By BassFan Staff

Chris Lane might have a ways to go to become one of the most consistent anglers in professional bass fishing. There's no doubt, however, that he's right near the top of the list of the sport's most prolific winners.

The Florida native and Alabama resident has now won a Bassmaster Elite Series event in three consecutive years after wrapping up a wire-to-wire victory in the 2015 season opener at the Sabine River in southeast Texas. The year before he began that streak he won the Bassmaster Classic at Louisiana's Red River.

His 10-06 stringer on the final day under extreme high-water conditions gave him a 4-day total of 50-00. It left him 4 pounds clear of runner-up Mike McClelland, another of the game's top closers who made his fourth straight 225-mile-plus round trip to the far end of Galveston Bay.

McClelland's day-best 13-01 haul gave him a 46-00 aggregate and moved him up two places. Aaron Martens, who'd been Lane's closest pursuer after each of the last two days, weighed just four fish for 6-15 and settled for 3rd with a 44-08 total.

Second-year pro Brandon Lester ended up 4th (four places higher than he began the day) with 43-02 after boxing a strong 12 1/2-pound stringer. Greg Hackney began defense of his 2014 Angler of the Year (AOY) title with a 5th-place showing as his 11-10 bag gave him a 42-14 total.

Here are the final numbers for the remainder of the Top 12:

6. John Crews: 41-09
7. Shaw Grigsby 39-09
8. Scott Rook: 37-12
9. Todd Faircloth: 36-07
10. Justin Lucas: 36-02
11. Keith Poche: 34-15
12. Micah Frazier: 31-10

The torrential rain that pounded Orange, Texas and the surrounding vicinity on Saturday created overflow conditions nearly everywhere on the fishery for the final round. Much of the field struggled to catch keepers early in the day, and those who made the right adjustments ended up weighing double-digit sacks.



B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Mike McClelland's extremely long runs paid of in a 2nd-place finish.

Lane and Hackney were the only competitors to catch a limit each day. McClelland was just one shy of that mark despite spending well over 4 hours a day traveling to and from his faraway locale.

The circuit will stage the second event of its 10th season April 9-12 at Lake Guntersville, which is where Lane now resides.

Lane Elated

> Day 4: 5, 10-06 (20, 50-00)

Lane has triumphed in various places over the past several years, but he said this venue is special.

"This one was sweet because it's Orange, Texas," he said. "The crowds are great and the people here love their bass fishing, they love having these events and everybody in town supports them.

"Another big thing is I won wire to wire and I don't think I've ever done that before. It was a big step for me."

He began the final day fishing close to the ramp, where he'd made a couple of culls on day 3. He still had an empty livewell when he ran to the cove in Taylor Bayou where he spent much of the week fishing near Martens, Grigsby, Faircloth and other competitors.

He boated his first two keepers there, then ran back to Orange and picked up four more, the biggest of which weighed 2 3/4 pounds. His primary bait throughout the week was a prototype Luck-E-Strike Live Motion Drop Dead Craw and his supply of them was completely exhausted after he presented one to Elite Series emcee Dave Mercer after the weigh-in.

He said it's too early to start considering things such as the potential for a multiple-win season or capturing the AOY.

"I'm just looking forward to Guntersville and trying to put the hammer down there," he said. "Getting off to a good start is definitely a key thing and I'm so glad we get a 2-week break because this one just wore me out with running around that much and as much rain as we had."

Many competitors had trouble landing bites from the actively spawning fish, but he wasn't afflicted by that phenomenon.

"When I think back on this tournament, I can't think of but one or two fish I lost that I actually hooked. I'm not sure any of them would've helped me and I know I didn't lose any big ones."

Full details of his winning pattern, as well as those of the other top finishers, will be published this week.

2nd: McClelland Tickled

> Day 4: 5, 13-01 (19, 46-00)

McClelland, a four-time Elite Series winner, had no qualms about his runner-up showing this time.

"I'm tickled to death with a 2nd-place finish," he said. "Anytime you run that far that many days in a row, it's a big gamble. With the conditions I had to face, I was blessed.

"Everything had to all into place for me to finish as good as I did."

He's been in contention in all three events he's competed in this year he was 8th at the Classic and 13th at the Ross Barnett Central Open after leading on day 1.

B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Aaron Martens had a tough final day, weighing only 4 fish for less than 7 pounds.

"I do feel like I'm fishing well. I've got a lot of confidence and a lot of good momentum going right now. It's really kind of strange, but when I look back on all the years of my career, the only year I really competed for the Angler of the Year (he was 3rd in 2008) was the year I won the first event at the Harris Chain.

"A good start is such a momentum-builder to even have a chance for Angler of the Year."

He caught six keepers today and missed three others. His 4-02 bag topper was the biggest fish of the day.

3rd: Martens Bummed

> Day 4: 4, 6-15 (19, 44-08)

Martens wasn't at all pleased with his final-day showing.

