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Chris Lane claims Bassmaster Classic crown


As he stepped off the 2012 Bassmaster Classic stage on Sunday, Bobby Lane bellowed his brother’s name. Bobby had just been knocked out of contention. He knew Chris still had a good chance.

More than good. Chris Lane of Guntersville, Ala., won the Bassmaster Classic Sunday by more than 3 pounds, fending off hard-charging Greg Vinson. Lane’s victory was his second Bassmaster tournament title of 2012. Each came with a qualification for the 2013 Classic.

Lane brought 51 pounds, 6 ounces to the scales over three days to claim the 2012 crown of professional bass fishing and the $500,000 first-place prize. It was his first Classic win.

Vinson, of Wetumpka, Ala., had a 47-15 total. Finishing third was first-day leader Keith Poche of Pike Road, Ala., with 45-15. Fourth was 2008 Classic champ Alton Jones of Woodway, Texas, whose tournament total was 45-14. Ott DeFoe of Knoxville, Tenn., shot from 15th to finish fifth with 44-14.

Lane started strong and stayed strong in the Red River competition that pitted 49 of the world’s best anglers against each other. Lane was sixth after the first day — tied at 16-4 with brother Bobby — then moved up into the lead after the second day with a 1-pound lead over Vinson, who continued to chase Lane into the final round.

Lane said he was exhausted as he waited in the wings for his turn at the scales on the Classic stage at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City.

“I’m ready to weigh these fish right now to see if I’ve won my first Bassmaster Classic,” Lane said. “I put everything on the line today. I felt I fished flawlessly today. I left everything I had to give on the water.”

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