Christie retains lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Hartwell presented by Chevy - Major League Fishing

Christie retains lead at Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Hartwell presented by Chevy

California’s Wright wins co-angler title, $25,000, in third event of season
March 26, 2011 • MLF • Archives

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Diet Mountain Dew pro Jason Christie of Park Hill, Okla., caught a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to capture the lead at the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Hartwell presented by Chevy and advanced to the top 10 as the crucial No. 1 seed. With a three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 55-14, he now holds a 6-pound, 1-ounce lead in the tournament going into the final day of competition.

“They’re there … I just have to make them bite,” Christie said. “I think I’ve figured it out. Hopefully this dirty water will make it where I can catch them.

“The water has gotten really clear,” Christie added. “I thought the lake had come down a lot, but it’s actually just clearing up to where I can see the bottom, and I don’t like that. They can see my bait too good. I can’t tell you how many I had wake my bait … just running out of the bed after my bait.”

Christie said he employed the same technique to catch his limit on the third day of competition that he used the first two days – a 1/2-ounce white BOOYAH spinnerbait with a single gold Colorado blade. Christie said he doesn’t plan on changing tactics.

“I’m going to go down swinging doing the same thing tomorrow,” Christie said.

Christie said the creeks are flowing muddy water into the lake after Saturday’s rain, and he thinks that could play right into his hands for his first FLW Tour win.

“Hopefully it’s going to wash dirty water into my area,” Christie said. “And if it does, it’s going to be fun.”

Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., advanced to the final round of 10 pros in the No. 2 spot with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 49-13.

“It was a long, slow day, but I ground it out and ended up with a decent sack,” Monsoor said. “I’m going to go out and grind it out again tomorrow. I’m happy with what I’m doing.”

Monsoor said he targeted bass with a jerkbait on “specific” types of grass on the lake during the first three days of competition and believes his method will continue to be productive on the last day.

“Fish are slowly moving up as the water goes up, and there’s a few more fish every day,” Monsoor said. “It’s been beat up pretty bad. But today I had a little more than yesterday. Each day I try to find another little spot here or there.”

Despite his 6-pound deficit, Monsoor remained optimistic about his chance for his first FLW Tour victory.

“It all depends on if I do good and if (Christie) does bad,” Monsoor said. “I guess we’ll just have to see tomorrow.”

Rounding out the top 10 pros and advancing to the final day of competition are:

3rd: Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 15 bass, 45-9

4th: Chevy pro Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., 15 bass, 45-6

5th: National Guard pro Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 15 bass, 45-3

6th: Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 15 bass, 45-0

7th: AMP Energy pro Stetson Blaylock, Benton, Ark., 14 bass, 43-5

8th: Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes pro Dave Lefebre, Union City, Pa., 15 bass, 42-6

9th: Chevy pro Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 15 bass, 42-5

10th: Joe Thomas, Milford, Ohio, 15 bass, 42-3

Finishing in 11th through 20th are:

11th: Mike Reynolds, Modesto, Calif., 15 bass, 42-0, $12,500

12th: Prevacid 24HR pro Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., 15 bass, 41-9, $12,500

13th: Straight Talk pro J.T. Kenney, Palm Bay, Fla., 15 bass, 41-8, $12,500

14th: Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., 15 bass, 41-3, $12,500

15th: Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 40-14, $12,500

16th: Walmart pro Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 15 bass, 40-4, $12,000

17th: Ishama Monroe, Hughson, Calif., 14 bass, 38-10, $12,000

18th: National Guard pro Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 37-0, $12,000

19th: Troy Morrow, Toccoa, Ga., 15 bass, 36-8, $12,000

20th: Chevy pro Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla., 10 bass, 29-7, $12,000

Overall there were 93 bass weighing 215 pounds, 1 ounce caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 17 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. This year’s Cup will be in Hot Springs, Ark., Aug. 11-14 on Lake Ouachita where pros will compete for a top prize of $600,000 – the sport’s biggest award. Pro anglers are also vying for the prestigious 2011 Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year presented by Kellogg’s that will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors with the winner receiving $100,000 for their accomplishment.

J.R. Wright of Truckee, Calif., won the Co-angler Division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 40 pounds, 9 ounces followed by Moo Bae of West Friendship, Md., in second place with 14 bass weighing 33-0 worth $7,500.

“I fished three different styles this week,” Wright said. “The first day I was in stained water. I threw a drop-shot (rig) with a Jackall Flick Shake … and I just got the right bites. Today I weighed in all largemouth; I had been weighing in spotted bass.

“Today I fished with Jason Christie and had plenty of room,” Wright added. “I caught them on a spinnerbait and a drop-shot (rig) that I throw down on the (California) Delta. It has a 6-inch leader in about a foot of water. So every day it changed.”

Rounding out the top 10 co-anglers are:

3rd: Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., 14 bass, 30-14, $5,000

4th: Jeff Sprague, Forney, Texas, 15 bass, 30-11, $4,000

5th: Andy Scholz, Reno, Nev., 14 bass, 29-14, $3,250

6th: Tommy Milligan, Seneca, S.C., 15 bass, 29-12, $2,500

7th: Mike Helton, Jeffersonville, Ind., 14 bass, 29-5, $2,000

8th: Nick Hensley, Cumming, Ga., 15 bass, 27-11, $1,800

9th: Doug Caldwell, Kane, Pa., 15 bass, 27-8, $1,700

10th: Spencer Shuffield, Bismarck, Ark., 11 bass, 26-4, $1,600

Overall there were 67 bass weighing 118 pounds, 1 ounce caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included 10 five-bass limits.

Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup. The Walmart FLW Tour Co-angler of the Year presented by Kellogg’s will be determined by the most points accumulated over the six Tour Majors and the winner will receive a new Ranger 198VX with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.

The top 10 pros will take off at 7 Sunday morning from Portman Shoals Marina located at 1629 Marina Rd. in Anderson, S.C. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Carolina First Center located at One Exposition Drive in Greenville beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Carolina First Center on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. The Expo provides the opportunity for fans to interact with professional anglers, ride Ranger boat simulators, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. The first 300 kids 14 and under to the Expo will receive a free rod & reel courtesy of The Greenville News. Plus, one lucky fan will win a Can-Am ATV compliments of 92.5 WESC following the final weigh-in. You must be present to win. All activities are free and open to the public.

Coverage of the Lake Hartwell tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on VERSUS. “FLW Outdoors” will air May 8 from 1 to 2 p.m. ET. “FLW Outdoors,” hosted by Jason Harper and Laura Schara, is broadcast to more than 500 million households worldwide.

For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow FLW Outdoors on Facebook at and on Twitter at .

About FLW Outdoors

FLW Outdoors is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world offering anglers worldwide the opportunity to compete for millions over the course of 191 tournaments in 2011. FLW Outdoors has taken fishing mainstream with the world’s richest fantasy sports game, FLW Fantasy Fishing presented by Straight Talk, where competitors can play for free as well as sign up for Player’s Advantage to gain an edge. For more information about FLW Outdoors and FLW Fantasy Fishing, browse or visit