Floridian Bobby Lane’s stellar B.A.S.S. career spans 149 events fished since 2005 that include 12 Bassmaster Classics, two wins and an impressive 110 times in the money with over $1 million in earnings.
Lane is competing in the 2023 St. Croix Bassmaster Opens EQ series, and we caught up with him to gain insight into his personality, and the history that made him the successful pro he is today. As you will read, he stands up to his nickname, “Big Fish.”
What’s your personal best big bass?
“In 2007, the (Bassmaster) Elites went to Clear Lake (California) and I caught an 11-pound, 11-ounce largemouth. Since then, I’ve caught several giants in Bassmaster Elites and one was in an Open. Those big fish weighed 11-11, 11-12, 11-15. I have never broken the 12-pound mark in a tournament. That is a goal in my life, to break that 12-pound mark.”
When did you catch your first “big” fish?
“That was with my dad (Robert Lane, Sr.) on the south end of Lake Kissimmee in my home state of Florida. The fish weighed 11 pounds, 8 ounces, and it hit a topwater plug. That was the most memorable fish of my life. I was around 15 years old.”
What has been your most memorable moment of tournament competition?
“In 2009, on the final day of the Bassmaster Elite on the Tennessee River, I caught a 5-pounder out of the school I had been leading on for three days. The fish had one hook of a Berkley crankbait in the top of the head, but I got it in and that sealed the deal for my first Bassmaster Elite Series win. That put my name down in the history books — the Florida boy can catch ‘em deep.”
What is your favorite lake?
“Lake Kissimmee (the southernmost of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes) is about 45 minutes from my house in Lakeland. Blood’s thicker than water, family means everything for me and I grew up with my grandfathers fishing this lake. Every time I’m out here, it brings back all those memories.”
What is your least favorite bass fishing technique and why?
“My least favorite technique is throwing swimbaits for suspended fish. And it’s not just the big ones. It’s the little ones too. It’s not like we do in Florida, where you reel ‘em across the top of the grass and the bass blow them up. Suspended fish, swimbaits and me do not get along, but I’m learning a lot about my electronics and I hope to become better at it.”
If you could fish one place in the world, where would that be?
“I’ve fished just about everywhere, so I don’t really have a bucket list; but as long as my dad or my son are with me, no matter where I’m fishing, that’s the best. But if I had to pick one, I’d say Lake Champlain or the St. Lawrence River. I’d love to tackle them one more time with my son, because we’ve made great memories the times we went.”
Who in the bass world has influenced your career the most?
Tom Mann was a mentor of mine. Bill Dance used to come to Tom’s Fish World kid’s event at Lake Eufaula in Alabama. It was an event like the one I run now at Camp Mack (on Lake Kissimmee). I think he’s the reason my brother Chris and I both have our kid’s camps today. Tom was just an amazing gentleman who loved to give back. Also, my grandfather Bill McLain and my dad were the biggest influences in me growing up fishing.”