Mercury pro Jason Christie wins Lake Dardanelle Bassmaster Elite Series event.
Jason Christie shot to the top at the Lake Dardanelle Bassmaster Elite Series event to secure his fourth tour-level win in the last two seasons. With a limit weighing 19 pounds, 2 ounces his four-day total (72-3) was enough to sneak by Mercury pro Gerald Swindle (71-15) and pro Greg Hackney (71-11) cementing him as one of the best pro bass anglers on the planet.
"This is a dream come true for me," said Christie. "To be able to be here fishing against these guys, it just means so much to me. It means the world to me. I watched Rick Clunn growing up. All I wanted to do when I was a kid was to catch a bass. Now I get to fish around these guys. It's just so special."
Christie kept it simple.
"I caught all of my fish swimming a Booyah jig," said Christie. "I stayed in one area and didn't move around much. I decided to fish as much as I could and not run around. Pretty basic fishing.
"I felt I lost this tournament. Sometimes you know you are going to win, not today. I was struggling today, then I caught a 4-pounder, then a 5-pounder, then a 6-pounder missed my jig. I just thought I lost it.
"I couldn't help but think about the 7-pounder I tried to swing in the boat yesterday. Today, every fish that was decent, I grabbed it. Fish I normally swing in the boat, I made sure to grab today."
Swindle mowed the lawn
"I left it all out there today," said Swindle. "There is no grass left in Shoal Creek because I mowed it all down this week.
"I decided to just go to an area and stay there this tournament. I didn't have a good pre-fish. My first day I caught the fish in the grass. Then I caught some fish away from the grass. That was the way I ended up catching most of them. I fished 30 or maybe 40 yards in front of the grass. I caught most of the fish on a small Chatterbait with a Zoom Big Salty Chunk on it. I caught some on a spinnerbait and some on a Booyah jig, too.
"Today, with 50 minutes left, I started catching them. When it goes your way, it goes your way. I haven't felt like that all year until today. For some reason, Arkansas has been good to me."
Not Hackney's day
"It didn't go like I wanted it to today," said Hackney. "The area I was fishing didn't replenish like some other areas. I never caught any really big fish, but I had a really large average fish. Those fish eluded me today.
"I had the area I've been fishing pretty much to myself all week. I'd fish a ½-ounce Strike King Structure jig on the rocks and a ½-ounce Strike King flipping jig fishing matted grass."