LAKE FORK, Texas – As MLF pro Jason Christie pulled his Ranger out of the water, he felt extremely satisfied with his day. How could you not be after catching 17 bass for 68 pounds, 12 ounces on Day 1 of the Bass Pro Tour General Tire Stage Three Presented by TrueTimber?
But as I spoke to Christie to get his thoughts on the day, I unknowingly broke a little news to him as well.
The Oklahoma pro set the MLF record for biggest bass ever caught in a competition with a 10-pound, 4-ounce bug-eyed monster. You can imagine the surprise on Christie’s face when he learned that bit of information.
“I thought you were going to tell me I set the MLF record for most consecutive days without a scorable bass,” Christie said through a chuckle.
Christie went through his first three days of competition in the 2020 Bass Pro Tour season without a scorable bass, so you can understand where his head was at. However, today he smashed records on a day that saw countless 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and even 9-pounders hit SCORETRACKER®.
“It’s awesome to have that record,” Christie said with a smile. “I don’t think it’s going to last more than a day or two with the way this place is setting up. The big fish are coming.”
That last statement by Christie is an ominous one. If the “big fish” are just now making their way to spawn, then was Christie’s 10-pounder… little?
“The conditions are perfect and we are hitting this place at the perfect time of the year,” Christie said. “Whether it’s the moon, the water temperature, or the lake level, it’s all perfect. I wouldn’t be surprised to see another couple of 10-pounders caught this week.”
Christie found his 10-pounder flipping a YUM Christie Craw in Period 2. That technique also found him a 5-14 and a 4-9 later on. But the icing on the cake that was his Day 1 was yet to come.
In Period 3, Christie made the switch to a Booyah Pad Crasher frog to work around some gator grass. He found success with a few 2-pounders, but had yet to find a massive spawning female that he knew was lurking somewhere close. With 30 minutes left in the day, Christie was twitching his frog, then another big bite.
“I saw my frog go under, I set the hook, and all hell broke loose,” Christie recalled.
The fish on the other end of the line was a 9-pound, 2-ounce Lake Fork freak-of-nature that left Christie stunned and speechless. The Garmin pro is no stranger to Lake Fork. He knows what lurks in the stump-infested waters from experience in a tournament a few years ago in the Toyota Texas Bass Classic.
“I had a five-fish limit of 39 pounds with a 10-2 and a 10-1,” Christie recalled. “I know what’s in here and what this lake is capable of when you hit it at the right time like we are now.”
Christie will enter Qualifying Day 3 in third place with 68-12, and 16-3 behind the leader, Mark Daniels, Jr. The Falcon Rods pro is prepared for a slugfest.
“This isn’t going to be a marathon, it’s going to be a sprint,” Christie predicted about qualifying for the Top 20 in Group A. “The hardest part is that you don’t know when to stop trying to catch them. It’s going to take so much weight to advance to the next round. I have 68 pounds and I don’t feel safe. Hopefully, I can keep it up on Sunday.”