In the past few weeks, if Chris Lane wasn’t competing, he had his cell phone stuck to his ear.
He’s not a phone fanatic. Since he won the Bassmaster Classic Feb. 26, he’s been on the phone and on the run. He’s lost count of the interviews he’s done, and is in high demand for appearances. Less than two weeks after the Classic, he left home in Guntersville, Ala., and headed to his native Florida for a double header in the Bassmaster Elite Series.
He posted a respectable 33rd place on the St. Johns River in the first event, then second place in the next on Lake Okeechobee. There, just 10 ounces away from event leader Ish Monroe going into the fourth and final day, Lane missed the win that would have been his third of the season (about a month before he won the Classic, he won a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open). But when Monroe brought in 30 pounds, 15 ounces, on the final day to Lane’s 18-13, Lane stayed in second place.
He wasn’t disappointed, he said, but he might have felt differently if the margin of victory had not been so huge — more than 12 pounds.
“I had some key bites that I missed. Enough to catch 30 pounds? I don’t think so,” Lane said.
A chunk of time off was Lane’s reward after Okeechobee. He said he and his extended family were headed to a Florida beach. He was ready to kick back before he had to travel to Arkansas to arrive in time for the April 16-18 practice period for the April 19-22 Elite Series event on Bull Shoals.
“I feel great because I’m going to get a week of rest,” Lane said on Sunday. “After winning the Classic, I’ve been very, very busy, and this break is needed. I felt that a little bit today out on the water. I said, ‘Let’s go, let’s finish this day out, let’s put our head down and get it done.’
“Now I can relax.”
Will he go fishing while on vacation, a reporter asked.
Lane looked down at his young son, Cal, standing next to him.
“I might take knucklehead here fishing, get in some saltwater action,” Lane grinned, then nudged Cal, who smiled at his father.