DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

CHRISTIE DOMINATES ARKANSAS

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 04/22/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush

Bull Shoals, AR – When you’re hot, you’re hot.  For the second time in as many weeks, Jason Christie was the last man standing in the Ozark Mountains.  On the heels of an FLW Tour Major victory last week at Beaver Lake, the Oklahoma pro turned in a dominating performance on the final day of the Elite Series tournament on Arkansas’ Bull Shoals lake on Monday to claim the first Elite Series title of his career.  

Entering the final day in 11th place, 5-6 behind Day Three leader Casey Scanlon, Christie engineered a historic charge on Monday.  His 18-pound final day limit was the heaviest of the tournament and vaulted him to victory with a total weight of 56-8.  He edged 2nd place finisher, Fred Roumbanis, by just over a pound.  

The Elite Series win, coupled with the FLW Tour Major victory last week on nearby Beaver Lake, pushed Christie’s tournament winnings over the past two weeks in Arkansas to over $200,000.  

Fellow Oklahoman, Fred Roumbanis, finished the tournament in 2nd place after weighing a limit of Bull Shoals bass for 14-15 on Monday for a final weight of 55-6. 

Day Three leader, Casey Scanlon, was unable to connect with the quality bite that had kept him near the top of the leaderboard throughout the week.  With just 10-13 on Monday, his slipped to 3rd place and finished with a total weight of 54-11.  

The 5 Final Day Facts from Bull Shoals Lake:   
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (April 18-22)
Location:  Bull Shoals Lake – Bull Shoals, Arkansas 
Winner:  Jason Christie (14-15, 11-8, 12-1, 18-0: 56-8)
2nd place weight: Fred Roumbanis (55-6)
Total weight separating 1st place from 12nd place: 8-5

1st Place: Jason Christie (14-15, 11-8, 12-1, 18-0: 56-8)
What was your primary pattern throughout the week? 
“I would have to say that the schooling fish that I found today turned out to be the winning pattern. The area was a straightaway section of bank about three-quarters of the way in the back of a creek.  My boat was sitting in over 50 feet of water.  

“I was going from bush pocket to bush pocket today flipping, and the fish just came up schooling.  It lasted about two hours and I probably had 15 strikes over that time period.  The only way that you could catch them was if you made a cast to a fish that had just surfaced.  If your bait hadn’t landed in the area within four seconds after they blew up, you weren’t going to catch them.  

“The problem was that they were blowing up in a giant area.  The only ones that I could really catch were the ones that surfaced close to the boat.  I stayed in that area the rest of the day because I knew that I needed a 3 ½-pounder to cull and I hadn’t really caught fish that big anywhere else on the lake.

“You can’t take away from the other patterns that I ran this week, because that’s what got me here.   I cranked on the first day, threw a Carolina-rig on the second day, and flipped bushes on the third day. I really just tried to fish the conditions.

“I keyed on one creek every day, but I fished different parts of it every day.  It was in a part of the lake where the dirty water met the clear water.  I didn’t want to fish the dirty water, and I didn’t want to fish water that was too clear.  I made a point to stay where it was mixing.”    

What were your primary baits and tactics?
“On the first day when it was windy and overcast, I primarily cranked a crawdad colored Bomber 6A crankbait.  I tried cranking for a couple hours on the second day, but it just wasn’t happening.  I made the decision to fish the way that I caught them during practice, so I started Carolina-rigging with a YUM lizard. 

“On the third day, I started out Carolina-rigging in two or three places, but I knew that the water was coming up and I’d seen a couple pockets where the bushes were flooded.  I went in there and caught a limit flipping a YUM Wooly Hawg in green pumpkin that I Texas-rigged with a ½-ounce weight and 5/0 Trokar hook. 

“Today, I caught my schooling fish on a clear Heddon One Knocker Spook.”   

Was there a key moment for you during the tournament?
“Aside from rounding the corner today and seeing five acres of fish busting, I’d have to say that it was realizing and understanding that the fish are not as far along (in the spawn) as we think that they are.  A lot of the males were pulling up, but the females were still in the eating mode.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“The most important decisions that I made this week was on the first day. I hadn’t caught a fish during practice cranking or really on any bait other than dragging a Carolina-rig.  I just decided that if the wind was going to blow, I was going to go fishing and crank.  I caught three on my first stop, and making that decision on the first day and going away from what I had done in practice turned out to be key for me.”

2nd Place: Fred Roumbanis (14-0, 14-0 ,12-7, 14-15: 55-6)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“The biggest key all week was finding just a little bit of wind but not too much wind.  I had zero key areas on the lake this week.  It was pretty obvious that there are fish everywhere on this lake, and I confirmed that when I slowed down and threw a little worm. 

