Bobby: Hey, I’m Bobby Lane and I’m on BassResource. comtoday, and I’m going to answer your questions. Glenn: Bobby, how far in advance do you startprepping for a tournament?Bobby: Well, that depends. When I prep fora tournament, if it’s around my home state,Florida, not very much at all, just becauseI know most of the waters and I just playthe weather, really, for those tournaments. If one’s out of a state, or that I’m not reallyfamiliar with . . . I’ll prep. Our off-limits are a month, of course, soif I need to make a phone call in betweenthen and the tournament, I’ll do that. Withtwo and a half days of practice, you eithergot to be ready to go or take a serious butt-licking. You do all the prepping you can, but I liketo fish my strengths about anywhere I go. A tournament like this that’s so important,and it can be a life-changer, I prep seriouslyfor this one. Most of the other ones, it’sbasically just kinda run and gun as you go. Glenn: What kind of things do you do to prepfor a tournament?Bobby: Learn what the lake’s capable of, seewhat kind of baits they catch them on andwhat the lake has to offer. If there’s someflipping to do, look and see where that’sat, and time of year, if it’s going to produce. Throwing a spinnerbait or a jig, or somethinglike that. Shallow, I like to look for whatI like to do as far as fishing-wise, preppingfor a tournament. Glenn: What do you think tournament fishingcould use the most right now?Bobby: Probably just a good game plan forthe future. Keep the youth involved, for sure. Make sure that they’re taken care of. A set of rules for the major tournaments that’swritten in stone, where there’s none of thiscrap you hear of, oh, this or that, and aguy gets let off or, they didn’t do anything. People get tired of hearing that, and it’snot good for our sport when stuff like thathappens. A set of rules being number one, and numbertwo, just . . . Glenn: Enforcing them. Bobby: Enforcing them, but you have to keepthe youth alive also, or this sport will nevergo anywhere. Glenn: What would you say is your least favoritetechnique?Bobby: After winning Kentucky Lake two yearsago, I don’t think I have a least favoritetechnique anymore. I enjoy everything aboutfishing, and the more I learn about somethingthat I don’t like to do, the more I get confidencein it. The Bassmasters Elite have made me a well-roundedfisherman. It used to be anything with a spinning rod,but actually I enjoy fishing with a spinningrod when need be now. Glenn: So you actually do own a spinning rod?Bobby: I own a whole pile of them. Berkleyactually came out with some new premiers thisyear, spinning reels, and they are outstandingreels. I enjoy it. I’m not a great smallmouth fishermanat all, but the more I do it, the more I enjoyit. It’s all fun to me anymore. Glenn: Florida anglers such as yourself areknown for being really good at flipping andpitching. But if you had one area of weakness,what would you say it would be? What bodyof water might that apply on?Bobby: Probably smallmouth fishing. Anythingthat has to do with smallmouth. Those arebig, big lakes, and it’s tough to read. Nice old Louisiana bass, little old fatty. Smallmouth fishing is probably some of mytougher . . . they’re just bigger lakes. You’vegot to use all kinds of different stuff. TheBerkley Gulp, of course, is one of the bestthings to use period. Drop-shotting and stuff like that, it makesit tougher for me to adapt than it does fishingfreshwater with shallow water and stuff likethat. Glenn: When you’re flipping and pitching ajig and the bite is really tough, what’s oneof the first changes you’ll make?Bobby: Either a smaller jig, or I’ll go toa creature bait. I love to flip braid allthe time. I’ll switch from braid and go toa fluorocarbon or a mono, and see if thatmakes a difference. Or just totally get awayfrom the jig and throw a shaky head or somethinglike that. Just to try to find out what the fish aredoing and where they’re at, and proceed togo back through with a jig and maybe soakup the bigger ones. Glenn: When do you start playing with coloror weights, weight size?Bobby: When my practice is just pathetic,and the tournament starts in a day and I’vegot nothing to go to, it’s time to make achange. Glenn: What do you do to be more stealthywith regards to your trolling motor?Bobby: Power-Poles, probably, are the mostimportant thing. I’m not a guy that doesn’treally care about being super-quiet, but whenI get in an area, I’ll drop my Power-Polesa lot more than I will, and use my Power-Polesto slow me down or start up. Something likethat. Just got the Power-Pole, run the trollingmotor on high and drift to an area, and letmy Power-Poles work from there. Glenn: What are the costs for fishing theElite series? What do you have to budget upfront?Bobby: Personally, I think you need about$85,000 just to pay your entries and