By Todd Ceisner BassFan Editor
This time around, Jason Christie is hoping an old-school approach leads to a different outcome.
When the Bassmaster Classic makes its second stop in 4 years at Grand Lake next March, Christie won’t be staying at a lavish lake house with a large group of people like he did in 2013. He plans on roughing it BFL-style, just like the earlier days of his tournament career.
“I’ve got a buddy who has a 10-by-10 apartment in his garage and that’s where I’m going to stay,” Christie said. “I just want to limit the distractions and focus on what’s in front of me.”
As he sees it, what’s in front of him will be a prime shot at redemption, a second chance to make a lasting impression in an event where anything short of winning is considered a failure. It’s all part of a different tactical approach Christie is taking as he prepares for his fourth career Classic.
Patterns and Lures Used
2nd: Jason Christie> Day 1: 5, 37-04 > Day 2: 5, 26-08 > Day 3: 5, 23-12 > Total = 15, 87-12
Christie is a superb flipper, but he'd pretty much made up his mind that he was going to fish offshore long before he arrived in Quitman, Texas.
"I practiced shallow for 4 or 5 hours and checked out the flooded willows, but I felt like it was going to be won out," he said. "I could catch a couple of 5-pounders up shallow, but I could go out deep and catch a couple of 7-pounders."
He developed a string of about 15 places that had the potential to surrender quality fish – some that he'd fished in last year's TTBC and others that he discovered in practice.
"The problem was that I didn't have any of them to myself," he said. "I spent a lot of time idling, looking for a place that nobody else would find, but I just couldn't do it.
"Out of the 15 places I had, the majority might have three big ones on it at a given time, but not a whole school. Catching them was a timing deal – you had to hope they were ready to eat when you pulled up."
He led the field after each of the first 2 days and his day-1 stringer was the biggest of the tournament. It included a 10-01 brute that stood up as the big fish of the event until Ehrler roped a 10-11 in the final hour of the last day.
Gill North America would like to announce additions to their Gill Pro Fishing Team with five anglers joining current pro Dean Rojas wearing Gill in 2015. Jason Christie, Russ Lane Randall Tharp, Jared Lintner and Michael Neal all have a history with Gill and will be wearing Gill Technical Fishing Gear during the upcoming season. With their tournament seasons beginning in cold weather and ending in the summer conditions a wide range of technical clothing is needed to keep them performing at the highest levels. Gill has a 40 year history developing superior ultra-technical clothing for the marine and sailing industry. Gill and its' team of winning designers are now using that experience combined with feedback from professional anglers to develop dominant garments for fishing in any condition. Each angler had the following comments about their new Gill relationship:
Jason Christie. “I have been wearing Gill rainwear during my entire professional career. I always bought the best on the market. Gill will keep me fishing no matter what the weather.”
Randall Tharp. “I am honored and excited to be a part of Gill’s pro angler team. I have relied on Gill for years to keep me comfortable on the water so I can stay focused on catching fish.”
Russ Lane. "I was introduced to Gill rainwear several years ago at ICAST and was amazed to learn all of the things that go into making their garments. They really get it. They understand how important it is for a tournament fisherman to be comfortable, warm, dry and able to move freely during an 8 hour tournament day. Their attention to detail is what sets them apart from any other. I'm looking forward to learning even more about Gill's rainwear and layering garments so that I can help educate everyone on how to be more comfortable while on the water."
Jared Lintner. “I am very excited to be part of the GILL Pro staff. Having foul weather that provides dryness, warmth and comfort will prove to be a huge asset in 2015.”
Michael Neal. “I am extremely happy to be a part of the best rainwear on the market. Having Gill wear during this 2015 season will give me a complete ease of mind while out on the water. In the past, I have had to worry about getting wet and staying dry. While wearing Gill, I no longer have to worry about these and can concentrate solely on the task at hand. “For more information about Gill please visit www.gillfishing.com.
The Garmin marine pro team is expanding! Jason Christie, the number one ranked bass fisherman in the world, and Greg Hackney, the 2014 Bassmaster Angler of the Year, join a host of fishermen that will be representing Garmin and its new line of sonar and GPS devices designed specifically for freshwater anglers across the B.A.S.S. Elite Series and FLW Tour bass fishing circuits in 2015. In the last five years, professional angler Jason Christie has had five wins on a national level with a career total of 10 FLW wins and three B.A.S.S. Elite wins. A native of Oklahoma, Christie currently holds the number one BassFan World Ranking for the second consecutive year.“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Garmin team,” said Christie. “In our profession, seeing is believing and from what I’ve seen – especially the clear fish returns and precise map detail – I know Garmin is going to give me the competitive advantage on the water.” Read more of the press release here.