“The key for me was to pay attention to the direction of the wind, and when I pulled up to a spot, I was always looking for the next spot because it seemed like the wind was always changing.  I really made a point not to be lazy out there this week.  It took a lot of hard work and a lot of stops each day.”  

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“My primary pattern was just running windy areas where there was direct wind on a bank or a point.  If it was along a bank, I looked for something that stuck out a little bit like chunk rock.  I keyed on 12 to 22 feet of water all week.

“I fished the FLW Tour event at Beaver Lake last week leading up to this tournament and that really helped me key in on the right depth that I needed to be targeting.  I started practicing in that 18 foot range right off the bat, and that was really important.”

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“I used a couple different baits this week.  When I was finesse fishing, I used a Picasso shaky head with an El Grande Lures Hatch Match Stick in green pumpkin.  I also threw a 5” Optimum BLT swimbait quite a bit, especially today.  When I threw the swimbait, I used an Ardent Edge 6.5:1 reel because I needed to make sure that the swimbait was getting deep enough and stayed down during the retrieve.”

3rd Place: Casey Scanlon (14-13, 15-5, 13-12, 10-13: 54-11)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“I keyed in on the second day of the tournament on the types of banks that the fish were using, and that really proved to be important to my success.”

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“My areas were basically channels and bluffs that tapered down with a gravel bottom.  Most of the areas also had spawning pockets nearby.  My main spot this week  was an island where the smallmouth were moving up to spawn.  There was a channel running along one side of it and there was a couple hundred yards of flat gravel with some deep gravel nearby.  I’m willing to bet that the smallmouth were spawning, because I was catching a lot of males and females.” 

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“I used a Luck E Strike tube in a mustard color.  I used a Luck E Strike 3/8-ounce and ½-ounce round jighead.  The weight was important because the fish wanted the bait falling fast.  I started the tournament fishing with lighter weights and progressively went heavier as the tournament progressed.  Even when it was calm, the heavier tube got a reaction bite. 

“I picked up a floating worm a little bit on the last two days where I fished for cruisers that were around  bushes.  I fished it for two hours today and caught two of the keepers that I weighed-in.” 

4th Place: Cliff Prince (14-3, 14-1, 14-11, 11-2: 54-1)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“I ran new water on the first day of the tournament once I caught  a limit, and that proved to be the difference for me during the rest of the tournament.  Each day, I’d catch an early limit and then run new water because the fish were steadily moving.  They moved when the front blew through, and the moved again once things started warming up again.”

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“I was concentrating on main points in pockets that had steep banks on each side.  At times, my boat was sitting in 60 feet of water.”

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“It really didn’t seem to matter what I used.  During the tournament, I threw a shaky head, Carolina-rig, and a jig.  If I had to pick one bait that did the most damage, I’d say that it was a 6” YUM Mightee Worm in green pumpkin.” 

5th Place: Britt Myers (13-5, 14-6, 12-11, 13-9: 53-15)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“The key to my success was fishing light line in deep water around 25 feet.  The water was gin clear in this end of the lake and the fish were out there bedding.”

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“It took me a while to realize it, but the fish were bedding because when it got calm you could see them rolling around down there in the deep water.  A lot of the time I made multiple casts in deep water and kept getting bit and would finally hook up with a good fish.  When I was reeling it in, I’d see either the female or the make following up the fish that I’d hooked. 

“The primary pattern I guess was fishing for spawning bass in 18 to 25 feet of water.  I used my electronics to find underwater points that were kind of flat on the end.”

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“War Eagle shaky head with a Berkley Bottom Hopper worm in green pumpkin.” 

6th Place: Terry Scroggins (53-11)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“I went way uplake the first day of practice and caught some fish, but it wasn’t the quality that I knew that I’d need.  I went to the bottom end of the lake where the water was extremely clear and I had around 100 bites on the second day of practice.   I stayed down there the whole week because hardly any of the other anglers were in the area.”

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“It really didn’t matter if you were fishing points or just going down the  bank.  I was keying on the secondary break where the bank sloped down in the water and then broke off into deeper water.  A lot of the other guys were looking at fish, and I was fishing where most of the other guys were sitting in 15 to 20 feet of water.”  

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“I used a YUM Mightee Worm in green pumpkin color on a shaky head.” 

7th Place: Cliff Pace (53-5)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“I fished the conditions every single day.  The first day, I caught all my fish fishing fast and fishing moving baits.  I really had to slow down on the second day, and then I sped up on the third day and fished slow on the final day today.  The key was not being hardheaded and not trying to force anything each day.” 

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“I was fishing small points that were in the backs of bays and creeks.  That’s where the fish were all week and the only thing that changed was the way that I had to fish to get them to bite. I fished the bottom third of the lake for the duration of the tournament.” 

