Bobby Lane Tops Them All and Wins First Ever MLF World Championship
By Lynn Burkhead
July 30, 2017
They call him Big Fish Bobby Lane.
But after this week's amazing string of performance on East Texas' Lake Naconiche, Lake Jacksonville and now Lake Kurth, observers of the bass fishing game are going to have to add another moniker to the Florida angler's name.
World Champion Bobby Lane.
Lane captured the inaugural Major League Fishing General Tire World Championship title in superb fashion, holding off a hard charging Mark Davis to get it done.
For the day, Lane boated 33 bass, good enough to tip the MLF boat official's electronic scales to 57 lbs., 4 oz.
With that total weight, Lane ended the three periods of competition on Kurth as the sport's newest world champ, securing the title to go with his 2015 MLF Challenge Cup championship win iin Lake County, Florida.
"It's hard to think (about) right now," Lane said. "I'm the world champ and that is a hard, hard thing to swallow right now, to knock out some of the gentlemen I was fishing against (today).
"It's absolutely amazing and I'm hard up for words (to describe it all)."
To win the title, Lane put together an amazing week that started with his use of a swimbait and a jig on the 692-acre Lake Naconiche, a timber-choked lunker bass factory to the north of Nacogdoches, host city for this week's event.
After two days of fishing on Naconiche, Lane was able to finish high enough to move on to the Sudden Death semifinal round on 1,320-acre Lake Jacksonville, a boat dock infested water body that was quite different than what the pros had fished earlier in the week on Naconiche and 2,212-acre Lake Nacogdoches.
Using a spinning rod rigged with braid and a fluorocarbon leader, Lane was able to use a Wacky-rigged soft plastic on Jacksonville to coax enough bass to the boat so that he could grab one of the four spots available in today's Championship Round.
And that's where Lane went to work early on the 726-acre Kurth, catching bass in a variety of ways - junk fishing as he calls it - to eventually secure the win on the alligator dotted, weed and cattail choked lake with some old timber sitting in it.
Relying on a versatile game plan all week, Lane admitted that he's fishing well.
"It's all coming together man, I mean my fishing couldn't be any better right now, and I couldn't be any more excited to be called a world champion," said Bobby. "I don't think it's really sunk in yet.
With Bobby being the elder brother of Chris Lane - the sport's 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion, a six-time B.A.S.S. winner, and one of the MLF circuit's newer GEICO Select pros - there's some serious fishing royalty in the Lane family right now.
Mind you, Bobby is certainly holding up his end of the bargain: in addition to his 2015 MLF Challenge Cup trophy, he also owns the 2009 Tennessee Triumph Bassmaster Elite Series title.
Add in Bobby's other B.A.S.S. accolades - five runner-up finishes, two third place finishes, 32 "Top 10" finishes, 54 "Top 20" finishes, 71 "Top 30" finishes, and more than $1.2 million dollars in career earnings in 124 events - and it's easy to make the claim that the Lane family is indeed the first family of bass fishing.
Add Bobby's new MLF General Tire World Championship title and there's little doubt about that idea.
"It's exciting to be a Lane right now," smiled Bobby. "I'm a world champion, my brother Chris is a world champion and we have several other trophies that we can hold up (too).
"We were raised in a fishing family and we couldn't be more excited than we are about the way things are going for both of us right now," he added.
That's particularly true for Bobby, even if he felt a bit shorted in tackle preparation time after yesterday's Sudden Death round and all of the MLF filming and media responsibilities that came afterwards.
But like the champion that he is, Bobby put the blinders on early and refused to let anything upset his angling apple cart.
"If you let one thing upset you, then it leads to another thing upsetting you, or another thing," Lane said. "I didn't want any excuses this week. My tackle wasn't 100-percent prepared this morning, I didn't get it all done before I went to sleep last night, but I made sure that I had everything I needed in my truck.
"When we got to the ramp, they've been giving us an hour run-around (this week), so I knew I would have a little bit of time (this morning) to do it," he added. "If you make excuses or you get mad, if you get frustrated about something, that's going to lead to more frustration.
"All I wanted to do was to stay positive all week."
Lane mentioned earlier today that he wasn't really finding any one dominant pattern, but was instead just going junk fishing.
"It was fun today, it was just going fishing," Lane said. "It was kind of like yesterday and kind of like the first two days.
"I just kind of approached the (different) bodies of water like I wanted to fish them, and then let them tell me what they wanted."
Lane said that he was most proud of the way that he made decisions today, covering new water and not sitting on the same spots.
"That really seemed to be a key for me all week," said Lane, noting that when he found success in one area, he looked for similar looking spots on his boat's electronics.
"That's the way that it was on Naconiche and I even made a few key decisions at Jacksonville (that way)," he added. "And today at Lake Kurth, I just told myself 'Keep covering new water and you're going to be around new fish.'"
Lane found fish - oftentimes key fish - by fishing a variety of things like cattails, bushes, dollar pads, dirty water, clean water, main lake water and stuff that was more isolated and out of the way.
In the end, he just executed a versatile game plan better than anyone else - junk fishing as he calls it - utilizing Wacky-rigged worms, Texas-rigged soft plastics, flipping jigs, sight fishing for bedded bass, etc.
With a little help along the way from SCORETRACKER LIVE!, I might add.
"I always listen to SCORETRACKER LIVE!," said Lane. "It helps me know if I need to be making any adjustments. And all day long, I just kept hanging in there. I led the first period, I led the second period and I thought I would lead the third period."
But that's when hard charging Mark Davis made a run, briefly taking the lead.
"I just kept doing what I was doing," said Lane, noting one key change. "Instead of putting a Wacky Worm on my rig, I put a Drop Shot on it and let it flutter down and hit the bottom.
"What was so great about that is that I caught a very nice fish with that, like a 2-pound, 12-ounce fish, on the very first cast," he added. "And then on the next cast, I caught another one."
And after that, it was lights out and Lane was on his way to victory and becoming a MLF world champ.
"The Lane train has come through," smiled Bobby after it was all over.
Indeed it has, because Bobby Lane is your new 2017 Major League Fishing General Tire world champion.
And he's got the Texas-sized trophy to prove it.