Jason Christie of Park Hill, Oklahoma, who won the B.A.S.S. Open out of Detroit this weekend, earned a spot in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, which will be held on Oklahoma's Grand Lake. B.A.S.S. photo by David Hunter Jones.
Of the seven BFL tournaments that Oklahoma's Jason Christie won before he began touring nationally as an FLW pro, five of them were on Oklahoma's Grand Lake, which will be the venue for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. By winning this weekend's B.A.S.S. Northern Open in Detroit, Christie qualified for the "home waters" Classic.
Christie, who worked grass patches at the mouth of the Detroit River with YUM 2ubes and Salleemanders throughout the Detroit event and brought 20-plus pounds to the scales all three days, has only fished half a dozen B.A.S.S. events, so his name is not super well known on the B.A.S.S. side. In only five years as an FLW pro, though, he has become known as one of the top competitors on the tour.
Oklahoma tournament anglers at all levels know Christie's name very well, and B.A.S.S. pros from all areas who anticipate making the Classic almost certainly have taken note of Christie's Classic qualification. Every qualifier brings unique strengths to a Classic field, and various anglers will be worthy of watching closely for one reason or another. Christie, though, clearly will be a popular pick as favorite to win the 2013 Bassmaster Classic.
Of course, Christie can't dwell too much on what he'll do in the Bassmaster Classic a half a year from now. In less then three weeks he will be competing in his fourth consecutive Forrest Wood Cup, and the venue is Lake Lanier, which is only about 50 miles from Lake Hartwell, where he notched his first FLW Tour win last year.