UPCOMING EVENT: Rayovac FLW Series - 2015 - Lake Champlain

Christie clamps down on first place at Lake Norman

Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., relied on two nice kicker fish and a total weight of 16 pounds to grab the overall lead on Lake Norman after the first day of FLW Tour competition.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - While a combination of bluebird skies, low water levels, sparse wind and a recent cold front conspired to tamp down weights nearly across the board in Wednesday's FLW Tour competition on Lake Norman, Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., managed to buck the trend. Relying on two nice kicker fish and a total weight of 16 pounds, Christie found himself standing alone at the top in first place in the Pro Division holding a 1-pound lead over his next closest competitor. And while a 1-pound lead might not seem like a lot, it is significant on Lake Norman. To underscore this point, after the first day of competition, the disparity between standing in 79th place and 18th place turned out to be a grand total of 2 pounds, 14 ounces. In short, on Lake Norman, every ounce counts. And nobody knows that better than Christie. "I got really lucky today," he said. "I was really fortunate to get those two big bites because that's what it takes to do well here. If I didn't catch those fish, I really wouldn't have done a whole lot today. I basically had a three- to four-hour drought where I didn't catch anything. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with the way things turned out. I had a good day and caught a lot of fish. But I've led tournaments early before and you can't get too excited on the first day of a four-day event." Christie said that he's targeting pre-spawn bass in 3 to 7 feet of water with a wide variety of baits. "I'm fishing in places where I think the fish are (staging)," said Christie. "I'm covering a lot of water and hopefully I'll keep finding the places the fish are coming to. But it's tough fishing out there. Right now I'm fishing all over the map. I'm using a combination of jigs, shaky head worms ... a lot of different baits. You really have to mix it up. Right now it's just really hard to get big bites." However, despite the difficulties of the current conditions on Lake Norman, Christie said he's cautiously optimistic about his chances of making a run at the title. "I'm around a lot of fish and I think they're the right fish," said Christie. "There aren't a lot of boats in my areas and there are lots of shad where I'm fishing. I'd definitely be happy with 12 pounds tomorrow. But I'd sure love some wind or cloud cover - something to change it up a little bit. We'll just have to see what happens." Morgan nets second place Pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., posted a 15-pound catch to land in second place overall on Lake Norman.Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tenn., posted a 15-pound catch to land in second place overall. But like most of the field, Morgan said the fishing was far from easy. "I didn't catch a lot of fish today," said Morgan. "For me, it wasn't about until 1 p.m. when my fish started biting at all. I really had to run around a lot." Morgan said that he ultimately targeted bass in 3 to 15 feet of water using a variety of techniques. "I used crankbaits, spinnerbaits and finesse jigs," said Morgan. "I was trying to find fish that are coming into spawn. But I also caught fish on some secondary stuff. The fish were just about everywhere. I was targeting points, docks, logs, stumps - whatever was in front of me. But the key is getting those big bites." Overall though, Morgan said he was generally pleased with the way things turned out in the end. "I feel pretty good," said Morgan. "I know I'll catch them tomorrow. I just don't know how big they're going to be." Pro Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C. Montgomery shows off his catch with a little one in tow. Montgomery finished Wednesday's competition with a total catch of 14 pounds, 5 ounces.Best of the rest At the end of the day, third place belonged to Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, S.C. Montgomery finished Wednesday's competition with a total catch of 14 pounds, 5 ounces. Incredibly enough, there was a three-way tie for fourth place between Ishama Monroe of Hughson, Calif., Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala., and Nate Wellman of Jenison, Mich. All three competitors turned in identical catches weighing 13 pounds, 14 ounces to remain in striking distance of the leaders. Rounding out the day's top-10 pro competitors: 7th: Tim McDonald, Lexington, Ky., 13-7 8th: John Devere of Berea, Ky., 13-5 9th: Bryan Thrift of Shelby, N.C., 13-1 10th: Rusty Trancygier of Hahira, Ga., 12-11 Cook nets co-angler lead Bolstered by a total catch of 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mitchell Cook of Drexel, N.C., took over the top spot in the Co-angler Division. However, with only a 1-ounce lead over his next closest competitor, Cook knows that he has his work cut out for him over the next few days. Bolstered by a total catch of 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mitchell Cook of Drexel, N.C., took over the top spot in the Co-angler Division after the first day of FLW Tour competition on Lake Norman."It feels pretty good to be where I'm at," said Cook. "I'm really enjoying myself. Now if I can do this again tomorrow and Friday, I'll feel really good. But right now I'm only leading by an ounce so I still have a long way to go." Cook said that he targeted his catch using a combination of jerkbaits, jigs and worms. "I was mainly fishing in about 4 to 8 feet of water," he said. "And I was mostly fishing docks." As for tomorrow, Cook says that he doesn't plan on changing things up too much. "I'm pretty much going to throw the same baits I threw today and see what happens." Best of the rest Second place in the Co-angler Division belonged to Andrew Roberts of Spotsylvania, Va. Roberts ultimately recorded an 11-pound, 10-ounce catch. J.R. Wright of Truckee, Calif., used a 10-pound, 11-ounce catch to grab third place. Andrew Lemle of Whitehouse, Ohio, used a 10-pound, 8-ounce catch to net fourth place while Keeton Blaylock of Benton, Ark., finished in fifth place with a catch of 10 pounds, 6 ounces. Rounding out the top-10 co-anglers: 6th: Brent G. Evans of Calvert City, Ky., 10-5 7th: Mark Heatwole of Harrisonburg, Va., 9-14 8th: Tyrone Phillips of Little Rock, Ark., 9-13 9th: Stephen Smith of Glenwood, Ark., 9-6 10th: Naohiro Maruo of Takamatsu Kagawa, Japan, 9-5 Day two of FLW Tour competition on Lake Norman resumes during tomorrow's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 7:15 a.m. at Blythe Landing, located at 15901 N.C. Highway 71 in Cornelius, N.C.

