Jason Christie’s 9-pound, 10-ounce bass caught at Toledo Bend on April 6 just keeps producing great stories. You might recall it was the big bass of that Elite Series tournament, helped Christie to a second-place finish there, and came from a spot where a 2 1/2-pound bass jumped in Christie’s lap as he was idling by during practice, as if it were a sign from the bass fishing gods of good things to come. It also had a tag in it, which indicated the fish had been caught on April 8, 2016, when it weighed 10.32 pounds.
Here’s the latest: The Toledo Bend Lake Association’s “Bass Unlimited Back a Great Fighter” fundraising banquet was held recently. Christie was asked to donate an item for the auction. He offered to give one of his tournament jerseys, autographed. But Toledo Bend Lake Association president Gary Moore had something else in mind – the rod and reel Christie used when catching the 9-10.
“I said I’d have to think about it,” Christie recalled, noting the combo had some sentimental value to him. “But I thought, ‘You know, I won a lot of money thanks to that fish. It’s the least I can do.’”
So Christie donated the 6-foot, 10-inch Falcon Cara rod and the Lew’s Custom Pro Speed Spool 6.8:1 gear ratio baitcasting reel that he’d caught the big bass on, adding, “I did keep the 1/2-ounce Booyah spinnerbait,” which lured the lunker.
Christie was stunned to learn the winning bid for the rod-and-reel: $3,000.
“If it went for $500, I’d have been disappointed,” said Christie, noting the approximate retail value of the combo. “But for it to go for $3,000, that just blows my mind.”
It was part of a banquet attended by approximately 600 people that raised over $79,000. Activities supported by the Bass Unlimited banquet include the following: purchasing the fiberglass replicas for all those returning alive a certified 10-pound bass to Toledo Bend (139 last year), re-stocking bass fingerlings, stocking Florida-strain largemouth bass, improving lake access, sponsoring high school fishing teams and staging fishing clinics.
Finally, there’s one more story. When Christie’s bass was caught in 2016, it was weighed at Toledo Town & Tackle and released in a cove nearby, on the Louisiana side of the lake. Christie caught it on the Texas side of the lake in Housin Creek, the same place it had been caught in 2016. That’s been a consistent fact documented in the program – the big bass invariably return to the place they were caught.