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“I used a 3/16-ounce shaky head with a V&M Chop Stick, and I also threw a Jackall Glossy Shad, which is a new swimbait with a small profile. The colors were perfect for really clear water.”  

8th Place: Brian Snowden (52-15)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“Practicing late on the last day of practice I found some fish schooling that I was able to catch on a Fluke.  Experience also played a role this week when it got cold.  I switched up in the morning and threw a Carolina-rig and then switched to a Fluke when the water warmed up.” 

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“I keyed on staging areas and secondary points that had a mix of chunk rock and gravel.” 

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“I used a Green Albino Fluke, and I used a Baby Brush Hog in watermelon candy on the Carolina-rig. I also used a Zoom Fat Albert grub some and a black hair jig that I tipped with a chunk.  I just mixed it up depending on the area.”    

9th Place: Jonathon VanDam (52-11)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“The big key was fishing a little bit deeper.  You could catch a lot of fish up shallow but they were mostly small fish.  When I got out a little deeper, it seemed like I was able to connect with a little bit better quality.” 

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“I was looking for spawning areas with chunk rock and 45 degree banks in 20 to 25 feet of water.  The majority of my fish this week were smallmouth, but I caught all three species and probably caught 20 keepers each of the first two days.  Yesterday I caught 10 keepers, and I only had five keepers today.” 

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“I was throwing a 3/8-ounce finesse jig with a Strike King Baby Rage Craw in peanut butter and jelly color. 

10th Place: Chris Zaldain (51-1)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“The biggest key was practicing for the cold front that came through.  During practice, I kept a close eye on the Weather Channel and practiced deep for all three days of practice.  That carried me through the entire tournament.

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“I primarily targeted smallmouth in 20 to 25 feet of water and fished a tube low and low. It seemed like the key areas were bluffs that turned into gravel points.  I knew that smallmouth would be a player, but I started going shallower and flipped once the water came up on the weekend. ”

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“I used a 3 ½-inch Strike King Coffee Tube in Green Pumpkin  on a ¼-ounce jig head and a Strike King Rodent.”

11th Place: Greg Hackney (50-10)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“I stayed in the clearest water in the lake where there were less people.  The size of the fish seemed to be the same, but I only saw three boats on the first day of practice, and that’s something that I really liked. 

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
“I found three different deals that were going on.  These are my favorite type of lake to fish because you can just run a pattern and go for miles.  I got away from the smallmouth after the first day because you had to go through a lot of them to get the size.  I ended up running ledges in the backs of pockets.  I just ran from pocket to pocket.”

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“I used a 5” Strike King shaky head in watermelon color. I changed to a Strike King Shim E Stick on Saturday and caught them just as well and was able to fish the bait faster and cover more water.”   

12th Place: Casey Ashley (48-3)
What was the biggest key to success this week on Bull Shoals?
“It had to be practice.  I knew that we were going to have a big cold front but the fish were coming to the banks during practice. 

What was your primary pattern throughout the week?
I just spent as much time as I could flying down the bank on the trolling motor looking for cruisers.  I just took those pockets during the tournament and made long casts to catch them.  It was a slow, painful grind each morning because I couldn’t see.  I’d target the isolated rocks once the sun got up.” 

What were your primary baits and tactics? 
“It was a Mountain Man Custom Lures shaky head.  There’s a hook in that shaky head that won’t quit and I’ve never lost a big one on it.” 

FINAL STANDINGS

 

PlaceAnglerDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Total Total Weight
FishWeightFishWeightFishWeightFishWeight
     1 Jason Christie 5 14-15 5 11- 8 5 12- 1 5 18- 0 20 56- 8
    2        Fred Roumbanis 5 14- 0 5 14- 0 5 12- 7 5 14-15 20 55- 6
    3        Casey Scanlon 5 14-13 5 15- 5 5 13-12 5 10-13 20 54-11
    4        Cliff Prince 5 14- 3 5 14- 1 5 14-11 5 11- 2 20 54- 1
    5        Britt Myers 5 13- 5 5 14- 6 5 12-11 5 13- 9 20 53-15
    6        Terry Scroggins 5 14-14 5 14-11 5 13- 9 5 10- 9 20 53-11
    7        Cliff Pace 5 15- 2 5 14-12 5 12- 1 5 11- 6 20 53- 5
    8        Brian Snowden 5 14- 8 5 13- 5 5 11-12 5 13- 6 20 52-15
    9        Jonathon VanDam 5 12-12 5 13- 6 5 14- 5 5 12- 4 20 52-11
    10        Chris Zaldain 5 14- 0 5 13- 9 5 10- 5 5 13- 3 20 51- 1
    11        Greg Hackney 5 13-11 5 12- 0 5 13- 1 5 11-14 20 50-10
    12        Casey Ashley 5 13-13 5 12- 6 5 13- 5 5 8-11 20 48- 3