Visit Garmin Marine for product availability and information.
By John Johnson BassFan Senior Editor
Jason Christie has pocketed nearly $360,000 from FLW Tour events over the past 2 seasons, plus another $22,500 from the Forrest Wood Cup. Nonetheless, it's very likely that he'll forego that circuit in 2015 to spend more time with his family and focus his competitive energy on the Bassmaster Elite Series."Nothing's for sure yet, but there's a 90-percent chance I'll be fishing the Elite Series, the (Major League Fishing) Selects and one division of the (Bassmaster) Opens," said the Oklahoman who's spending his second straight offseason atop the BassFan World Rankings. "I'll probably jackpot a Rayovac and some other events here and there."It's going to be hard because FLW is where my career started and it'll always hold a special place for me. The following year, if the schedules line up right, I'll probably start fishing both again, but everything this year is pointing toward sitting one out. I think I'd be really fighting it trying to fish both."If you could fish them both without the schedule being just crazy, I'd do it," he continued. "I think a lot of people would."Narrower Focus NeededChristie was the most consistent of the 14 competitors who fished both major circuits this year, averaging a 30th-place finish across 14 events. He made four final-day appearances (including his victory at the Lake Dardanelle Elite Series) and ended up 6th in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year (AOY) race and 15th on the Elite side.This year's schedule wasn't any easier than next year's in terms of events stacked on top of one another in the spring, but there's a big hitch in 2015 – the Elite Series' first visit to the West since 2010. Back-to-back derbies at the Sacramento River in California and Lake Havasu in Arizona are sandwiched directly between the FLW Tour stops at Beaver Lake (Arkansas) and Lake Eufaula (Alabama).With three athletically active daughters at home (the oldest is a sophomore in high school and the youngest is in 3rd grade), Christie has become increasingly unwilling to spend the bulk of the year on the road."I want to be around more for them," he said. "For me, the longest days on the water are practice days when my wife calls and tells me one of the kids hit a home run or made a key basket or something like that. It's not as bad when it happens on a tournament day, but in practice it makes for hard times."Another key thing is my dad and I fished a lot when I was growing up, but since I started fishing professionally he's pretty much given it up. He's due to retire real soon and I want to spend some time fishing and hunting with him."
From a professional perspective, winning an Elite Series AOY has become his primary goal. Had Greg Hackney not done it last year, he wouldn't have believed it was possible while fishing both tours."He proved me wrong about that, but to me, it's hard to stay up for that many tournaments. I want to take this next year and focus on one tour and prepare for each event instead of just showing up on the first day of practice and going fishing. It might not work and I might find out that the other way is best."If you look back at my career, as the year goes on, I usually have a poor finish or two in the late summer (he was a season-worst 77th at Cayuga Lake this year). I like fishing in the late summer and I've had some good finishes, but I think you lose a little bit of that edge you had in the spring when you're all fired up to get out there. When you fish as much as I have the last 2 years, I think it sets you up to get burned out."A Collaborative CallChristie didn't arrive at his near-certain decision to scale back his schedule on his own."I talked it over with my wife and she wanted me to do whatever I felt like I needed to do, but deep down I know she's happy with it," he said. "I also talked it over with my sponsors and all of them are good with it, so that makes me feel good. The last few years I felt like I sacrificed quite a bit to put myself out there and fish as much as I did."I don't want to use the term 'slacking off,' but I think I need to trim it down a little bit so I can focus more and try to get rid of those one or two poor finishes per year."Next year's Classic will take place at South Carolina's Lake Hartwell, which was the site of his first tour-level victory in 2011. A win there would make the season an instant success."The Classic and the Angler of the Year are at the top of my list now. Winning (regular-season) tournaments is awesome and I've never experienced anything else like it, but those two things are why we do what we do."As far as our families sacrificing, that's what it's all about."Notable> Having a boat for each tour and flying between stops to cut down on travel time is not an option Christie is willing to undertake in order to fish both circuits. "It's hard enough to organize and maintain one boat, much less two," he said.
Read more: http://www.bassfan.com/news_article.asp?id=5083#.VI3RX_nF_9s#ixzz3LtoDdZ9z
Page 1 of 12
Jason Christie T-Shirts Now Available on DreamCatcherSports.net. This lightweight moisture management, Competitor Tee has a roomy, athletic cut and controls sweat like a champ. Improved with PosiCharge™ technology, it also locks in color for premium quality. Available in Gray, Black and Red. Sizes YSM-YXL and S-4XL.