Ranger Pro Jason Christie experienced a month like few others in professional bass-fishing history with more than $200,000 in prize winnings, a berth in the 2014 Bassmaster Classic and the inside track on qualifying for another Forrest Wood Cup after he won tour-level events on two different tours in consecutive weeks in April, the first angler to accomplish such a feat.
Christie’s FLW Tour win on Beaver Lake and his B.A.S.S. Elite Series victory on Bull Shoals also vaulted him to No. 1 in the BassFan World Rankings and gave him a commanding lead in the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year standings, though the 39-year-old Park Hill, Okla., resident is hardly a rookie. Before he became the biggest story in professional fishing this spring, Christie had four Forrest Wood Cup berths in five FLW Tour seasons and was a force to be reckoned with on the regional tournament trails where he logged six BFL wins and 23 Top-10 finishes – all accomplished from a Ranger boat.
“I’ve always run a Ranger and I really can’t imagine running anything else,” Christie said. “I’m on my fourteenth Ranger and I have loved every one of them. They’re the ultimate fishing machines.”
Familiarity with the waters of Beaver Lake and Bull Shoals – “It can fish a lot like my home lake, Lake Tenkiller, with its clear, deep water,” Christie said of the latter – helped him overcome bad practice periods and make the biggest comeback in Elite Series history (no angler had ever jumped from 11th place to 1st on the last day), giving him two tournament wins in as many weeks. But familiarity with Ranger quality and reliability is what allows Christie to focus solely on fishing during competition days.
“It’s a big boat but it floats really shallow and allows me to get into really skinny water and then a week later I can be somewhere like the Detroit River where the waves are five or six feet tall,” said Christie, who entered the history books this season aboard a 2013 Ranger Z520C. “You don’t have to worry about these boats – that’s the thing.”
Another Forrest Wood Cup berth, two different Angler of the Year titles and other goals still remain for Christie in 2013. And while the significance of what he accomplished in April hasn’t entirely set in for the former junior high basketball coach, his long career as an ambassador for the Ranger brand and continued on-the-water success reinforce the legacy of Ranger’s prestigious Pro Staff.
“Jason has been a part of the Ranger Family going back to his days in the Central Pro-Am tournaments,” said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. “He’s an accomplished angler who has achieved something truly remarkable this season in addition to his already-successful professional career. We congratulate him on his success and know we’ll be seeing more performances like this from him in the future.”
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