DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

CHRIS LANE LEADS DAY THREE AT THE SJR

Posted by Mark Jeffreys on 03/22/2014

Story by Matt Pangrac

Palatka, FL – Chris Lane entered the weekend at the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Florida’s St. Johns River controlling his own destiny.  After toting a massive five bass limit weighing 37-9 to the scales on Friday, Lane held a lead of nearly 9-pounds over his closest competitor.   

The giants eluded Lane on Saturday, but with a solid limit weighing 19-9 to boost his three-day total weight to 75-13, he still managed to increase his tournament lead to 12 pounds, 8 ounces with just one day of competition remaining.

After finishing the first day in a tie for 2nd place, Davy Hite will enter Sunday in the same position.  Hite bounced back from Friday’s 14-7 limit with 24-13 on Saturday to finish with 63-5.  Hite will enter Sunday with the most realistic chance of tracking down the red hot Chris Lane.  

Mark Davis continued to remain near the top of the leader board with another solid limit weighing 16-13 on Saturday to finish in 3rd place with 61-7.  Had it not been for several key missed opportunities, the Arkansas veteran would be well within striking distance of Lane.  

Keith Combs locked in another Sunday cut on the St. Johns River with a 17-11 limit on Saturday.  While it paled in comparison to the 28-2 that he weighed-in on Friday, the Texan will enter championship Sunday in 4th place with a total weight of 60-9.  

2012 St. Johns River winner, Alton Jones, rounded out the Top 5 on Saturday.  With consistent limits weighing 18-1, 21-11, and 19-8, his total weight of 59-4 is still over 16-pounds off the pace.   

David Walker rounded out the Top 12 fishing on Sunday with a total weight of 54-3.  

The Top 12 anglers combine for quite a list of accomplishments, as six of the top eight have won the Bassmaster Classic and nine of the top 12 have won at least one Elite Series tournament since 2006.

1st Place: Chris Lane (18-11, 37-9, 19-9: 75-13)
Lane on his overall excitement this week on the St. Johns River:
“It’s exciting, but it’s a different type of excitement.  I have a 12-pound lead, but I still have a job to do because I don’t want to let this thing slip away.  I know that the St. Johns River is capable of producing anything.  Two years ago, a guy lost a 9-pound lead and I’m only 3-pounds ahead of that.  Right now, I’m not worried about anything other than going out and fishing clean and doing what I do.  

“As long as I know that I’ve left everything on the water and done the best that I can do, the rest will take care of itself.”  

Lane on the consistency of his bite:
“I’m on a consistent pattern, but that being said today was a slow day.  Tomorrow, I’m really going to have to slow down and focus on trying to get five of the right bites.  I think that I can put five fish in the box pretty quickly because I went through quite a few small keepers today, but I really need to bust a big bag tomorrow.

“I feel good because I’m doing what I want to do and fishing the way that I want to fish.  I’m not sight fishing at all.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some sleep tonight.  Last night was a little rough because I kept dreaming about lily pads shaking and giants jumping with my bait in their mouths.”  

Lane on how the conditions on the St. Johns have changed since the tournament began:
“Besides the wind, I really haven’t seen a whole lot of changes.  I think that the tide or current has been a big factor.  All the hyacinths have been blowing out when I’ve been going in, and the last couple of times, they haven’t been moving a whole lot.  I think that if I can get some current and hit it just right, I’ll be able to put a good sack together tomorrow.”  

Lane on controlling his emotions on Sunday:
“It’s really not emotional for me right now because I’m focused on one thing, and that one thing is tomorrow.  I know that this thing is going to be a grind, and I knew that from the first day.  I just have to put my head down and go catch fish.”  

2nd Place: Davy Hite (24-1, 14-7, 24-13: 63-5)
Hite on the possibility of catching the leader:
“If things go right for you and things don’t go right for somebody else, you can easily come in 30-pounds and they can come in 15-pounds and it really turns things around. Catching the 8-pounder was quite a bit of fun today.  I caught a lot of quality fish today that were 3-pounders.  I lost a big fish or two that I don’t really know how big they were.”

Hite on the ability to boat several kicker bites each day:
“The  big ones are out there, and we’ve seen a few guys put it together this week.  The thing is that most of the big fish are up around the pads and they’re hard to land. They’re really strong fish and you’re going to lose a few unless you get fortunate.  When you’re fighting them in really shallow water, all you can do is hope that you only lose one or two and get the rest in the boat.”

Hite on how many new fish are moving into his areas:
“There are a lot more fish moving up than I thought.  This place has so many fish, and it’s amazing how many bass actually live out in Lake George where I’m fishing.  When they start migrating up shallow to spawn, it is mind boggling.  You can tell by the color of the fish and the size of the fish how fresh they are.  My 10-2 on the first day hadn’t spawned yet, but my big one today had spawned.  There’s a good mixture of pre- and post-spawn fish in my area.”      

3rd Place: Mark Davis (18-3, 26-7, 16-13: 61-7)
Davis on his lack of execution on Saturday:
“I lost an 8-pounder today.  I hooked it and fought it and I have no idea why it came off.  I also had another quality 5+ pound fish where, and I hate to even say it, I actually broke my line on the hook set and never was able to get her to bite again.  

“That’s all part of fishing.  Yesterday, everything went right.  I had a decent day today but things just didn’t go right for me.”  

