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 

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Liberty Leads College Championship

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Castledine Stands Tall On Grand

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Top 5 Patterns from Grand Lake Day 1

The first day of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division tournament was all about the sight-bite – from day-one leader Todd Castledine on down. The event, presented by Power-Pole and hosted by the Grand Lake Association, undoubtedly featured other patterns, but every angler who did well relied in large part on bedding bass. READ MORE »

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Lake Murray Midday Update Day 1

With precipitation ranging from an incessant mist to torrential downpours sweeping the area throughout the morning, the odds favored a slow start to the FLW College Fishing National Championship being presented by the Lowrance Insight Genesis College Cup here on Lake Murray. As it turns out, however, the bass apparently liked the extra water and reacted accordingly. A number of the teams that found prime spawning areas for blueback herring in practice earlier this week returned on day one and were rewarded with limit catches of largemouths and spots by midmorning. Among them was the local favorite, the University of South Carolina, which reportedly had culled up to about 13 pounds by 11 a.m. Likewise, the Oregon State University was sitting on about 15 pounds and had culled five times. Tanner Masters and Wyatt Ryan of East Central University (of Oklahoma) caught their limit fishing seawalls and riprapped banks during the sporadic herring spawns that fired up as soon as boats reached their first fishing destinations. READ MORE »

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Hanselman Wins Back-to-Back

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White Takes Bragging Rights on Kentucky Lake

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Taylor Targets Bluebacks for Hartwell Win

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Chenoweth Wins on Kerr

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Rayburn Day 3 Midday Update

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Hansen Holds Lake of the Ozarks Title

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Frog Carries Lowery to Victory

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Gordon Grabs Title on Dardanelle

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Hanselmania Returns

He’s back at it again. Ray Hanselman of Del Rio, Texas, won the season-opening Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Lake Amistad, and today he weighed in 23 pounds, 5 ounces on the second day of competition at stop No. 2 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Hanselman vaulted into the tournament lead with a two-day total of 43-14. “Hanselmania” leads by 5 pounds, 6 ounces over Denny Brauer, also of Del Rio, who is in second place for the second consecutive day. The leader’s stringer is even more impressive considering that Hanselman lost three 5-pounders this morning and caught 23-5 on a day when only one other pro weighed more than 20 pounds, and only three others weighed more than 18 pounds. Day-one leader Joe Don Setina weighed in only four keepers for 11 pounds today. READ MORE »

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Rayburn Day 2 Midday Update

With only one fish in the livewell at 10:30, Joe Don Setina was probably hoping for a repeat of day one – at least the part where he sacks ’em up in the second half. We found the leading pro fishing the Black Forrest area that he worked the first day, and he’s sticking with the same routine of flipping heavy cover. READ MORE »

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Setina Overcomes Slow Start

Pittsburg, Texas, pro Joe Don Setina is off to a hot start in the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division this season. After a top-10 finish at the opener on Lake Amistad, Setina jumped out to the day-one lead on Sam Rayburn today. It wasn't all smooth sailing for Setina, however. He says nothing went right for him this morning, when he lost fish, snagged trees and finally had to sit down and collect himself before continuing on. After refocusing, Setina caught his first keeper at about 11 a.m. and proceeded to sack up 23 pounds, 6 ounces for a slim 8-ounce lead over second-place pro Denny Brauer, who also finished in the top 10 at the Amistad opener. READ MORE »

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Top 5 Patterns from Sam Rayburn Day 1

Overcoming a tough start, Joe Don Setina rallied to take the day-one lead at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event presented by Mercury on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. He’s fishing flooded trees and bushes like most of the field and weighed in 23 pounds, 6 ounces. With the lake at a 15-year high thanks to recent rains, Rayburn’s bass are scattered, often in areas that are difficult to reach. Some pros are muscling their way through the thick stuff to search for bedding fish, while others opt for working the perimeter of the flooded zone for postspawn bass. READ MORE »