"I stunk it up today," he said. "It wasn't that the water was all that high, but I just couldn't stick them. I had the bites to catch 9 or 10 pounds, but I just kept farming them. I lost at least five or six keepers that ripped the bait off, and then they wouldn't bite again.

"It ticks me off and I'm going to try to take it out on the fish the rest of the year."

The final indignity came on his last pitch of the day. He bounced his bait off a cypress tree and there was a large swirl as a good fish took it just as it went below the surface. He never got his hands on that one, either.

"I'm tired of these 2nds and 3rds," he said. "I had the bites to win this thing."

4th: Lester's Best Yet

> Day 4: 5, 12-08 (18, 43-02)

Lester competed on he final day of tour-level event for the first time and moved up four places in the standings.

"It feels awesome," he said. "I can't help being a little disappointed only weighing in 18 fish I left two on the table but I can't really be down at all about a 4th place finish in an Elite Series tournament.

"I feel like every tournament I fish I'm learning a lot. I'm really confident right now and I feel like I'm getting good at breaking down shallow water quickly."

B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito
Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito

Brandon Lester's 4th-place finish was his best so far as a pro.

He caught 17 of his weigh-in fish for the week on a frog. He boated six keepers on day 4, including a 3 1/2-pounder, and didn't lose any."

5th: Hackney Happy

> Day 4: 5, 11-10 (20, 42-14)

Hackney is off and running in his quest for a second straight points crown.

"Well, it is a good start," he said. "This place really worried me because it's one of those places where you never know what to expect. It's not a typical venue there's so much that goes on that's different from most places we go."

He handled seven keepers on the final day and one was a little over 3 1/2 pounds.

"I lost one pretty good one," he said. "I saw it get the bait, but I just never stuck it.

"Today the water was big and a bunch of places were blown out. One place I went to was a foot higher than it was yesterday and there was a lot of mud.

"It's kind of amazing that we caught what we did today because you just can't imagine the water that's coming through this system. It rained about as much yesterday as any day I've ever fished."

Notable

> Day 4 stats 12 anglers, 5 limits, 3 fours, 3 twos, 1 one.

Day 4 (Final) Standings

1. Chris Lane -- Guntersville, AL -- 20, 50-00 -- 100 $103,000
Day 1: 5, 15-10 -- Day 2: 5, 12-13 -- Day 3: 5, 11-03 -- Day 4: 5, 10-06

2. Mike McClelland -- Bella Vista, AR -- 19, 46-00 -- 99 -- $25,000
Day 1: 5, 11-07 -- Day 2: 4, 09-08 -- Day 3: 5, 12-00 -- Day 4: 5, 13-01

3. Aaron Martens -- Leeds, AL -- 19, 44-08 -- 98 -- $20,000
Day 1: 5, 13-14 -- Day 2: 5, 12-00 -- Day 3: 5, 11-11 -- Day 4: 4, 06-15

4. Brandon Lester -- Fayetteville, TN -- 18, 43-02 -- 97 -- $15,000
Day 1: 5, 12-03 -- Day 2: 3, 07-09 -- Day 3: 5, 10-14 -- Day 4: 5, 12-08

5. Greg Hackney -- Gonzales, LA -- 20, 42-14 -- 96 -- $14,000
Day 1: 5, 12-09 -- Day 2: 5, 08-12 -- Day 3: 5, 09-15 -- Day 4: 5, 11-10

6. John Crews Jr -- Salem, VA -- 16, 41-09 -- 95 -- $15,000
Day 1: 4, 09-09 -- Day 2: 2, 03-10 -- Day 3: 5, 15-10 -- Day 4: 5, 12-12

7. Shaw Grigsby Jr. -- Gainesville, FL -- 16, 39-09 -- 94 -- $13,000
Day 1: 5, 13-04 -- Day 2: 5, 11-02 -- Day 3: 4, 11-10 -- Day 4: 2, 03-09

8. Scott Rook -- Little Rock, AR -- 16, 37-12 -- 93 -- $12,500
Day 1: 5, 10-09 -- Day 2: 5, 10-13 -- Day 3: 4, 11-08 -- Day 4: 2, 04-14

9. Todd Faircloth -- Jasper, TX -- 15, 36-07 -- 92 -- $12,000
Day 1: 5, 10-08 -- Day 2: 5, 13-00 -- Day 3: 4, 09-03 -- Day 4: 1, 03-12

10. Justin Lucas -- Guntersville, AL -- 17, 36-02 -- 91 -- $11,500
Day 1: 5, 09-03 -- Day 2: 4, 08-04 -- Day 3: 4, 11-02 -- Day 4: 4, 07-09

11. Keith Poche -- Pike Road, AL -- 19, 34-15 -- 90 -- $11,000
Day 1: 5, 07-11 -- Day 2: 5, 10-03 -- Day 3: 5, 10-02 -- Day 4: 4, 06-15

12. Micah Frazier -- Newnan, GA -- 15, 31-10 -- 89 -- $10,500
Day 1: 5, 11-06 -- Day 2: 3, 05-09 -- Day 3: 5, 11-02 -- Day 4: 2, 03-09