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March 8, 2022

AFTCO

Jason Christie Conquers the 2022 Bassmaster Classic

Jason Christie accomplished a lifelong goal this week with his win at the Bassmaster Classic. He beat out the fifty-five anglers that found themselves at Lake Hartwell where cold nights and sunny days put the fish in all zones of the water column. Christie weighed in 17 pounds, 9 ounces on the final day to win by only 5 ounces. He spent mornings fishing one of the many ditches on Hartwell before quickly transitioning to docks and pitching jigs in shallow water.

 

Jason Christie Fighting a fish rod bent

 

Christie’s history at Hartwell isn’t shabby by any means, but a 3rd place finish in 2018 left its mark. A successful return to the Elite Series has garnered a win last season and this year’s Classic.

It's no doubt he has accomplished the feat he set for himself when coming back to the Bassmaster Elite Series but will he really be done? Christie said many times after the Classic that he is done. What he means by that, we will have to wait and see. 

Christie has been an AFTCO Pro since we initially stepped foot into the freshwater scene. He worked closely with our product team to develop the Jason Christie Sun Protection Hoodie. It’s built with an ultra-lightweight and breathable performance fabric that offers UPF 50 sun protection and Christie’s signature hood design with a larger opening and integrated bill flap.

 

Jason Christie fighting a fish as it jumps out of the water
Jason Christie Fisting the air after winning the bassmaster classic

 

AFTCO Bank Bags at the Classic

It was also exciting to see the heavy conservation focus at the Classic. Before the hundreds of thousands of fans descended upon the surrounding areas, local volunteers and Anderson County staff filled 175+ AFTCO Bank Bags, removing over 3,300 pounds of trash and debris from Lake Hartwell.

The Bank Bag incentive program utilizes community resources to make a difference in local waterways. Bank Bags are provided to patrons, tournament organizations, retail customers, and schools. Individuals who return a filled Bank Bag receive a $25 aftco.com gift card. Learn more about the Bank Bag program here.

 

Pile of AFTCO bang bag trash bags on the floor filled with trash
Volunteers gathered around with aftco bank bag trash bags
Volunteers in line to throw out AFTCO Bank Bags filled with trash

 

2022 Conservation Summit

The biannual Bass Nation Conservation Summit also took place at the classic. Each state chapter’s Conservation Director plans and oversees conservation projects around their state. This year, the directors met with state fisheries representatives to build relationships and solve fishery issues around the country.

 

Gene talking to conservation directors at the conservation summit banquet

Bill Shedd at the 2022 Conservation Summit Banquet

Gene Gilliland is the Conservation Director of B.A.S.S. and leads these summits to bring people together, forming the partnerships needed to make changes and improvements around the country. 

"The Classic is a great time to get together because many of us are already gathering. It also boosts attendance because it’s a draw," said Gilliland.

These positive relationships between anglers and representatives are incredibly important. When everyone works together, it is much easier to talk through problems and look for projects and funding that can help solve them.

Gene Gilliland Talking to directors at a banquet