Jason Christie Extends Lead on Day Two of 2016 Bassmaster Classic

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2016 Bassmaster Classic Day Two Leader Jason Christie - photo by Dan O'Sullivan

2016 Bassmaster Classic Day Two Leader Jason Christie – photo by Dan O’Sullivan

TULSA, Okla. — For the first 43 years of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, only one angler managed to win the event in his home state.

Now, there’s a chance it could happen for the third year in a row.

After establishing a solid lead with 20 pounds, 14 ounces on Day 1 at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, Oklahoma pro Jason Christie added 16-11 Saturday and maintained his spot atop the leaderboard with a two-day total of 37-9. Christie leads second-place angler Todd Faircloth (31-14) by more than 5 pounds, and has better than a 6-pound advantage over third-place angler Edwin Evers (31-4), another Oklahoma native.

“It wasn’t a great day by Grand Lake standards, but it was pretty good compared to what everybody else did today,” said Christie, who lives in Park Hill, Okla., just an hour from Grand Lake. “Just like Friday, I was surprised that I had as much weight as I did.”

Christie was emphatic Friday that he was going to stick with the one tactic that’s really been working for him since practice began for the event last week.

He stuck with it Saturday, and it worked again. He plans to claim a Classic title or go down swinging with the same approach Sunday.

“It’s the only thing I’ve caught a fish on since I got here for practice,” said Christie, adding that he’ll give more details on what he’s doing as soon as the tournament ends. “There’s just no reason to change.”

Though a lead of 5 plus-pounds is sizable, Christie said he hardly feels like he’ll be home-free with another good day Sunday — especially with anglers like Faircloth and Evers as his closest competition.

“I don’t know if there’s any such thing as ‘home-free’ on Grand Lake,” Christie said. “There are a lot of big fish in this lake, and anything can happen.”

After landing in ninth place with 14-15 Friday, Faircloth added 16-15 Saturday to jump into second with 31-14. Like most of the field, he found the fishing slow and sometimes frustrating.

“It’s so hard to stay focused when you’re going so long between bites,” Faircloth said. “When you’re not getting many bites, you really need to execute on every one you get. It’s tough.”

The Texas pro, who is fishing his 14th Classic, said he also plans to stick with what’s been working — even though the fishing hasn’t been fast and furious.

“I’m fishing everything in front of me,” said Faircloth, who holds five B.A.S.S. victories but no Classic titles. “I’ve been catching them off docks, off wood — a little bit of everything.

“I do have a couple of spots that I haven’t been to, and I caught a couple of big fish on those places in practice. But I could go there tomorrow and not get a bite. So I’m going to stick with what I’ve done the last two days and see what happens.”

With 13-12 on Day 1 and 17-8 on Day 2, Evers was one of the few anglers whose catch improved dramatically Saturday. He said his better catch was the result of a complete change in strategy.

“It’s not hard to improve when you only catch four fish the first day,” Evers said, laughing. “I went and did something totally different today, and it’s not really the kind of thing that you normally do to win on Grand. But Grand is not normal right now.”

After a recent cold front, the water temperature is now rising rapidly on the lake, and many of the anglers think the fish are slightly in shock because of it. Some competitors have also been hurt during the first two rounds by a lack of wind that has made the lake slick and caused fish to be more skittish than they are in choppier water.

With more wind in the forecast for Sunday, Evers said he may redirect again.

“I think I made a good decision today, but I honestly don’t think I’ll go and do it again tomorrow,” he said. “I don’t think I can win with it, and that’s what I’m trying to do — win this thing.”

The tournament’s championship round will begin Sunday, with the Top 25 remaining anglers leaving Hard Rock Dock at Wolf Creek Ramp in Grove, Okla., at 7 a.m. The weigh-in is set to begin at 3:15 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa.

The winner will receive $300,000 and the most coveted trophy in the sport.

Christie will be attempting to win a Classic in his home state, just as South Carolina native Casey Ashley did last year on Lake Hartwell and Alabamian Randy Howell did in 2014 on Lake Guntersville. Prior to Howell’s win, only one other angler had won a Classic in his home state — Alabamian Boyd Duckett on Lay Lake in 2007.

Christie will receive another $1,000 as winner of the GEICO Everyday Leader Award for leading the second day, plus an additional $1,500 for having a GEICO decal on his boat’s windshield. Christie has earned a total of $5,000 in GEICO bonuses.

2016 Bassmaster Classic Title Sponsor: GEICO

2016 Bassmaster Classic Presenting Sponsors: GoPro

2016 Bassmaster Classic Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2016 Bassmaster Classic Premier Sponsors: GoPro, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley

2016 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods

2016 Bassmaster Classic Local Partners: Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa, Visit Tulsa, Tulsa Regional Chamber, Grand Lake Association

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Nation, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro 3/4-3/6
Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, Tulsa  OK.
(ANGLER) Standings Day 2

