Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 04/15/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos courtesy of FLW Outdoors Communications

Rogers, AR - The first three days of the FLW Tour Major stop on Arkansas’ Beaver Lake saw a new angler at the top of the leaderboard each day.  On Thursday, Drew Benton took the lead with 18-1.  On Friday, Brandon Coulter held the lead, and on Saturday, it was Jason Christie’s turn at the top.  

Christie didn’t relinquish his lead on Sunday, bringing in a limit of Beaver Lake bass weighing 14-1 to amass a total weight of 61-8 and outdistance 2nd place finisher Shawn Murphy by over 3-pounds.  The win was Christie’s second FLW Tour Major title in three years, the first coming on Lake Hartwell in 2011.  

3rd place went to Anthony Gagliardi, who brought in 15-8 on Sunday for a four-day total weight of 57-1, and Barry Wilson ended the tournament in 4th place with bookend limits surpassing the 16-pound mark.   

Arkansas’ Scott Suggs rounded out the top five with a total weight of 55-5.  

The 5 Day Four Facts:
Tournament:  FLW Tour Major (April 11-14)
Location:  Beaver Lake – Rogers, Arkansas 
Winner:  Jason Christie (10-5, 16-14, 20-4, 14-1: 61-8)
2nd place weight: Shawn Murphy (58-3)
Total weight separating 1st place from 10th place: 15-4

1st Place: Jason Christie (10-5, 16-14, 20-4, 14-1: 61-8)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I’m going to break the trend and say that my expectations were actually pretty high going into the day because of the schools of fish that I found yesterday.  By about 8:00 this morning, my expectations were still high but my confidence was really low.  I went from having a place where I thought I could catch 12- to 13-pounds pretty quickly to not catching anything.  It was a pretty rough start this morning.”  

How would you summarize your day as a whole?
“After I caught them yesterday, I just went fishing and I caught one here and one there and found some other places that were productive.  Today, I ended up running to those same places after the schools of bass that I had been fishing went away. 

“I was running down the river and I just saw a place where I thought there should be a fish, so I pulled over and caught a 3 ½-pounder, 4 1/2-pounder, and another keeper.  Overall, that was the turning point in the day today.”

What was the main key to your success this week on Beaver Lake?
“I was somewhere around 60th place after the first day of the tournament, and I really had to keep my head down and work hard to get back in this thing.  The tournaments that we fish aren’t one day events, and you have to learn how to bounce back.  I just had to keep reminding myself that it isn’t over until it’s over.” 

What was your primary pattern and baits this week?
“I was fishing staging areas with a Yumbrella Flash Mob Jr.  During the tournament, I fished the upper half of the lake. I threw a couple of different plastics on the Yumbrella Flash Mob Jr. I threw the Money Minnow when I was fishing shallow water, and I also used a 4” swimbait."  

How would you assess your decision making and execution over the course of the week? 
“My execution was perfect because I didn’t lose a fish all week.  My decision making was obviously pretty good because I won the tournament, so I’ll take it.  It’s easy to say that your decision making is good when you win, but I could have made the same decisions and gotten beat today.  Whenever you win, you’re not going to critique yourself too much.”  

Talk about how you feel mentally and physically at the midway point in the FLW Tour season:
“The more I fish, the better I feel about fishing. I may not say that at the end of the year, but when you’re thinking about fishing all the time you get in a groove.  I’m ready and excited for the rest of the season, but we’re just halfway through it.  I haven’t forgotten about what happened last year where I was leading the AOY halfway through the year and then ended up having to get an 11th place finish in the final tournament of the year just to make the Forrest Wood Cup, so anything can happen.”  

1st: Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla., 20 bass, 61-8, $126,500
2nd: Shawn Murphy, Nicholasville, Ky., 15 bass, 58-1, $35,000
3rd: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 20 bass, 57-1, $30,000
4th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 20 bass, 56-4, $25,000
5th: Folgers pro Scott Suggs, Bryant, Ark., 20 bass, 55-5, $20,000
6th: Walmart pro Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 20 bass, 53-5, $17,000
7th: Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., 20 bass, 52-14, $16,000
8th: Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla., 20 bass, 52-13, $15,000
9th: Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 20 bass, 49-15, $14,000
10th: Jim Dillard, West Monroe, La., 20 bass, 46-4, $13,000