surviveyour first year of the Elite series. To comeout of it with or without checks, just tosay you did it. Glenn: That’s where sponsors really come intoplay, then?Bobby: Yeah. If you don’t have sponsors . . . Guysdo it on their own, some of them do all rightat it. Some of these guys that are fresh outof the mix, they come in and be an Elite angler,and before they know it they’re $40, $50,000in debt. Makes for a tough year. Glenn: Here’s a good question from one ofour forum members. As a Florida fishermanwho’s known for shallow fishing in grassywater, where’d your confidence come from tofish the deep waters of Kentucky Lake foryour win?Bobby: Well, that goes back to, you get tiredof taking your butt-kickings. I’ve had a winon Kentucky Lake, but that’s the only checkI’ve cashed out of four tournaments, or fivemaybe. It’s one of them where, I think I was prettydecent in the points that year. I wasn’t reallyout of the Classic by no means. I was, I think,up around top 15 or something. I gave it a shot. I got off my old way offishing, went off-shore, and tried it andit worked. That’s the first time it’s worked like thatfor me, but I did it this year again and didall right the first day. Never found enoughto go to the next couple of days. Some nice fishing here. I might not need tobe sticking all these things. That’s probably a four pounder, wouldn’t youthink?Glenn: Yeah. Bobby: I think, probably close, isn’t it?Glenn: Look at the belly on it. Bobby: Isn’t that a beauty? I’m glad I don’thave to be fishing deep here. Glenn: Compared to Kevin VanDam and Shaw Grigsby,Gary Klein, you’re a relative newcomer tothe sport. Do you feel any additional pressureto win the Classic early on in your career?Bobby: I don’t know if it’s called pressure,but you always want to win. I won my firstElite series. As soon as I came out of thegates, I battled in through a year, won Rookiein a year. Came close in a few events in Floridato winning, but missed them. I don’t feel the pressure to win. Tell methat on Sunday if I’ve got a shot at leadingthis tournament, and maybe I will then. You want to fish to the best of your abilitiesat all times. The guys, Kevin VanDam, Skeet,Iaconelli, Hackney, and Gary, Shaw, they allwant to win a Classic. I know the pressure’s on all of them, butI’m trying to become a better angler everyyear I’m out here and try not to make as manymistakes as I did when I was younger. I don’tfeel the pressure to win one, but I wouldlove to win one. Not that Gary’s got any pressure on him, butI think he’s at 28 or 29 Classics and hasn’thad a win. Probably half the guys that everfish for a living will never say they madethat many Classics, so all and all he’s atremendous competitor just to make that manyClassics in however many years he did it. I’m ready, I’m hungry. I won one in 2009,and I won a few Opens and Strens and finishedsecond in several Opens, and made it in enoughtop twelves in my career to say that I’m hungryfor a tournament win for sure. Glenn: What do you think your peers thinkabout your early success?Bobby: I hope they know it came from a lotof practice and diligence, and being confidentin what you do. I love to fish. I think it’sa God given ability that I have, and I’m tryingto make the best of it. I’ve had food poisoning the past two daysin a row, so it’s an honor, actually, justto be out here today and competing in thepractice days instead of laying up in thebed like I’ve been doing for two days straight. I just love to do it. When you have a badtournament, you learn from your mistakes. If you have a bad tournament, and you leaveit knowing you didn’t do anything different,you need to get your butt back out on thewater and figure out so the next time youcome, you’ll have a better idea of what’sgoing to happen when you get there. These guys are relentless; they’ll pound onyou and pound on you. They don’t care. They’reout to get your money, just like I’m out toget theirs. Glenn: If you’re in a tournament and on thatfirst day you don’t do very well, how do youget your head back in the game?Bobby: I’m a different type like that. I’lltake a total flip-flop. If it didn’t workthe first day, I don’t go back and try tomake it work the second day. I’ll gear up,have my head ready and tell myself I’m a betterfisherman than what I was that day there. Eight out of ten times, it works. Stay positiveabout things and don’t get yourself in a rut. Everybody’s going to have a bad day. I’veseen the best guys in the world stumble, andstumble two days in a row, or two tournamentsin a row. At the end, they’re always consistent. Thatmeans a lot. There’s another one. Feels like a big one,there. There’s another one. Glenn: How can you resist the urge to hookup on them?Bobby: Well, I’ve seen two of them. You don’twant to catch those kind of fish in practice,you want to catch them in the tournament.