Christie owns the Ozarks

OSAGE BEACH, Mo. - Having won three of the past five points titles in the Okie Division of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, pro Jason Christie is a young angler on the rise. Fishing at the Stren Series level for the first time in his career, he wrapped up a memorable rookie campaign by winning the Central Division finale on Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks. This is Christie's fifth win on his ever-improving FLW Outdoors resume. The first three days of the event brought hot, sunny weather - which played right into his hand. Day four saw a change in weather, as the wind ripped from the north, and thick clouds appeared for the first time all week. But not even the change in weather could stop the Park Hill, Okla., native. After catching three Pro winner Jason Christie holds up his biggest bass from day four on Lake of the Ozarks.consecutive sacks of 18 pounds or more, Christie caught 15 pounds on day four en route to a 70-pound total and a wire-to-wire victory. "Oh goodness, my heart is going crazy," said the 33-year-old father of three young girls. "My luck has been outstanding all week, but I had some miscues today. At 1:30 this afternoon I lost a 3-pounder, and up until then I hadn't lost a fish all week. Yesterday I brought a 5-pounder over the top of a dock." Christie's winning pattern consisted of throwing a Bomber Fat Free Shad crankbait in 15 to 25 feet of water. The crankbait bite was best in the morning and took place in the back of creeks in the main channel of the lake. As the tournament progressed, his crankbait bite died, and he had to switch to a big worm. A former Division II basketball player at Northeastern, Christie threw a 10 1/2-inch Yum worm in motor oil and neon color. The pro winner was just about the only angler throwing a big worm, as nearly everyone else used some variety of a jig. The worm was rigged Texas style and was presented under docks located in the Gravois branch of the lake. A look at Jason Christie"Ninety percent were under the walkways. I'd skip it under the first cable to reach the walkway, which was really difficult with such a big worm." The best docks were located on a flat in shallow water, but were adjacent to deep water. Christie's domination earned him a $25,000 cash purse and a fully loaded Ranger boat. "This is far and beyond anything I've ever done in my fishing career." Look for Christie to make some noise next season in his rookie campaign on the Wal-Mart FLW Tour. Maloney finishes runner-up Local pro Brian Maloney came after Christie with guns blazing, doing everything in his power to keep the title in his hometown of Osage Beach. Maloney turned out 13 pounds, 1 ounce on day four, but it wasn't enough to pose a serious threat to Christie. Maloney finished second with a four-day combined weight of 64 pounds, 5 ounces worth $7,883. His 21-pound, 6-ounce day-three stringer will go down as the heaviest single-day catch of the tournament. Osage Beach, Mo., pro Brian Maloney finished the Stren Series event on Lake of the Ozarks in second place."For being my first tournament like this, I'm just thrilled to death with what I did this week," said the 2007 TBF Divisional champion in the state of Missouri. "All four days I did the right thing." His key bait was 5/16-ounce custom-made Curt Walker jig. The jig was tipped with a Strike King Z Too trailer in a shad pattern. Maloney fished docks from the 18-mile marker all the way to the four-mile marker in the main channel of the lake. The Stren Series rookie said he focused on odd docks. The most productive portions of the docks were the deep shadows under swimming platforms. "The big girls were laying there all week." Maloney pitched his jig some 20 to 30 feet back on each dock. This was important as the highly pressured bass were taking refuge. Although getting bites was easy, getting them into the boat was not. "I had a little meltdown from 8:30 to 9:30 this morning. I lost two fish on cable, and another one pulled off. It took me a while, but I eventually got it back together." Look for Maloney at the TBF National Championship next spring. Newby third Fishing only three of the four Stren Series Central Division events, it looks like Kellogg's pro Sam Newby is on his way to the 2007 Stren Series Championship. That's not good news for the other 199 pros, as Newby claimed the 2005 Stren Series Championship on Pickwick Lake. Sam Newby took third in the Pro Division with 57 pounds, 13 ounces over four days of competition."I would have had a shot at Angler of the Year had I fished the Columbus Pool," said the Pocola, Okla., native. "I've never finished worse than sixth on that lake in my life." Still, Newby is excited that his season will continue into November. "That's what I came down here for." His limit on day three weighed 12 pounds, 11 ounces. His total weight spanning four days was 57 pounds, 13 ounces. That placed him third and earned him $12,095 thanks to $5,000 in Ranger contingency money. "If I can catch them on a 1/2-ounce jig in muddy water, I'm at home." More specifically, Newby threw a black-and-blue prototype jig with a Berkley Chigger Craw. He said the key to his success this week was a new type of line - 17-pound Trilene fluorocarbon. "I usually flip with heavier stuff, but that 17-pound-test is bulletproof. I never broke off a fish." Fitzpatrick retains fourth Roger Fitzpatrick of Eldon, Mo., finished fourth with a four-day total of 57 pounds, 11 ounces worth Eldon, Mo., pro Roger Fitzpatrick finished the Lake of the Ozarks event in fourth place.$6,307. Fitzpatrick won the points race in the Ozark Division of the BFL and was among a handful of favorites coming into the tournament. On day four, Fitzpatrick caught a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 7 ounces. His main bait was a 3/8-ounce black-and-blue homemade jig with a Pacachunk. Occasionally, he would venture out to the deeper water and throw a DT 16 crankbait. "It has been a fantastic week," he said. "Lake of the Ozarks is probably one of the best fisheries in the United States." Next on the docket for Fitzpatrick is the BFL Regional on the Mississippi River Oct. 4-5 in Fort Madison, Iowa. There, Fitzpatrick will be trying to qualify for his third BFL All-American. Davis Jr. fifth Jimmy Davis Jr. finished fifth in the Pro Division and earned a check worth $5,518.Ozark veteran Jimmy Davis Jr. of Willard, Mo., finished fifth with a combined total of 53 pounds, 14 ounces, earning him $5,518. Davis caught the heaviest limit of the day on day four. That limit, which weighed 16 pounds, 6 ounces, propelled him from 10th to fourth. "I really think a jig on this lake is the best bait bar none," said Davis. His jig of choice was of the homemade, 1/2-ounce variety. It was tipped with a green Pacachunk and presented underneath shallow docks. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros at the Stren Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks: 6th: Jackie Davis of Willard, Mo., four-day total of 52-10, $4,730 7th: Jeremy Lawyer of Sarcoxie, Mo., 49-5, $4,337 8th: Steve Ruff of Wentzville, Mo., 47-10, $4,942 9th: Rick McGaughey of Osage Beach, Mo., 47-10, $3,548 10th: Randall Hutson of Washburn, Mo., 46-5, $3,115 In other tournament news, Rogers, Ark., pro Greg Bohannan won the 2007 Stren Series Central Division Angler of the Year award. Bohannan entered the tournament third in the points race, seven behind Castrol pro Carl Svebek and one behind Suave pro Mark Rose. Svebek finished the Lake of the Ozarks event in 121st place, and Rose finished 50th, while Bohannan placed 12th. Look for Bohannan on the 2008 Wal-Mart FLW Tour. The next Stren Series event will take place Oct. 3-6 on Lake Gaston, the fourth and final qualifier in the Northern Division. The Stren Series Championship is slated for Nov. 8-11 on the Mobile Delta in Mobile, Ala.