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   Total $$$

1.  Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK           10  37-09    0   $5,000.00
Day 1: 5   20-14     Day 2: 5   16-11
2.  Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX              10  31-14    0
Day 1: 5   14-15     Day 2: 5   16-15
3.  Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               9  31-04    0
Day 1: 4   13-12     Day 2: 5   17-08
4.  Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN          10  30-08    0
Day 1: 5   16-09     Day 2: 5   13-15
5.  Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL               10  30-05    0
Day 1: 5   13-08     Day 2: 5   16-13
6.  Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               9  29-09    0
Day 1: 5   17-13     Day 2: 4   11-12
7.  David Walker           Sevierville, TN         10  29-06    0
Day 1: 5   14-02     Day 2: 5   15-04
8.  Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL        10  29-03    0
Day 1: 5   17-06     Day 2: 5   11-13
9.  James Watson           Nixa, MO                10  28-01    0
Day 1: 5   13-10     Day 2: 5   14-07
10. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA              10  26-12    0
Day 1: 5   13-02     Day 2: 5   13-10
11. Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              9  26-07    0
Day 1: 5   15-05     Day 2: 4   11-02
12. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA            10  25-15    0
Day 1: 5   16-02     Day 2: 5   09-13
13. Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             8  24-14    0
Day 1: 4   12-07     Day 2: 4   12-07
14. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     8  24-05    0
Day 1: 5   12-07     Day 2: 3   11-14
15. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           8  24-04    0
Day 1: 5   12-14     Day 2: 3   11-06
16. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             7  23-13    0
Day 1: 5   18-01     Day 2: 2   05-12
17. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                8  23-12    0
Day 1: 3   07-02     Day 2: 5   16-10
18. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               7  23-05    0
Day 1: 3   12-12     Day 2: 4   10-09
19. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             7  22-00    0
Day 1: 5   16-04     Day 2: 2   05-12
20. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL             7  20-14    0
Day 1: 4   11-02     Day 2: 3   09-12
21. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         9  20-01    0
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 4   09-00
22. Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            9  19-08    0
Day 1: 5   11-01     Day 2: 4   08-07
23. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                6  19-06    0
Day 1: 4   14-12     Day 2: 2   04-10
24. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         7  18-10    0
Day 1: 3   08-08     Day 2: 4   10-02
25. Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA        6  18-04    0
Day 1: 3   10-13     Day 2: 3   07-07
26. Thomas Martens         Lago Vista, TX           5  18-03    0
Day 1: 3   11-12     Day 2: 2   06-07
27. Brandon Card           Caryville, TN            7  17-15    0
Day 1: 5   12-12     Day 2: 2   05-03
28. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         7  17-07    0
Day 1: 5   12-15     Day 2: 2   04-08
29. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL                6  17-05    0
Day 1: 2   06-00     Day 2: 4   11-05
30. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                6  17-04    0
Day 1: 5   13-11     Day 2: 1   03-09
31. Charles Sim            Ottawa CANADA            6  17-04    0
Day 1: 2   04-06     Day 2: 4   12-14
32. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          6  17-03    0
Day 1: 4   11-10     Day 2: 2   05-09
33. Billy McCaghren Jr     Mayflower, AR            6  17-00    0
Day 1: 1   01-07     Day 2: 5   15-09
34. Chris Dillow           Waynesboro, VA           5  16-14    0
Day 1: 3   12-07     Day 2: 2   04-07
35. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ              6  15-12    0
Day 1: 5   13-14     Day 2: 1   01-14
36. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  13-09    0
Day 1: 3   07-15     Day 2: 2   05-10
37. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            5  12-05    0
Day 1: 3   07-10     Day 2: 2   04-11
38. Gene Bishop Jr         Ridgeland, MS            4  12-00    0
Day 1: 3   08-14     Day 2: 1   03-02
39. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              3  11-04    0
Day 1: 2   06-08     Day 2: 1   04-12
40. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  11-03    0
Day 1: 1   02-13     Day 2: 4   08-06
41. Chris Zaldain          San Jose, CA             4  11-02    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 4   11-02
42. John Proctor           Conway, SC               4  10-08    0
Day 1: 3   07-06     Day 2: 1   03-02
43. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA         5  10-05    0
Day 1: 2   03-00     Day 2: 3   07-05
44. Brandon McMillan       Clewiston, FL            5  09-13    0
Day 1: 4   08-03     Day 2: 1   01-10
45. Greg Vance             Dubuque, IA              4  09-02    0
Day 1: 1   03-01     Day 2: 3   06-01
46. Fabian Rodriguez       Ocean City, DE           3  09-00    0
Day 1: 1   04-02     Day 2: 2   04-14
47. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           3  08-01    0
Day 1: 3   08-01     Day 2: 0   00-00
48. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         3  07-14    0
Day 1: 3   07-14     Day 2: 0   00-00
48. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            3  07-14    0
Day 1: 3   07-14     Day 2: 0   00-00
50. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI              3  07-08    0
Day 1: 1   02-00     Day 2: 2   05-08
51. Albert Collins         Nacogdoches, TX          2  06-12    0
Day 1: 2   06-12     Day 2: 0   00-00
52. Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO         2  06-06    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 2   06-06
53. Whitney Stephens       Waverly, OH              2  03-13    0
Day 1: 1   02-01     Day 2: 1   01-12
54. Levi McNeill           West Valley, UT          1  02-09    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 1   02-09
55. Trevor Lo              Maplewood, MN            0  00-00    0
Day 1: 0   00-00     Day 2: 0   00-00
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        21       184       541-06
2        12       156       441-10
———————————-
33       340       983-00