GROVE, Okla. – Rayovac pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., had never fished in a four-day tournament on his home waters of Grand Lake of the Cherokees. After leading the first three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour at Grand Lake presented by Castrol, all that he needed was one more solid day’s weight to claim his second FLW Tour title of the season.
Christie caught a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 13 ounces Sunday to win $126,000 with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 78-1. The catch gave Christie the win by a 5-pound, 5-ounce margin over Chevy pro Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., who surged to his second consecutive second-place finish on the FLW Tour with a four-day total of 20 bass weighing 72-12, earning him $34,266.
“This was such a special week for me,” said Christie, who earned his sixth career victory on Grand Lake in FLW competition. “The way that I was catching them, it brought back a lot of memories. I bet my co-anglers were tired of hearing all of my stories. This lake is responsible for teaching me how to fish.”
Christie said that his main area that he fished this week was a 20-acre stretch in Elk River.
“The main reason that I went there was because that it was an area that I had the most confidence in,” Christie said. “It was only 20 acres, but there is a lot of fishing in that 20 acres – a lot of shoreline, a lot of bushes and a lot of places for the bass to hide.
“The area is on an island,” Christie continued. “When that current gets rolling and rolls around the tips of that island, it really gets the big ones going up there. It was pretty simple. I just got in the bushes and put my head down and got busy.”
Christie estimated that 95 percent of the fish that he caught this week came by flipping, but said that he switched up his baits every day. He boated some key fish the first day on a black BOOYAH Poppin’ Pad Crasher. Other baits that produced for him throughout the week were a YUM F2 Wooly Bug, a BOOYAH jig and an unnamed creature bait.
“I was using a 7-foot, 3-inch Falcon Rod paired with a Lew’s BB1 7.1:1 reel. It was spooled with 20-pound-test fluorocarbon line using Lazer Trokar Flippin hooks. I never missed one fish all week,” Christie said.
“The pressure is off for me for the rest of the year,” Christie went on to say. “I don’t have a chance to beat these guys for Angler of the Year, and I think I’m already in the Forrest Wood Cup. So, I’m just going to go up to Chickamauga and try to win. Everyone likes to peg me as a shallow-water fisherman, but I love to fish deep. I’m looking forward to that.”
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GROVE, Okla. – Rayovac pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., brought a five-bass limit to the scales Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 10 ounces giving him a three-day cumulative total of 15 bass for 58 pounds, 4 ounces and the lead for the third consecutive day at the Walmart FLW Tour at Grand Lake presented by Castrol. He now holds a solid 3½-pound lead over second place pro Barry Wilson of Birmingham, Ala., in the event that features the best bass-fishing anglers in the world casting for the top cash award of up to $125,000.
“All that you can ask for in a bass tournament is to go into the last day and have a legitimate chance to win,” said Christie, who is seeking his second FLW Tour victory of the season after winning at Beaver Lake just two months ago. “If I can catch what I did today tomorrow, I have a good chance.”
Christie said that Saturday was his slowest day of the tournament so far, and that he only boated 10 to 12 keeper bass.
“We won’t know until tomorrow whether my fish will hold up or not,” Christie said. “I think I’m going to try a couple of different spots early, because my main area didn’t fire up until later today. I don’t have any other areas that I have the confidence that I do in my main area, though. Hopefully, they replenish.”
Christie said that his main area was about 10 to 15 miles up the lake from the takeoff site at Wolf Creek Park. Like yesterday, he said that his main pattern all week has been flipping a YUM F2 Wooly Bug and a creature bait.
“I ran way down the lake today and tried to catch some crankbait fish,” Christie said. “I really did that to eliminate it. I didn’t want to be thinking about anything else tomorrow other than flipping bushes. It’s definitely getting a little tougher in my area, but I do believe that it can be won up there. We’re all great fisherman, but it’s all about how good your locations are… and if they can hold up for four days.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Grand Lake are:
1st: Rayovac pro Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., 15 bass, 58-4
2nd: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 15 bass, 54-12
3rd: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 54-7
4th: Chevy pro Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla., 15 bass, 53-8
5th: Robbie Dodson, Harrison, Ark., 15 bass, 53-2
6th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 53-1
7th: Chevy pro Jay Yelas, Corvallis, Ore., 15 bass, 51-11
8th: Zell Rowland, Montgomery, Texas, 15 bass, 51-6
9th: Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 15 bass, 51-1
10th: Straight Talk pro J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 15 bass, 50-12
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Travis Fox, Rogers, Ark., 15 bass, 50-10, $12,216
12th: Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., 15 bass, 50-1, $12,216
13th: Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 15 bass, 50-1, $12,216
14th: James Biggs, Richland Hills, Texas, 15 bass, 49-5, $12,216
15th: Chevy pro Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 15 bass, 48-13, $12,216
16th: Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 15 bass, 47-15, $11,726
17th: M&M’s pro Jim Moynagh, Carver, Minn., 15 bass, 45-8, $11,726
18th: Lendell Martin Jr., Nacogdoches, Texas, 14 bass, 45-0, $11,726
19th: Tommy Martin, Hemphill, Texas, 15 bass, 44-7, $11,726
20th: Matthew Stefan, Park Ridge, Ill., 15 bass, 43-11, $11,726
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 99 bass weighing 300 pounds, 12 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 19 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2013 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify. The 2013 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Shreveport, La., Aug. 15-18 on the Red River. Coverage of the Forrest Wood Cup will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC when “FLW” airs Sept. 29 from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. ET.
