Bassmaster Elite Series pro Chris Lane told BassFan today that the cause of the nighttime fire that destroyed his boat just hours before the start of last week's event at Lake Dardanelle has yet to be determined.
"That's the million-dollar question Ė what started it," he said. "Experts are still looking into it and the investigation is still under way. It wouldn't do anybody any good for me to speculate about it."
He said Boater's Insurance Agency, the underwriter of his policy, had an inspector on the scene by 7 o'clock that evening and the company is processing his claim. Legend delivered a new boat to his hotel the following night and he towed it home to Guntersville, Ala.
"I'm in the process of getting that one rigged up and it'll be full speed, for sure, when it's time to go to Chickamauga (in 3 weeks). The support I've gotten from family, friends and sponsors has just been overwhelming. I don't want to try to name all the names because that wouldn't be fair to everybody, but people have been jumping through hoops for me.
"J.D. Blackburn (owner of Pro Fishing Management, which represents Lane and several other Elite pros) handled a lot of the stuff while I was on the water last week. I can't thank him enough."
He estimated that the monetary value of what he lost was somewhere between $70,000 and $80,000.
"You figure replacing the boat is $52,000, then I had upgraded electronics, Power-Poles, jackplates, lithium batteries, 12 or 13 rods and reels ... it's a lot.
"Life is going to throw adversity at you, and how you deal with it determines how it's going to work out. Life goes on, one way or the other."