Some may call it luck, but Oklahoma pro bass angler Jason Christie is showing his buddies how it’s done. This 39-year-old former teacher and coach is fishing both professional tours, B.A.S.S. and FLW, this season. Only a handful of anglers can make that claim. It’s a grueling schedule that requires many hours on the road.
For Christie, it has been a dream season. Even if he finishes dead last in the remaining events, he has already accomplished some great feats. So far this year, Christies has won two FLW Tour events and one on the B.A.S.S. Elite Tour. The last angler to win three events in the same season was Kevin VanDam back in 2008.
With cash and bonuses, Christie has pocketed over $400,000 this season. And he is not finished yet. With only one FLW event remaining, he is in sixth place in the points and should make the Forest Wood Cup championship in August on the Red River in Shreveport, La. A win there pays $500,000.
On the B.A.S.S. side, Christie has already qualified for the Classic on Lake Guntersville by virtue of his win on the Elite Tour. It was at Bull Shoals Lake in Arkansas, where he made history. Christie came from eleven places back to take the win. No angler in B.A.S.S. has ever come from that far back to win.
Christie’s most recent win came this past week on Grand Lake in Oklahoma. He led from wire to wire. His margin of victory was almost six pounds. Fortunately Christie lives nearby and will get a few days rest before heading north for the Elite event in Wisconsin. Then it is back to the South and Lake Chickamauga in Tennessee for the season final FLW tournament.
In the past year-and-half, Christie has won five major bass fishing events. He won two Bassmaster Opens in 2011. Christie finished seventh in his first Classic back in February. He is definitely doing something right.
In the Bassfan World Rankings, Christie is now at the top. Bassfan ranks anglers from both tours based on tournaments fished and placement. Ironically, Vandam has dropped to 13th in the rankings, his lowest spot since the listing began in 2002.
On the FLW Tour, no angler has won more than two events in the same season. Could Christie be the first? He has a different approach to tournament angling. Christie doesn’t study the lake before an event. He says he tries to develop what stage the bass are in when he arrives at the lake. Christie then puts together a pattern based on other similar lakes he has fished in the past. You can’t argue with success.
Charles Johnson is the Star’s outdoor editor. You can reach Charles at ChrJohn7@aol.com