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Local Angler Jason Christie's First Classic Puts Him In National Spotlight

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Jason Christie goes fishing. Jason Christie goes fishing.
Jason Christie of Park Hill participates in Saturday night's weigh-in. Jason Christie of Park Hill participates in Saturday night's weigh-in.

Park Hill's Jason Christie is living his dream.

Over the weekend, he fished for the first time in the coveted Bassmaster Classic.

"I'm uncomfortable watching myself on TV, but hopefully I've made a name for myself this week," Christie said.

He might want to get used to the spotlight, because Christie has made a name for himself, finishing seventh overall.

"Because of the pressure and stuff like that, I'm not gonna say I'm satisfied with where I finished, but it could have been worse," Christie said.

2/23/2013 Related Story: Oklahoman Jason Christie 5th Going Into Bassmaster Classic Final Day

The local favorite bagged 43 pounds, 5 ounces overall in three days, and said it was actually the familiarity with the water that made it harder on him.

"I have a lot of history on the lake, and I could not get the history out of my mind," he said. "I wanted to go back to the places I fished previous years, and you can't do that when you're fishing against these guys."

Christie has earned more than $760,000 overall in B.A.S.S. tournaments.

Special Coverage: 2013 Bassmaster Classic

Then there's Mike McClelland.

In his career he's reeled in more than $1.3 million in tournament wins.

He calls Bella Vista, Ark., home, which is about an hour and a half from Grand Lake.

"I will never call Grand my home lake, because there's home lake jinx when you fish a Classic or any big tournament event," McClelland said. "But I spend as much time on Grand as any lake around me, though, so I enjoy fishing it."

McClelland fished fifth in his ninth Classic run.

Which brings us to veteran's Edwin Evers and Tommy Biffle.

Biffle has competed in 17 classics and finished second twice.

But not this time, the Wagoner native only brought in one fish on Sunday and finished 24th.

Evers had a bad round Sunday, catching only one bass and finishing 25th in his 11 Classic appearance.

Both Evers and Biffle have earned nearly $2 million in their fishing careers.

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