Day On The Lake: Chris Lane

"Day On The Lake" airs every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

Chris Lane spent his Day On The Lake on Lake Monticello in central Arkansas in early fall. Lane started off the early morning hours alternating between a buzzbait and his bread-and-butter lure, the Gambler Cane Toad. He caught his first keeper of the day on the topwater toad, but the sun was soon shining bright and Lane found success by switching over to a Gambler Ninja Jig.

Shortly after making the change, he popped the biggest fish of the day, a 5.5-pound bass.

As the morning wore on, Lane also experienced a few miscues that cost him a chance at a limit. He had one nice fish hooked up on a Popper Z, but it was between two stick-ups and broke him off immediately.

Then, later he had another fish that was at least 4 pounds on the jig, but when he went to boat-lift it, the fish pulled off.

Lane was able to recover from these costly errors and landed another fish close to 4 pounds on the jig.

Here's a summary of Chris Lane's fish catches for his Day On The Lake including the time, number of casts and his lure choice:

Fish #1
8:17 a.m.
Cast 23
2.5 pounds
Depth: 6-8 feet
Gambler Cane Toad

Fish #2
9:08 a.m.
Cast 69
5.5 pounds
Depth: 6-8 feet
Gambler Ninja Jig

Fish #3
11:30 a.m.
Cast 352
4 pounds
Depth: 6-8 feet
Gambler Ninja Jig

After a day of fall fishing, it seemed only natural to find out what Lane's favorite fall baits are.

When the leaves turn colors, Lane turns to one of four different baits that he always keeps stocked in his boat:

Black Cane Toad — "It's a phenomenal bait coupled with the new Chris Lane Double Trouble Toad Hook."

Ugly Otter — "In the fall, when you go to lakes with vegetation, flipping is a great way to catch bigger fish."

Popper Z — "When the fish come up schooling in the fall, a popper is a great choice."

Ninja Spin — "When you have schooling fish, but they are not coming up to the surface, you have to get down to their level. With the Ninja Spin, you can vary the depths and imitate a pack of baitfish with the three blades."

After getting a chance to fish in his first Bassmaster Classic with his brother Bobby, Chris Lane was understandably disappointed to barely miss qualifying for the 2009 Classic in Shreveport, La.

Even though he called dropping out of the Classic race during the last tournament of the 2008 Elite Series campaign, the "lowest point of his season," Lane was optimistic and excited to welcome in the new year and a fresh start.

"I'm really looking forward to next year," said Lane. "I have a better idea of the size fish I need to catch at each tournament. People get caught up in catching numbers and while that may be a blast to do, and occasionally pays off, it won't work against the guys you fish against now on tour."

Over the past year, Lane dedicated countless hours to improving on one specific aspect of his fishing ability that he thinks will make a real impact on his finishes next year: offshore fishing.

"I took time to learn how to read a graph," Lane said. "Trying to find fish on ledges has been a huge step for me as a fisherman. Remember, I come from Florida, where we are used to fishing water 5 feet deep or less."

Lane cited Kentucky Lake and Pickwick as places where he thinks his extra practice will come into play.

"For some reason, I'm really looking forward to Kentucky Lake," Lane said. "I've finished horribly there the last few times, but I've picked up on some specific changes to make structure fishing that will help me greatly. Boat positioning and the angles you work your lure across the ledges are very important."

The bottom line is that Lane is looking forward to getting some redemption after his shaky 2008, especially after he will be on the sidelines cheering on his brother Bobby come February, when the Classic hits the Red River.

Editor's note: This interview took place before the announcement of the changes to the 2009 Elite Series. For coverage of that story, click here.

"Day On The Lake" airs every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. ET on ESPN2.