Tags: headline-story  brett-carlson 

/news/2015-03-29-lefebre-lands-on-top

Lefebre Lands on Top

He left the dock this morning in 7th place, eight and a half pounds off the lead. And when he returned this afternoon, Dave Lefebre shocked the weigh-in crowd with a come-from-behind Walmart FLW Tour win that left his competitors shell-shocked. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-29-lewis-smith-lake-day-4-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 4 Coverage

Day 4 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-birge-buzzes-ahead

Birge Buzzes Ahead

Today started off with a slightly miserable 31-degree air temperature, but it didn’t take long for the top 20 pros to really heat up on Lewis Smith Lake at the second stop of the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour presented by Evinrude. Reports poured in throughout the day of big bass – especially big largemouths – being caught off beds. It looked at first as if one of the “largemouth lookers” might piece together a big enough bag to snatch the lead away from Oklahoma rookie Zack Birge, who struggled early to make his shallow topwater pattern work. Unfortunately for the rest of the field, the young gun Birge has the coolness and patience of a veteran, and he stuck with his game plan of throwing a buzzbait and soft jerkbait rig until the sun had time to warm the shallows and spur the fish to become more active. Birge tallied 17 pounds, 11 ounces today, raising his three-day total to 54-8 and giving him a lead of 3-11 over Texas veteran Clark Wendlandt in second place. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 3

After three days, it looks as if tournament leader Zack Birge has the quality largemouth bite in the bushes wired. But behind him on the leaderboard are nine pros doing everything from sight-fishing to catching schooling bass and everything in between. Even with all the patterns in play, few have fizzled. The sight-fishers have reported finding new bedders, the schoolers are still schooling and a couple of guys have even started tapping floating docks. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-millsaps-wins-on-lake-sinclair

Millsaps Wins on Lake Sinclair

MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. – David Millsaps of Ranger, Georgia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Bulldog Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Sinclair. For his victory, Millsaps earned $6,009. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-walters-nets-third-victory-on-wylie

Walters Nets Third Victory on Wylie

LAKE WYLIE, N.C. – Todd Walters of Kernersville, North Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League North Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Wylie. For his victory, Walters earned $4,350. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-lewis-smith-lake-day-3-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 3 Coverage