Davis on catching up to Lane on Sunday:
“It’s hard to catch someone that is in the lead like (Chris Lane) by so much.  Someone could stumble, though, so who knows what could happen.  If you’re around where there are a lot of big fish like I am, who knows.

“I’m really kicking myself for leaving my primary area today.  I went and looked in a different area and never was able to increase my weight . You have to do things that you think are the best thing to do in order to have a shot tomorrow.  It turned out to be a mistake.”

Davis on back-to-back Top 12 cuts:
“It looks like this will be two tournaments in a row where I’ll finish high in the standings but way behind when it comes to having a chance to win, so it’s kind of bitter sweet.  It takes a lot of your drive away when you don’t really have an opportunity to win.  You want to be in contention to win and not be fishing for 2nd.  Unless someone stumbles and I have a really big day tomorrow, that’s what we are looking at.”  

DAY THREE STANDINGS

PlacePro Angler
Day 1Day 2Day 3Total FishTotal Weight
FishWeightFishWeightFishWeight
1 Chris Lane 5 18-11 5 37- 9 5 19- 9 15 75-13
2 Davy Hite 5 24- 1 5 14- 7 5 24-13 15 63- 5
3 Mark Davis 5 18- 3 5 26- 7 5 16-13 15 61- 7
4 Keith Combs 5 14-12 5 28- 2 5 17-11 15 60- 9
5 Alton Jones 5 18- 1 5 21-11 5 19- 8 15 59- 4
6 Randy Howell 5 27- 3 5 20- 2 5 11- 9 15 58-14
7 Justin Lucas 5 19-12 5 24-15 5 13- 4 15 57-15
8 Paul Elias 5 19- 5 5 24-14 5 13- 4 15 57- 7
9 Dean Rojas 5 17-15 5 19- 7 5 17- 9 15 54-15
10 Todd Faircloth 5 12-11 5 21- 2 5 21- 0 15 54-13
11 Jason Williamson 5 17-14 5 16-11 5 19-14 15 54- 7
12 David Walker 5 14- 7 5 20- 1 5 19-11 15 54- 3
13 Randall Tharp 5 18- 2 5 15-10 5 20- 6 15 54- 2
14 Bobby Lane 5 14-13 5 20- 0 5 18-14 15 53-11
15 Jacob Powroznik 5 15- 1 5 17-13 5 20- 2 15 53- 0
16 Greg Hackney 5 20- 2 5 24- 0 5 8- 9 15 52-11
17 Mike Kernan 5 20-14 5 18- 2 5 13- 1 15 52- 1
18 Jared Lintner 5 12-15 5 16- 4 5 22- 8 15 51-11
19 Scott Rook 5 16-10 5 13-12 5 20-10 15 51- 0
20 Chad Morgenthaler 5 14- 3 5 15- 1 5 21- 5 15 50- 9
21 Matthew Herren 5 16- 3 5 18- 2 5 15-15 15 50- 4
22 Gerald Swindle 5 11- 7 5 21-15 5 15-13 15 49- 3
23 Fred Roumbanis 5 9-10 5 20-11 5 18- 8 15 48-13
24 Casey Ashley 5 20- 9 5 11- 0 5 16-14 15 48- 7
25 Andy Montgomery 5 22- 6 5 10- 1 5 15- 7 15 47-14
26 Ott DeFoe 5 12-10 5 20-10 5 14- 4 15 47- 8
27 Terry Scroggins 5 14- 5 5 14- 9 5 17- 0 15 45-14
28 Russ Lane 5 18-15 5 15- 9 5 11- 0 15 45- 8
29 Stephen Kennedy 5 21- 6 5 10-14 5 13- 3 15 45- 7
30 Grant Goldbeck 5 16- 2 5 14-15 5 13-10 15 44-11
31 Jeff Kriet 5 14-11 5 14- 3 5 15-11 15 44- 9
32 Cliff Crochet 4 8- 5 5 22- 3 4 14- 0 13 44- 8
33 Nate Wellman 5 11-11 5 17- 5 5 15- 3 15 44- 3
34 Takahiro Omori 5 22- 1 5 15- 2 5 6-15 15 44- 2
35 Pete Ponds 5 10- 7 5 21- 7 5 11-13 15 43-11
36 Mike McClelland 5 14- 1 5 18-10 5 10-12 15 43- 7
37 Aaron Martens 5 16-15 5 14- 8 5 11-13 15 43- 4
38 Casey Scanlon 5 14- 9 5 15-15 5 12- 4 15 42-12
39 Marty Robinson 5 24- 1 5 10-10 5 7- 8 15 42- 3
40 John Murray 5 20-13 5 9- 7 5 11-13 15 42- 1
41 Bradley Roy 5 12- 4 5 18- 0 5 10- 8 15 40-12
42 David Mullins 5 12- 3 5 20- 5 3 7-11 13 40- 3
43 Timmy Horton 5 17-11 5 15- 7 5 6-15 15 40- 1
44 John Crews 5 13- 6 5 16-13 5 9-13 15 40- 0
45 Kenyon Hill 5 15- 6 5 15- 4 5 9- 1 15 39-11
46 Jamie Horton 5 17- 9 5 13- 1 5 8-12 15 39- 6
47 Jared Miller 5 14-11 5 21- 1 4 3- 6 14 39- 2
48 Rick Morris 5 14- 6 5 15-10 5 8-12 15 38-12
49 Brett Hite 5 13-13 5 16- 4 5 7- 9 15 37-10
50 James Niggemeyer 5 20- 5 5 10-15 2 3- 9 12 34-13