984 Bassmaster Classic on the Arkansas River — 3-day/7-bass limit). The biggest final round lead ever blown in Elite history was 9-14. That's the margin that Brian Snowden had over his closest competitor at the 2008 event on the Harris Chain.
One of the boats following Lane today is literally his father's old Ranger. It's being piloted by Kevin Walton, a college friend of Lane. Walton has his 11-year old son, Jacob with him. Jacob is the young boy Lane has talked to off and on all morning. When he missed one he told Jacob, "you have to shake those off." Occasionally he yells "come on Jacob, I need a big one."
Davy Hite has now moved back to where he started this morning, after failing to get revenge on the big female that has eluded him this week. As you must do, Hite approached that spawning bed as if the 6- to 7-pounder was on it. After numerous pitches into the bed, he push-poled close enough to clearly see into it and only the smaller male was there. "She's probably gone," Hite said. "She had been there three days."
We've moved to an area Lane did not touch yesterday. The prior stop was on the main river and evidently the boat traffic, which has picked up greatly, forced him off the river. Still stuck in the 9-pound neighborhood. And we are about an hour past the time he caught his big one yesterday.
"Fishing is totally lop sided. Walker has this 6.5 pound bass and a 5 pounder to go with it. He just filled his limit, but those 3 other fish only weigh about 4 pounds together." Photo by Bassmaster Marshal Zach Crabtree.
Looking at Basstrakk, Lane has about a 10-pound lead. Given that you would almost think he has this wrapped up. A lot has already been said about the potential for a comeback. There's no more likely of a place to do that than here. I'm sure we will continue to belabor the point until the last cast. But at this moment in the game it's true. No one believes that more than Lane. He's said repeatedly that he needs a big one.