Day 3 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-28-mosley-on-top-at-arkansas-river

Mosley on Top at Arkansas River

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – Brandon Mosley of Choctaw, Oklahoma, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Okie Division tournament of 2015 the Arkansas River. For his victory, Mosley earned $5,349. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-topwater-takes-birge-to-the-top

Topwater Takes Birge to the Top

On a day when chilly, windy post-front conditions challenged many Walmart FLW Tour anglers who were relying on sight-fishing for spawning bass, Zack Birge bucked the trend and pulled out a pair of topwaters to haul in 17 pounds, 14 ounces. Birge jumped from third place past day-one leader Drew Benton to take over the top spot on Lewis Smith Lake in the event, which is presented by Evinrude. Birge’s two-day total of 36-13 has him positioned 1 pound ahead of Benton. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 2

While air and water temperatures plummeted on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude, the big surprise came in the stability of the fishing patterns amidst such change. Zack Birge found plenty of production on his primary pattern to send him to the top of the leaderboard, and those under him held true to their patterns as well to secure a ticket to day three’s top 20. Among the biggest surprises was the number of pros who were still able to pluck fish off beds. Most pros that were sight-fishing say the bass are committed to beds and that the cold snap will not run them off at this point in time. Despite the cold, some even found new fish on beds that were not there yesterday. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-27-lewis-smith-lake-day-2-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 2 Coverage

Day 2 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-benton-blasts-20-12-on-lewis-smith

Benton Blasts 20-12 on Lewis Smith

Panama City, Fla., pro Drew Benton jumped into the early lead at the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lewis Smith Lake presented by Evinrude with a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 12 ounces. Benton caught a mix of largemouths and spotted bass, and revealed that both black bass species are spawning. He leads a tight top 20 that includes 18 pros that caught more than 15 pounds each. The first day was an absolute fish-fest. Of the 154 pros fishing this tournament, 138 weighed limits. Brad Roberts of Faubush, Ky., has a 2-ounce lead in the co-angler division with a 13-pound, 4-ounce limit. Tomorrow he’ll try to defend his lead on the final day of co-angler competition. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-top-5-patterns-from-lewis-smith-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Lewis Smith Day 1

While Drew Benton was busy bugging bedding fish for his day-one tournament lead, several others behind him were scoring big with other fishing options on Lewis Smith Lake. Sight-fishing also played a role in the top limits produce by Tracy Adams, Scott Martin and Ish Monroe, but Clayton Batts and Zack Birge both brought in big bags with other patterns. Click here to read about Benton’s day-one performance at the second Walmart FLW Tour event of 2015, which is presented by Evinrude. Here’s how the rest of the top five got it done. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-26-lewis-smith-lake-day-1-coverage

Lewis Smith Lake Day 1 Coverage

Day 1 reports from the Walmart FLW Tour on Lewis Smith Lake READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-22-arkansas-anglers-win-college-open

Arkansas Anglers Win College Open

Consistency was the key for the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville here in the FLW College Fishing Kentucky Lake Open as Zachary Pickle and Drew Porto won the event with a two-day total of 43 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-kendrick-king-on-guntersville

Kendrick King On Guntersville

Kendrick, who is fishing the Rayovac FLW Series in hopes of qualifying for the FLW Tour, caught more than 25 pounds each day of the event and finihsid in fine fasion when it counted. Kendick was catching nearly all of his bass around big schools of bait with a Houdini pearl-colored Scottsboro Tackle swimbait from 15- to 25-feet of water. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-epting-s-30-pounds-tops-on-santee-cooper

Epting's 30 Pounds Tops on Santee Cooper

SUMMERTON, S.C. – Chris Epting of Chapin, South Carolina, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 30 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League South Carolina Division tournament of 2015 on Santee Cooper. For his victory, Epting earned $3,679. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-wood-rock-key-for-middleton-s-victory

Wood, Rock Key for Middleton's Victory

HUDDLESTON, Va. – Dennis Middleton of Madison Heights, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 19 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Shenandoah Division tournament of 2015 on Smith Mountain Lake. For his victory, Middleton earned $7,199. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-johnson-wins-on-dale-hollow

Johnson Wins on Dale Hollow

BYRDSTOWN, Tenn. – Robby Johnson of Byrdstown, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 7 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mountain Division tournament of 2015 on Dale Hollow Lake. For his victory, Johnson earned $5,689. READ MORE »

/news/2015-03-21-griffin-gets-win-on-ross-barnett

Griffin Gets Win on Ross Barnett

BRANDON, Miss. – Jason Griffin of Benton, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 23 pounds, 2 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Ross Barnett Reservoir. For his victory, Griffin earned $5,349. READ MORE »