Keith Honeycutt of Temple, Texas, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 11 bass weighing 27 pounds, 7 ounces, followed by Jason Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., in second place with 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 13 ounces worth $7,500.
“When I drew Jason Christie today, I just thought to myself that there is no way in the world that he can flip every single bush,” said Honeycutt, who has earned more than $180,000 via fishing as a co-angler in FLW competition. “I just knew that there had to be a few bushes here and there for me.”
Honeycutt said that he caught his fish this week by flipping bushes and throwing shallow crankbaits.
“I really do appreciate what Jason (Christie) did for me today,” Honeycutt went on to say. “I had three bass at 1 p.m. and Jason heard me sighing in the back of the boat. He asked me if I wanted to go crankbait fishing, so of course I smiled and told him that I would love to go. We made a 25-mile run and went crankbait fishing, and I caught three or four more fish and got my limit. There is no doubt that Jason left the area where this tournament is going to be won to help me, and I really do appreciate it.”
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Oklahoma pro expands overall lead during second day of FLW Tour action on Grand Lake, top-20 cut announced
Courtesy 07.Jun.2013 by Gary Mortenson
GROVE, Okla. – For the most part, the changing landscape of the FLW Tour event on Grand Lake has been a sight to behold. Water levels have shifted somewhat dramatically, starting off nearly 4 feet above normal pool and then receding steadily with each passing day. The muddied up waters that greeted anglers upon their arrival have slowly given way to more gin-clear conditions throughout significant portions of the lake. Throw in the fact that anglers witnessed sunny and calm conditions today, in stark contrast to the overcast skies and medium winds on day one, and it’s obvious that anglers have had much to process throughout this tournament.However, given all of the significant changes anglers have had to battle through this week, the one constant appears to be the standing atop the leaderboard. For a second day in a row, pre-tournament favorite and Rayovac team pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., has dominated the headlines. Bolstered by a total, two-day catch of 40 pounds, 10 ounces, Christie took a 5-ounce lead after yesterday’s competition and inflated it to nearly 3 full pounds after Friday’s weigh-in.And although Christie – who considers Grand Lake to be his hometown water – had attempted to argue at the start of the tournament that the conditions left him with no local advantage, the results say otherwise. Christie is clearly on top of his game. And he’s now obviously the man to beat.“Twenty pounds a day, I’ll take it,” said Christie. “I’m where I wanted to be.”While weights were down across the board in Friday’s competition, including Christie who recorded nearly 2 pounds less than yesterday’s catch, the Oklahoma pro still managed to haul in the day’s biggest stringer in either division with a whopping 18-pound, 14-ounce stringer.“I have three different patterns going on in three different sections of the lake,” said Christie. “And I’m using all three patterns each day. I have about 1,000 places on this pond, but it has to be the right deal. A stretch that was good today might not be good tomorrow. The water levels are starting to stabilize and there’s still plenty of fish. But you have to be in the right place at the right time. Believe it or not, I’ve never fished a four-day tournament here and I’m learning just like everyone else.”While Christie lost two nice fish today, he basically chalked it up to the way he’s fishing.“I’m basically flipping a Yum Wooly Bug in two different colors and throwing a Booyah spinnerbait. But I’m mostly flipping,” said Christie. “I did lose two big fish at the boat today so that was kind of aggravating. But that’s going to happen. I didn’t catch as many keepers as yesterday, but I still caught 20 to 25 fish. So overall, I’m pretty happy with how today went.”One of the keys to Christie’s success has been an area in deeper water where he’s been able to haul out some of his bigger largemouth. While Christie didn’t want to divulge much, he did note that it was “off the bank” and that he appreciates windier conditions where fish continue to get prodded out into deeper water.“I’m fishing at different depths,” said Christie. “Tomorrow I’m going to have to (adapt) to the conditions like everyone else. I’m just going to go out there and go fishing.”
