Back when B.A.S.S. announced the 2013 Bassmaster Classic would be held at Grand Lake in Oklahoma with the festivities taking place in nearby Tulsa, Jason Christie was bent on figuring a way to be there.
Not just as a spectator, though. After winning the Detroit River Northern Open over the weekend, he won’t have to worry about that. In fact, his name will among the favorites talked about as the event draws closer.
When Grand was announced as the host, he examined the schedules for the three Open divisions, knowing the winners of each of the nine Opens gained a Classic berth.
He started with the Centrals, which made more sense geographically for him. A conflict between the Table Rock Open and the Beaver Lake FLW Tour Major in April ruled that out.
He next looked at the Southern division, but one of the events would have taken him away from home during the heart of basketball season and caused him to miss several of his oldest daughter’s games.
His last option was the Northerns. He didn’t find any schedule conflicts, but the venues were unfamiliar.
“With the James (River) being a river system, I figured I’d have a chance there," he told BassFan over the weekend. "I knew Cayuga (Lake) had grass and largemouth so I'd have a chance there. I figured I’d just put in my time at Detroit and hopefully get one of them. It always shows up when you least expect it."
He’s the 12th angler to qualify for next year’s Classic, which will be his first.
"With the people of Oklahoma, they’re going to come out and support this," he said. "I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t set an attendance record."