By BassFan Staff
All Jason Christie wanted to do Sunday was avoid a repeat of 2009. He was the day-3 leader at Beaver Lake then, but only brought in three fish on the final day and slipped to 4th in the final standings.
Today he more than made up for it as he popped a 14-01 limit to close out his second career FLW Tour victory, finishing with a whopping 61-08. While it was nowhere near his 20-pound effort from day 3 that catapulted him to the front, his stringer came courtesy of the umbrella rig and was more than enough to fend off Shawn Murphy, who also caught 14-01 today and settled for 2nd with 58-03.
The win makes three for Christie in the last 10 months counting his two Bassmaster Open victories from 2012 and surely, he'd love to head home to eastern Oklahoma to relax and enjoy his latest triumph with family and friends. Instead, he'll fish a charity event at Beaver on Monday before hitting the road heading east across Arkansas toward Bull Shoals Lake, where the next Bassmaster Elite Series event gets under way Thursday.
Anthony Gagliardi used a 15-08 stringer today to climb three positions and finish 3rd with 57-01, his best result since a runner-up showing at Lake Champlain in 2009.
Barry Wilson, coming off a 4th-place finish at last week's Lake Seminole EverStart, jumped four spots thanks to the day's heaviest bag, a 16-05 effort that gave him 56-04 and a 4th-place result. Scott Suggs held onto 5th with a 12-09 sack that ran his total to 55-05.
Here's how the Top 10 looked at the end:
- Jason Christie: 61-08
- Shawn Murphy: 58-03
- Anthony Gagliardi: 57-01
- Barry Wilson: 56-04
- Scott Suggs: 55-05
- Mark Rose: 53-05
- Brandon Coulter: 52-14
- Koby Kreiger: 52-13
- Stacey King: 49-15
- Jim Dillard: 46-04
By all accounts, this past week was the best Beaver Lake had ever been in terms of kicking out fat fish. BassFans saw a pair of 20-plus pound bags – there had only been one in FLW Tour competition previously – and another that was 2 ounces shy of 20. Of course, the timing was perfect as the tournament fell smack-dab on top of when the fish were transitioning to their spawning areas.
It made fishing all around the lake supreme, from the clear water by the dam to the stained shallows of the creek arms and up the White River. There was plenty of wind all week and a good bit of cloud cover, which brought several techniques into play, most notably the umbrella rig.
For the first time in a long time, all three species (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted) played a key role in the outcome as some anglers targeted smallmouths and went after largemouths as kickers.
The fourth stop on the FLW Tour schedule will be at Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Ala., on May 16-19.
Christie Charged Up
> Day 4: 5, 14-01 (20, 61-08)
Christie said he left the dock this morning feeling as confident as he had in quite some time and it all centered around two schools of bass he'd found Friday. He peppered them pretty hard Saturday to catch his 20-pound bag and he felt confident he could catch 12 or 13 pounds early and lay a strong foundation for the final day.
When he got to the area, he found next to nothing.
"It was deserted," he said. "I think I caught two little spotted bass off of those places and it was actually set up better today with the wind blowing in. It just didn't happen and I had to go fishing."
And that's when he seems to be at his best.
He endured some lulls in between sporadic bites, but a little spurt around noon saw him catch two keepers within five casts that gave him what he needed.
"Luckily, that was enough," he said. "I was just relieved. I had the ghosts in my head all day long of having the lead 4 years ago and losing it on the last day. Things didn't go as planned this morning."
But when the day was over, he was the one holding the trophy. He said this victory rivals his other wins as a pro.
"It's up there," he said. "I don't know how people rank what's a Tour-level event and what's not because nowadays everybody's in all of them. The first one, everybody raised their eyebrows a little bit. On this one, they'll probably say, 'Okay, maybe he'll be around for a while.' It happens whenever you absolutely least expect it."
He caught fish on a spinnerbait today, but his all-largemouth stringer that wound up on stage was taken on a YUM Flash Mob Jr. umbrella rig.
He was among the many who were impressed by the health of the fishery this week.
"The lake's just getting better," he said. "I'll be the first to say I wouldn't have thought that. Last year, we could tell it was getting a little better. We hit it right on the head as far as timing. We had some good fishing weather. The first day of the tournament, we had what you want in the Ozarks – cloudy and windy. We had some good weather to fish."
2nd: Murphy Thrilled
> Day 4: 5, 14-01 (20, 58-03)
It was hard for Murphy to be disappointed with his 2nd-place finish. It was, by far, the best result of his young career and he's hoping it gets him out of the funk he was in to start the year.
"I'm tickled the death. I kept climbing the ladder every day," he said. "I just never got a big bite today. This is the biggest one, by far, for me as far as dollar amount. I've had a horrible year starting off and maybe this momentum will get me through the rest of the year."
He wasn't able to collide with any 4- to 5-pounders today and he senses that they may have started to push farther back in some of the pockets where they'll eventually spawn.
"I fished the same areas that I'd been fishing all week and even late this afternoon, the fish seemed like they were starting to move back to start spawning, so I moved back farther into the pockets and caught a couple that I culled with, but never did a big bite," he said. "I fished around a lot of docks where I caught some big ones and it set up pretty good with the wind blowing and sun shining bright. I thought I was throwing where they were positioned at, but they just weren't there."
He totaled nine keepers today, but the bite was anything but fast and furious for the Kentucky native.
"It was pretty slow," he said. "It was so sporadic and even when you caught one, you'd probably only catch two or three in a 25-yard stretch. Then you'd go another 300 yards and not get another bite. I never found any big schools where you could just go catch six or seven every day. The places I fished would replenish, but very little.
"The only thing I would've done different was work the backs of the pockets sooner rather than just the last hour."
3rd: Gagliardi Pleased
> Day 4: 5, 15-08 (20, 57-01)
Gagliardi was pleased with his outcome this week and now has back-to-back Top-10s after a 165th to open the year at Lake Okeechobee.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more really," he said. "It was a good tournament. I fished really clean today. Looking back, there's nothing I could've done differently. As a whole, I feel really good."
His day started better than the previous 2 as he boxed a decent limit of smallmouths before 9 a.m. That gave him the freedom to poke around and try to pick off a couple upgrades through the rest of the day.
"I was ecstatic because the last 2 days they'd been real slow for me up until about 11," he said. "I had all day to catch a couple big largemouth or do whatever I wanted to try to do to upgrade. I probably had 12 pounds at the time and felt like I was in super shape.
"I was doing some things to try to catch some largemouth down in the clear end and that never materialized for me down there. I abandoned that part of the lake and came back toward this end and pulled out the umbrella rig and caught two good ones in the last hour."
The first was a 5 1/2-pounder and the other was another solid upgrade.
"That (big fish) was the key to my day and key to my tournament really," he said.
4th: Wilson Laments Lost Ones
> Day 4: 5, 16-05 (20, 56-04)
If not for a few lost fish this week, Wilson could've been taking the trophy back to Birmingham, Ala. Instead, he'll take the 4th-place result and the points that come with it toward making the Forrest Wood Cup.
"I lost another big one today that was around 5 or 5 1/2 pounds," he said. "With the big ones, what was happening was either I was hitting them or they were just swiping at the bait. If I could've caught that one today, it would've helped a little bit. I lost one yesterday and 2 days ago, I lost two. I could've blown this wide open, but that's fishing. You're going to lose some. I had them figured out."
He had his key area to himself again today, but a mid-day move to a spot he'd located in pre-practice allowed him to upgrade three times.
"The bite was a lot different today," he said. "Yesterday, I had my limit by 9 and today, I didn't catch my first fish until 10. I concentrated on staying around wood and doing something a little bit different because I knew that was my best chance to catch the bigger fish and I knew I needed to have some weight to move myself up."
"The key for me today was I ran another 10 minutes up north to an area I'd found in pre-practice and practice," he said. "I'd left it alone thinking that if I'd made it to the final day, there wouldn't have been any pressure on it in the tournament. At about noon, I decided to go there and spend about an hour there and I ended up spending the rest of the day there."
The fishing was too good to leave. He got there with three fish in his livewell and promptly caught a 5-pounder, a 3 1/2 and another 3-pounder to upgrade.
His different approach was pitching an umbrella rig to blowdowns and brushpiles and fishing it like a squarebill crankbait, halting his retrieve when it would get over the piece of cover. The fish would hit it almost immediately after that.
5th: Suggs Satisfied
> Day 4: 5, 12-09 (20, 55-05)
A veteran of many Beaver Lake battles, Suggs was blown away by the weights this week and despite his struggles today his 12-09 stringer would've still been considered a stout effort in past years.
"How often are you at Beaver Lake in the Top 10, in 5th place, and you catch 12-09 to maintain your position instead of gaining three spots," he said. "That is some wild stuff."
His smallmouth bite in the clear water toward the dam didn't fire like it had been, but he still managed a couple brown fish on a jerkbait. His others came on a dropshot.
"I knew if the smallmouth showed back up again, I had a chance to give them a run for their money," he said. "If they didn't, I had to fish for what I could catch. It was a really tough day and I felt fortunate.
"To turn around and have a tournament like this and move up, I felt the momentum swing. You have to have another look at it, though, because these last two events have been on my favorite types of water. Hopefully, I can put something together at Eufaula and keep the momentum going. It sure does feel good."
> Day 4 stats – 10 anglers, 10 limits.
> Jay Yelas was disappointed in his 39th-place finish this week. Read his thoughts in the BassFan Pro View Report.
- Jason Christie -- Park Hill, Ok -- 10-05 (5) -- 16-14 (5) -- 20-04 (5) -- 14-01 (5) -- 61-08 (20) -- $125,000
- Shawn Murphy -- Nicholasville, Ky -- 14-06 (5) -- 13-01 (5) -- 16-11 (5) -- 14-01 (5) -- 58-03 (20) -- $35,000
- Anthony Gagliardi -- Prosperity, SC -- 15-05 (5) -- 14-05 (5) -- 11-15 (5) -- 15-08 (5) -- 57-01 (20) -- $30,000
- Barry Wilson -- Birmingham, Al -- 16-11 (5) -- 10-09 (5) -- 12-11 (5) -- 16-05 (5) -- 56-04 (20) -- $25,000
- Scott Suggs -- Bryant, Ar -- 11-10 (5) -- 13-09 (5) -- 17-09 (5) -- 12-09 (5) -- 55-05 (20) -- $20,000
- Mark Rose -- West Memphis, Ar -- 14-05 (5) -- 13-10 (5) -- 12-15 (5) -- 12-07 (5) -- 53-05 (20) -- $17,000
- Brandon Coulter -- Knoxville, Tn -- 17-03 (5) -- 14-12 (5) -- 13-00 (5) -- 7-15 (5) -- 52-14 (20) -- $16,000
- Koby Kreiger -- Okeechobee, Fl -- 13-15 (5) -- 14-15 (5) -- 13-15 (5) -- 5, 10-00 (5) -- 52-13 (20) -- $15,000
- Stacey King -- Reeds Spring, Mo -- 12-02 (5) -- 13-09 (5) -- 13-14 (5) -- 10-06 (5) -- 49-15 (20) -- $14,000
- Jim Dillard -- West Monroe, La -- 13-00 (5) -- 12-04 (5) -- 12-12 (5) -- 8-04 (5) -- 46-04 (20) -- $13,000
See the FLW Interview with Christie Here
Video by James Overstreet
FLW Tour Majors Schedule
2013 Tournament Schedule
|FLW Tour Majors||Lake Eufaula - Lakepoint Resort State Park||5/16/13 -
|FLW Tour Majors||Grand Lake - Wolf Creek Park||6/6/13 -
|FLW Tour Majors||Lake Chickamauga - Dayton Boat Dock||6/27/13 -
|FLW Tour Majors||Forrest Wood Cup - Red River South Marina||8/15/13 -
B.A.S.S. Tournament Trail Schedule
2013 Tournament Schedule
|Rapala Pro Brandon Palaniuk is Runner-Up|
in Bassmaster Classic
Iaconelli Finishes 4th, DeFoe 11th
Not only did Brandon Palaniuk chunk and wind with many of the same brand baits as fellow Rapala Pro Mike Iaconelli in the 2013 Bassmaster Classic, he also channeled Ike’s motto – Never give up! His persistence almost paid off with a victory.
Despite launching yesterday in 2nd place, with a seven-pound deficit to overcome to catch leader Cliff Pace, Palaniuk fished with the attitude that he could win. When the final fish was weighed, however, he came up 3.4 pounds short, finishing runner-up to Pace.
There’s a whole whirlwind of emotions going on in here, I’m trying to hold it back,” a visibly choked up Palaniuk told Bassmaster Emcee Dave Mercer onstage at Tulsa’s BOK Center before a capacity crowd. “I didn’t really know how much I had today. I knew I had somewhere between 14 and 15 [pounds].”
Upon learning that his limit weighed 15.4 pounds – and probably having learned through the grapevine backstage that Pace caught only four fish, one short of a limit – Palaniuk likely dared think he might have pulled off the upset.
“By the end of it I didn’t think I had a shot,” he told Mercer and the BOK Center crowd “But in the morning I did, I caught ‘em quick.”
While Pace struggled to get a bite in the morning, Palaniuk got off to a great start, boating keepers on a Storm Wiggle Wart in the Ghost Phantom Crayfish pattern. In the first two days of competition, he caught his fish on a Storm Twitch Stick, a Rapala X-Rap and a shakey-head finesse worm.
“Those four baits, between the last three days, might have won me a few dollars,” Palaniuk reflected, only minutes before learning that Pace’s four-fish limit would weigh enough to turn back his upset bid. The Bassmaster Classic champion wins $500,000. The runner-up wins $45,000.
Pace weighed in 11.8 pounds to get the wire-to-wire win with a total of 54.12 pounds. Palaniuk’s total was 51.8 pounds.
Iaconelli, who was tied with Pace in first place after Day 1, finished 4th, with a 48.5-pound total. Ike and Pace caught an identical 21.8 pounds on Day 1 to take the lead, but Pace followed up with another 21-pound day (21.12, to be exact), while Ike weighed only 13.11 pounds on Day 2 after losing an hour of fishing time due to a broken trolling motor. That left him 8.2 pounds behind Pace going into the final day of competition.
Despite the Day 2 technical difficulties, which forced Iaconelli to finish the day fishing out of someone else’s boat, he stayed true to his motto and promised he’d keep battling.
“Today was kind of a goofy day and I’m actually really fortunate to salvage that weight I had,” he told the BOK Center crowd after weighing in his Day 2 limit. “Tomorrow’s a new day. I’m going to go out and try to catch 25 pounds and we’ll see where the chips lie.”
Throughout the tournament, Iaconelli combined power and finesse fishing, using Rapala baits to find and catch aggressive fish and then combing back over productive areas with a finesse worm on a VMC jighead.
“On the power-fishing side … I used a jerkbait,” Ike told the Tulsa crowd after weighing in his Day 3 limit. “I used a Rapala Husky Jerk. And then I used a crankbait by Rapala called a Scatter Rap. It’s a brand-new crankbait. The thing hunts, the thing searches. And those cold-water, lethargic fish, that triggers them.”
He threw the Husky Jerk and Scatter Rap “to cover a lot of water and get a reaction bite,” he explained. “When I got a few bites, I would slow down and fish back through the area with [a ¼ ounce jig] and a grub on a VMC Darthead.”
He caught fish also on Rapala DT-6’s. His most productive Scatter Rap and DT-6 color was the blueback herring pattern in his Ike’s Custom Ink line.
DeFoe fights back to 11th
“I was really happy with my day today,” Defoe said onstage after weighing in 13.10 pounds.
When fishing on Day 3 without a chance to win, DeFoe explained this morning in a phone interview, “you just want to go out and have fun and try to do as well as I can. You can always move up – and any time you do, that’s money in your pocket!”
At the same time, he said, “I also want to stay out of those other guys’ way that have a chance to win.”
DeFoe caught all of the fish he weighed throughout the tournament on Shad Raps and Terminator jigs. On Day 1 and Day 3, his best Shad Rap was the new No. 6 size, in the Purple Olive Craw and Original Crawdad patterns. On Day 2, the bass wanted only a No. 5 Shad Rap in Original Crawdad. All his Terminator fish came on a ½ oz. black and blue jig.
Cold weather, cold water
Owing to those conditions, Palaniuk and Iaconelli both said before the tournament that they liked their chances. Unlike a majority of bass pros, Iaconelli and Palaniuk both hail from north of the Mason Dixon line – New Jersey and Idaho, respectively. So they’ve fished in cold weather since they were kids.
“Fishing back home, I learned you can still catch bass in 37, 38, 39-degree water, so to see temperatures in the mid to upper 40s doesn’t freak me out at all,” said Palaniuk, who placed 4th in his first-ever Classic after qualifying out of the B.A.S.S. Nation, a federation of mostly local-tournament anglers. This year’s Classic was his third in a row. All have been contested in February.
“Growing up with that, I think it’s easier for me to keep focus on the fishing, whereas some guys that haven’t dealt with that, they’re worrying about their hands being cold and things like that,” Palaniuk said prior to the tournament. “That can play with guys mentally.”
Iaconelli previously placed high in other cold-weather Bassmaster Classics and tournaments and fished a lot in cold conditions in his youth, competing in New Jersey club, federation and regional events. Going into this year’s Classic, he said that experience would give him “a little bit of confidence” other anglers might not have.
The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, better known as ICAST, is the world’s largest sportfishing trade show annually hosting 9,000 members of the sportfishing industry representing 70 countries. ICAST is produced by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the sportfishing industry’s trade association, which looks out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. ICAST is the premier showcase for the latest innovations in fishing gear, accessories and apparel and is the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry, helping to drive sportfishing companies’ product sales year round.
ICAST 2013 Show Highlights and Events
All events take place at the Orange County Convention Center unless noted otherwise.
ASA Resource Center
Open during show hours.
Stop by the ASA Resource Center to meet the ASA and consumer show staff and learn how you can take full advantage of your trade association membership. You can also learn more about ASA's national angler advocacy campaign - KeepAmericaFishing™ - and the role you can play in keeping our waters accessible now and in the future.
The ICAST Lure Tank showcases the latest in hard and soft lures. Attendees witness how lures perform underwater as well as on top of water. There is also an underwater camera that displays an up-close view of what is happening beneath the surface on a large television monitor.
New Product Showcase and Preview Reception
Preview Reception: Tuesday, July 9, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Open to Registered Buyers and Credentialed Media Only (Pitman Creek will be there)
There is no doubt that the single most important feature for exhibitors and attendees alike is the New Product Showcase, ICAST’s flagship feature. The Showcase offers buyers and members of the media a special opportunity to debut and preview hundreds of the next season’s innovations in fishing gear and accessories.
Only registered buyers and individuals with Media-Editorial badges are eligible to vote in the New Product Showcase and only one ballot per buying entity or media outlet is permitted. Exhibitors are not permitted in the Showcase during the voting period. The product with the most votes in each category is awarded "Best of Show" for that category and the product with the most votes overall wins the coveted ICAST 2013 "Best of Show" honors.
To meet the needs of buyers and exhibitors, this year's New Product Showcase competition includes awards in a record 21 product categories, featuring new categories for fly fishing products and an expanded boating category, as well as the overall "Best of Show" award.
Voting begins on Tuesday, July 9, at 5:00 p.m. during the New Product Showcase Preview Reception and ends at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 10. Buyers and media who vote have a chance to win one of three drawings for a $500 cash prize.
Get the inside information on the state of our industry during the Industry Breakfast.
Chairman's Industry Awards Reception
Wednesday, July 10, 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.