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The Frabill WITNESS Weigh Net is the first all-in-one fish net, scale and ruler for fresh and saltwater anglers.
GREENVILLE, S.C. — For years, Jason Christie has had to live with the crushing weight of leading pro fishing’s biggest event twice on the final day, only to fall short.
But no more.
The 48-year-old pro from Park Hill, Okla., led once again going into Championship Sunday and this time sealed the deal in dramatic fashion with a final-day limit of 17 pounds, 9 ounces that made him the champion of the 52nd Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk at Lake Hartwell. His three-day total of 54-0 was only 5 ounces better than that of second-place finisher Kyle Welcher, who shared the lead with Christie going into the final day.
The event drew a Classic-record 154,932 fans.
“Honestly, when I was sitting at the door waiting to come in and weigh my fish, I thought I had given it away again,” said Christie, who pushed his career earnings with B.A.S.S. to $1,668,011 with the $300,000 victory. “Stetson Blaylock had just weighed in a big bag, and Kyle Welcher used to be a professional poker player, so I knew he had more than what he was saying.
“I knew it was gonna be close. I honestly thought there could be a tie, and that was scary for me because I didn’t have any fish left.”
Christie certainly found plenty of fish throughout the week as he alternated between deep- and shallow-water patterns that were about as different as two techniques can be.
Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., and Kyle Welcher of Opelika, Ala., are tied with 36 pounds, 7 ounces after Day 2 of the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk. Photos by Chris Brown and Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.
GREENVILLE, S.C. — With one day remaining, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk could not be much tighter, especially at the top of the standings.
Veteran Oklahoma pro Jason Christie and third-year Alabama pro Kyle Welcher moved into a tie for the lead during Saturday’s second round on Lake Hartwell, and only 7 pounds separate first place and 25th place as the anglers prepare for Championship Sunday.
Christie pushed his total to 36-7 by adding 19-6 on Saturday to the 17-1 he caught Friday. Welcher reached the mark by adding 17-10 to his Day 1 catch of 18-13.
After leading two previous Classics on the final day — only to fall just short of a victory — Christie joked that he was almost happy not having the lead to himself.
“That’s the best you can have if you feel like leading is bad luck,” he said, laughing. “All week, I’ve just felt like it’s my time. If it’s not, I don’t know when it is. I’m getting older and the fish are getting harder and these young guys are getting better.
“So, if this is not my time, I don’t know if it ever will be.”