Mercury Marine anglers took two top prizes in the first 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series tournament, but in different ways — Chris Lane stuck close to home and Mike McClelland went on a 1,000-mile journey.
Mercury pros occupied the top eight spots in the tournament on the Sabine River system in Texas: Lane, McClelland, Aaron Martens, Brandon Lester, Greg Hackney, John Crews, Shaw Grigsby and Scott Rook.
A 3.5-pound largemouth bass caught within the launch site in the last 15 minutes pushed Lane to win the tournament, which ended Sunday. He bagged 50 pounds over four days to McClelland’s 46 pounds to earn his fourth Elite win and seventh major Bass title in a 10-year career.
“I’ve learned not to make the same mistake twice over the past 10 years, and [Sunday] was a case of me making a move that really paid off in the end,” Lane said of his decision to fish close to the city of Orange, Texas, launch ramp in the waning hours of the tournament.
“What I had been doing all week wasn’t working for me: We got so much rain on Saturday that it muddied up the canals I had been fishing, so I came back downriver and picked up two fish that turned out to be difference-makers,” Lane said. “I came down here and fished hard, knowing I’d get the bites. You just kinda have to be determined that you’re going to make something happen.”
Mercury pros Jacob Powroznik and Jason Christie hold the No. 1 and No. 2 positions in the Bassfan World Rankings.
The next Elite Series event is the Diet Mountain Dew Elite, which runs April 9-12 at Lake Guntersville, Ala.