Photos by L. Ross showing Jason Christie at weigh-in on Sunday
The last two days of the FLW event at Lake Hartwell were cold and rainy, but the fish continued to co-operate. Jason Christie led the first three days and a good last day would bag him his first win on the FLW tour. He had been in similar circumstances twice before, only to lose on the last day.
Three times was good luck for him and the limit of five fish weighing 14 pounds, 13 ounces, was sufficient to seal his victory. He ended the tournament with a total of 70 pounds, 11 ounces. Christie struggled early on the last day as he fished the same spot that had been so good to him the previous three days. He was getting anxious by 10:00 a.m., and preparing to move to another location when he caught his first fish of the day, which was a good keeper. That was the turning point and he resolved to stay put. It proved to be a good tactic and he won the tournament by ten pounds over second place Brent Ehrler who finished with 60 pounds, 11 ounces.
Christie took most of his fish on a BOOYAH spinnerbait and the rest on a YUM F2 Mighty Bug. He was fishing in Beaver Creek most of the tournament. He said, “This goes to the people who support me. They’re sitting there watching me right now – my parents, kids, wife and uncles.” He was ecstatic holding the $125,000 check and the trophy aloft as the crowd cheered.
Tom Mansoor was in second place at the end of Saturday’s competition, but had a disappointing day on Sunday with only one fish weighing less than two pounds. He said that everywhere he went he caught stripers all day. He said that he couldn’t understand it.
Brent Ehrler caught 15 pounds, 8 ounces, on the last day and said that he may have discovered a new technique. He called it the “trolling motor pattern”. He said that every time he ran the trolling motor, he could see fish approaching on the sonar.
J. R. Wright won the co-angler division first prize of $25,000 on Saturday with a total of 15 bass weighing 40 pound, 9 ounces.
No one should doubt the popularity of bass fishing. The Greenville First Center was standing room only as the final weigh-in was in progress.
Several of the anglers commented on the quality of the fishing in Lake Hartwell and hoped that a return tournament would be scheduled here again next year.