Tags: headline-story  gary-mortenson 

/news/2015-07-21-top-picks-from-icast

Top Picks From ICAST

A few days of walking the floor at ICAST is enough to exhaust a body, but it isn’t enough to know exactly what’s worthwhile. For that, you need some time to reflect and probably a few tournament seasons to fly by to see what rises up. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-renfrew-fished-to-win

Renfrew Fished to Win

Ian Renfrew of Phoenix, New York, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 11 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament on Oneida Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Renfrew earned $4,695. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-docks-and-rocks-key-for-synders

Docks and Rocks Key for Synders

Rus Snyders of Nashville, Tennessee, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Music City Division tournament on Old Hickory Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Snyders earned $2,703. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-jig-crankbait-carry-powroznik

Jig, Crankbait Carry Powroznik

Ryan Powroznik of Prince George, Virginia, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 17 pounds, 15 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Piedmont Division tournament on the James River. For his victory, Powroznik earned $7,507. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-20-persistence-pays-for-arning

Persistence Pays for Arning

Ray Arning Jr. of Walnut Hill, Illinois, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 13 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Illini Division tournament on Rend Lake presented by Navionics. For his victory, Arning earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-rod-roundup

New Rod Roundup

Rod companies continue to impress each year with a new crop of lighter, faster and more affordable (sweet!) rods. On the subject of price, these days, a tournament pro or an average angler could be fishing with rods that cost less than $100 apiece, but without giving up anything in the realm of quality. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-17-new-terminal-tackle

New Terminal Tackle

Don’t skimp where it counts the most – terminal tackle. Hooks, weights, jigheads and the like are the keys to taking all those new soft baits and swimbaits to the fish, hooking them and getting them in the boat. Here’s the best stuff we saw on the floor at ICAST 2015. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-flw-announces-2016-tour-schedule

FLW Announces 2016 Tour Schedule

FLW announced the 2016 Walmart FLW Tour regular-season schedule today in a live press conference held at the 2015 ICAST show in Orlando, Fla. With the help of six veteran Tour pros, the company unveiled each of the six events, one-by-one, to a crowd of observers gathered around the FLW booth. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-reels-to-try

6 New Reels to Try

Whether you need to replace an old reel or you’re just looking to add to the arsenal, here are some of the latest and greatest from ICAST. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-6-new-lines-from-icast-2015

6 New Lines from ICAST 2015

Line might just be the most important part of the package when it comes to landing fish. From presenting the bait to getting them in the net, your line is involved the entire way. If you’re looking for something new to try, the following lines are worth a shot. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-icast-best-of-show-winners-

ICAST Best Of Show Winners

One of the highlights of ICAST is the annual “Best of Show” awards. Not everything at ICAST is of interest to bass anglers, but the below might end up being staples for a long time to come. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-10-new-frogs-and-toads

10 New Frogs and Toads

These days, frogs and toads aren’t just mimicking frogs and toads. They’re designed to be perfect imitations of rats, bream and various oddball creatures. New models at ICAST this season offer anglers some of these “alternative” species, as well as new sizes, colors, action types and degrees of realism. Here are 10 new models that we feel are of greatest interest. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-7-terrific-topwater-baits

7 Terrific Topwater Baits

If you don’t like fishing topwater, just give up fishing already. These seven new baits will help you get your surface-fishing fix next season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-16-critters-and-craws

Critters and Craws

Nearly everyone already has a tackle box overflowing with soft baits. That said, there are always more to try. If you’re looking for something new, the following might do the trick. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-hard-baits-for-2015

New Hard Baits for 2015

It doesn’t take long to find yourself overwhelmed on the show floor of ICAST. Hundreds of companies are here unveiling cool, new products. When it comes to the hard bait category it can be daunting to sift through all the new stuff. Its early, but here are a few things that might be worth adding to the tackle box. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-icast-2015-fishing-accessories

ICAST 2015 Fishing Accessories

Check out these tools and accessory items that fill a variety of roles when on the water. We’ll update the list later tomorrow too. Click here for complete 2015 ICAST coverage. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-cool-new-electronics-at-icast-2015

Cool New Electronics at ICAST 2015

These days, anglers rely on cutting edge electronic devices not only to find and catch fish, but also to share their fishing experiences with the world. The following new products, as seen on day one at ICAST 2015, will help you do all of the above. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-new-clothing-and-sunglasses-at-icast-2015

New Clothing and Sunglasses at ICAST 2015

Sunglasses and clothing that can resist all that Mother Nature throws at it are critical for hard-core anglers. Here’s what’s new in those categories at this year’s ICAST show. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-15-three-new-finesse-worms

Three New Finesse Worms

Though there is a ton of finesse worms already available on the market, but the following three from the first day of ICAST might be worth a look if you sense a gap in your arsenal. READ MORE »

/news/2015-07-14-dance-detweiler-and-east-win-icast-cup

Dance, Detweiler and East Win ICAST Cup

Weighing in midway through the 48-boat field, Bill Dance, Cody Detweiler, and Dave East repped Mystik Lubricants brought a five-bass limit for 17 pounds, 1 ounce to the scale for the win. The team focused on two shallow, grassy areas within sight of Big Toho Marina for the entirety of the event and caught about 10 bass and culled twice before 8 a.m. READ MORE »