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Jason Christie’s Bassmaster Classic Lessons

Learn how the 2022 Bassmaster Classic champion’s past Classic experience impacts his approach to this year’s world championship at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees.

Jason Christie, Bassmaser Classic ChampionJason Christie, Bassmaser Classic Champion
Bassmaster Photos.


In a way, winning the 2022 Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell relieved pressure from Jason Christie. In a way it added more.

“I really want to win another one,” said Christie, who experienced the life-changing effect of being the Bassmaster Classic champion and said there’s really no way to describe the impact and how it placed him in the center of the bass fishing universe. Much of that ends when there is a new Classic champion, though – and he wants to experience it again. Plus, he knows those benefits would hit an entirely new level if he could join the select list of multi-time Bassmaster Classic champions.

Beyond the practical benefits, Jason Christie is a competitor, and tasting victory in the sport’s biggest event only increased that appetite.

Classic History

Jason Christie, 2022 Bassmaster Classic ChampionJason Christie, 2022 Bassmaster Classic Champion

When the Classic blasts off at Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in a little more than a week, Christie will be competing in his 10th Bassmaster Classic. In addition to winning in 2022, Christie has had second- and third-place Classic finishes.

Christie also fished both other Classics that were held at Grand Lake, including his first Classic in 2013, which resulted in a seventh-place finish. His second Grand Lake Classic in 2016 was his second-place finish. He led going into the final day, when fellow Oklahoma angler Edwin Evers put together an extraordinary day and brought 29 pounds, 3 ounces to the scales to overtake Christie.

Christie has no regrets from that Classic. He had a great pattern – fishing a single Colorado BOOYAH spinnerbait with a YUM Pulse trailer to help the bass find his bait in the muddy water – and nothing lingers in his mind that he wished he’d done differently.

“I just got beat,” he said.

The 2018 Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell was a different story. Again, he led going into the final day. He questioned whether his pattern would produce enough, though, and decided Sunday morning to go a different direction in terms of his location and his approach. The change didn’t pay off. He arrived at the scales on the final day, one fish shy of a limit, and still finished only 1 pound, 2 ounces off the winning weight.

“I’m convinced that if I’d been my own stubborn self and done the same thing I’d been doing, I would have won,” he said, noting that the hardest part is not that he made the wrong decision but that it went against his normal way. He tends to stick with something relentlessly, which sometimes results in bad finished but also has yielded some of his best performances.

“If I’ve learned anything, it’s to stay stubborn,” he said. “If I’d have done that – even if it hadn’t worked out – I would have slept better.”

Center of Attention

2022 Bassmaster Classic, Lake Hartwell, Jason Christie2022 Bassmaster Classic, Lake Hartwell, Jason Christie

Competing in the Bassmaster Classic brings a unique set of challenges for anglers because of the massive amount of media and fan attention and the grandness of the total event. A packed agenda for anglers and ongoing barrage of media inquiries crunch preparation time all the way to the day 1 take-off and between fishing days, and the number of spectator, media and official boats on the water can complicate fishing – especially for favorites and for anglers who are squarely in the mix after day 1. Even if everyone following an angler remain a respectful distance away, some boats might be right on top of the next spot that angler otherwise would have fished or in the best path of travel to move efficiently.

No other angler will attract more attention than Jason Christie. Along with living about 65 miles from Grand and being the most local angler in the field, Christie achieved some of his best early-career success on Grand Lake. Add his already-noted Classic history on the same waters, repeated evidence that he knows how to win, and the fact that he is already a Bassmaster Classic champion, and it’s easy to see why he is the most popular pick to win the 2024 Bassmaster Classic.

Bassmaster annually breaks down odds of every competitor winning the Classic. Author Bryan Brasher gave Christie 3/2 odds of winning and noted that makes Christie the most overwhelming favorite in Brasher’s nine years of setting odds for the Bassmaster Classic.

Every media member will want to know Christie’s thoughts on everything, from how the lake will fish, to how he plans to approach it, to how he will deal with the added pressure, and Christie almost certainly will have a live camera in his boat on day 1 and the largest flotilla around him.

Christie is accustomed to attention, though. Last year he competed as the reigning champion, and the previous year, when he won at Hartwell, he began the tournament with the pressure of unfinished business from those two close calls, including one on the same body of water. He was likewise in the spotlight as a top local angler at both previous Grand Lake Classics.

“It means a lot to have those expectations. I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Christie said. “Noone puts more pressure on me than myself.”

Classic Approach

Jason ChristieJason Christie

Competing in his 10th Bassmaster Classic and having a victory under his belt certainly gives Christie an advantage of experience over much of the field. He has learned to manage the media and spectators, the pressure of the situation, and his fish and how to devise strategies for winning.

Christie considers Day 1 the most important and says you must fish well enough to stay in the race. The Day 2 goal is to move into a position to win. Day 3 is about leaving nothing out there and closing the deal.

Christie downplays the home lake advantage on Grand in today’s bass fishing world for a couple of reasons. First, Grand Lake has so much history with major tournaments, with coverage and camera in winning boats, that he contends that there are no secrets. As evidence of how much he believes that, when he visited the lake during the open pre-practice period, he removed all his waypoints to prioritize what he saw over his own history. In addition, forward facing sonar allows top anglers to learn a lake and find potential winning fish exceptionally fast.

How Grand Lake will fish and what patterns will prevail remain anyone’s guess in Christie’s mind because of the variables of weather and lake conditions that could still change dramatically. What he does know is that with the draw of a second Bassmaster Classic champion title, he wants to win more than ever before.

For more of Jason Christie’ thoughts, check out Predicting Winning Patterns for the Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake.