It was a mixture of joy and relief for Jason Christie when the final result was announced last Sunday in the 2022 Bassmaster Classic.
Christie, 48, had finally harpooned his white whale, winning professional bass fishing’s biggest event after blowing big leads on the last day in 2016 and 2018.
Christie’s bag of 17 pounds, 9 ounces last Sunday on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell bested Alabama angler Kyle Welcher by 5 ounces, breaking the tie between the two anglers after the first two days of fishing.
Christie, from the tiny community of Park Hill near Tahlequah, said it felt like a weight had been lifted when his victory was announced to the record Bassmaster Classic crowd of 154,932 fans at Sunday’s weigh-in in Greenville, South Carolina.
This time, Christie didn’t blow the lead. His Bassmaster Classic demons were exorcised.
“All the weight is gone,” Christie said Friday. “I’ve done what I set out to do and it’s almost like I get to go fishing for fun again.”