Yamaha Pro Russ Lane won his first BASS® event on Alabama's Lake Jordon and is second in the BASS® Angler of the Year race.
Yamaha Pro and BASS® Elite veteran Dave Wolak won the Bassmaster® Northern Open on Lake Champlain on Saturday, July 24.
Yamaha Pro Russ Lane Wins First Leg of BASS® A.O.Y. Race
Yamaha Pro Russ Lane picked a good time to win his first BASS® event – the Ramada® Trophy Chase tournament on Alabama’s Lake Jordan. The two-day tournament, which concluded Sunday, is the first of back-to-back events that will determine one of the most prestigious titles in professional bass fishing, the BASS® Angler of the Year.
Lane, who began the tournament ranked 12th out of the 12 anglers fishing the event, jumped into second place after his win, just five points behind leader Skeet Reese, the season points leader going into the tournament.
The Angler of the Year title will be determined after two more days of competition on the Alabama River later this week. Lane, who lives in nearby Prattville, is the fan favorite to overtake Reese and win the title, due to his familiarity with the water; he’s fished dozens of local tournaments on the river over the years.
The Yamaha Pro led both days on Jordan, bringing in 17 pounds the first day and adding 15-3 on Sunday for a total of 32-3. Reese, by contrast, finished 10th with 21-4, after losing several key fish the final day.
"I really did not think I had any real chance of catching Skeet for the Angler of the Year title, considering the phenomenal season he had, so I was able to fish very relaxed," noted Lane, 37, "but now, catching him is a definite possibility, and I know I’ll have to fish extremely well next week."
Another Yamaha Pro among the top 12 finalists, Cliff Pace, finished 7th and is also in 7th place overall in the points, 15 points behind Lane.
Lane fished deep diving crankbaits and plastic worms, and on Sunday actually had a hard-striking spotted bass yank a rod out of his hands. His basic game plan included searching for larger bass with the crankbaits during the early morning hours, then changing to worms later as the action slowed. As many as 40 spectator boats surrounded him each day.
In other tournament news, Yamaha Pro and Bassmaster® Elite veteran Dave Wolak won the Bassmaster® Northern Open on Lake Champlain Saturday with a three day total of 54-1. He caught his fish flipping a jig into shallow grassbeds in different areas of the lake.
Fellow Yamaha Pro Ish Monroe finished fourth in the event with 52-0. Y