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FLW Press Release
GROVE, Okla. – Rayovac pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., proved that in fishing there is sometimes a hometown advantage, as he brought a five-bass limit to the scales Thursday weighing 21 pounds, 12 ounces to take the lead at the Walmart FLW Tour at Grand Lake presented by Castrol. Christie now holds a slim 5-ounce lead over another Oklahoma fishing legend, Chevy pro Jimmy Houston of Cookson, Okla., who weighed in five bass worth 21 pounds, 7 ounces. Both will be looking to add to their totals tomorrow heading into day two of the four-day competition featuring the world’s best bass-fishing anglers who are vying for the top cash award of up to $125,000.
“I actually exceeded my expectations a little bit today,” said Christie, who has five career victories in FLW competition on Grand Lake. “I was hoping to catch 16 to 18 pounds and stay in the hunt, but I got lucky today and pulled up on the right spot at the right time, and they were there.”
Christie caught an early-morning limit by fishing shallow water, but knew that he needed to change his tactics in order to stay near the top of the leaderboard.
“At 12 o’clock I decided that what I was doing wasn’t working,” Christie said. “I knew that I needed to do something different, and it paid off for me.”
Christie made the move to his key area, where he was able to quickly upgrade his limit by culling all of his smaller fish. He said the area was not new to him, and was a place where he has caught fish in the past.
“It was definitely my lake experience that helped,” Christie continued. “This was a spot where I have caught a lot of fish under these conditions. I actually have a lot of places like it, but most of them don’t have any fish on them. If you look at my GPS, it’s crowded with waypoints, but a lot of them don’t have any fish on them because of the water color.
“With the way that they ran the water today, I think it pulled a lot of those fish out and set them where they needed to be,” Christie continued. “One thing about Grand Lake, though, is that they can be there today and gone tomorrow. You just have to try to catch them coming out, and today I had pretty good timing. Hopefully I can hit it at the right time again tomorrow.
“There are no secrets here,” Christie went on to say. “You just have to fish and move around until you find them. Grand Lake has so many fish in it that if you’re not getting bit, you’re not around them. You just have to keep moving until you find them.”
The top 10 pros after day one on Grand Lake are:
1st: Rayovac pro Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., five bass, 21-12
2nd: Chevy pro Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla., five bass, 21-7
3rd: Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., five bass, 20-12
4th: Randy Blaukat, Joplin, Mo., five bass, 20-3
5th: Matthew Stefan, Park Ridge, Ill., five bass, 19-14
6th: Adrian Avena, Vineland, N.J., five bass, 19-11
6th: Ryan Chandler, Valparaiso, Ind., five bass, 19-11
8th: Robbie Dodson, Harrison, Ark., five bass, 19-9
9th: Zell Rowland, Montgomery, Texas, five bass, 19-8
10th: Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif., five bass, 19-4
10th: Troy Morrow, Eastanollee, Ga., five bass, 19-4
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BULL SHOALS, Ark. — Two days ago on the Ramada Quest stage, Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jason Christie bemoaned the crystal water and dead-calm conditions of Bull Shoals Lake.
“Clear water and no wind scares the heck out of me,” said the Elite Series rookie from Park Hill, Okla., on that second day of competition. He dropped from fourth place into 14th. It was a serious fall in what had become the “ounces-count” Quest.
If Christie was scared, he was scared straight. On the third day, he managed to climb up into 11th place and qualify for Monday’s fourth and final round. He was 5 pounds, 6 ounces behind the leader.
Monday at the weigh-in, he showed what having the fire under you can do. He turned in a huge bag, the tournament’s largest: 18 pounds, 0 ounces. Christie landed squarely in the winner’s seat, with his first Elite Series trophy. It came with $100,000 and his second consecutive Bassmaster Classic qualification.
“Awesome,” said Christie about his secure return to the Classic. “I was hooked on it last time, and I’m ready to go again.”
Christie’s winning weight was 56 pounds, 8 ounces. His Day Four bag of five largemouth of 18-0 included two 4-pounders and a 5-0, the largest bass of the day.
His margin of victory was 1 pound, 2 ounces over Fred Roumbanis of Bixby, Okla. That was a notable achievement given that the Day Three leader, Casey Scanlon, led by 12 ounces, and the Day One and 2 leader, Greg Vinson, led by 1 pound and by 3 ounces, respectively.
Christie’s leapfrog from 11th into first place was the biggest Day Four comeback in Elite Series history. (Arkansas pro Kevin Short rose from sixth place to win the 2009 Mississippi River Elite event.)
Christie, 39, came into the Quest hot off an April 14 FLW Tour win on Beaver Lake. The Elite Series title of Monday chalked up rare consecutive wins in the sport’s best-known circuits, both on White River impoundments in Arkansas.
“I just want to ride this train till it wrecks,” said Christie of his winning streak.
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