Daily Limit: Elam offers scary thought about Christie

TULSA, Okla. — James Elam sat in the Media Room at the BOK Center eating after he weighed a respectable 13 pounds, 11 ounces. That put him 14th on Day 1 of the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

Looking up from his plate to the big screen, Elam watched fellow Oklahoman Jason Christie, who he’s competed against a number of times, bring his fish to the scales. BASSTrakk had Christie for around 14 pounds, but he wowed the hometown crowed by weighing 20-14 to take and hold the lead after Day 1.

Elam stopped eating when the weight was announced. It’s not that Elam got disheartened — he knows there’s still two days and things can happen — but seeing that made him realize many anglers’ dreams might just have cracked, even his, especially if what he thinks might happen actually does.

“That could be his worst day,” Elam said.

Prodded why he thought that, Elam added, “It was tough for everybody. The big ones didn’t bite. The funny thing is, he will probably catch them better the next two days.”

Christie was told of that exchange and asked to comment.

“I hope he’s right,” he quickly deadpanned. “I know I had two really big days in practice and I had two not-so-good. The potential is there, but you just have to make that right swing at the right time.”

Seems he did Friday, even if there was a long break between catches. Christie was one of the five who had Bassmaster Classic LIVE cameras in their boats, and not many had any inkling that his culls after going dark (when the show ended) would be so significant.

It earned him another cameraman rider on Saturday. He had said the only worry he had about being under the watchful eye of a camera was if things went south. A bad day could certainly worsen in that spotlight, as a camera would add another couple hundred degrees to the pressure cooker that is the Classic.

But that didn’t happen, so he seemed happy that he’ll be put into focus another day.

“I’m good with it. I honestly am,” he said. “There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m good with the camera. I’m fine with it. I have to worry about catching a bass. I can’t worry about all the spectators, the cameras, I just have to do my job.”

If he does, that might stop all his competitors from enjoying their dinner.

For more on the competitors’ fear of Christie leading on Grand, check out Steve Wright’s report, “Christie hasn’t won it yet.”


Chris Dillow was hopeful, smililng as his first Classic fish was looking like it might end up as big bass of the day.

“I put in a jig and kept it wet today, and finally got a good bite,” Dillow said. “I thought it might have been a drum because it was pretty big, but when I saw the side of it — she tried to turn at the boat — then all of the sudden I knew it was a good bass.”

He said he just tried to stay calm, lipped it and brought his first bass in his new Nitro.

“I fished four times, four days of practice, and never caught a bass, and all the sudden my first fish is a 6-2. I just said thank you, Lord.”

Dillow’s three fish that went 12-7 has him inside the cut at 24th. He knows he still has a chance to win the Classic, an outside chance, but big bass would have been a nice consolation. Marty Robinson ended his hopes several moments after Dillow left the arena with a 7-0, taking over as Bass Pro Shops Big Bass Leader.


It’s been reported that Christie visited Lake Tenkiller to prepare for this Classic. Tenkiller, he said, has had similar conditions over the past two months as Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees, where the Classic is being competed.

So it’s no wonder the Park Hill, Okla., pro often made the short, short drive to figure out the bass in the cold, turbid conditions.

How often did you practice there, Jason?

“About every day,” he said.

How long each day?

“About all day,” he said.

Yes, and it appears that is paying off. He promised to later fill in the details on what exactly he discovered there.


Bassmaster LIVE host Mark Zona visits with anglers regularly, and in his discussions with Edwin Evers he learned the Talala, Okla., has sunk a great number of brushpiles in Grand Lake, which is about an hour from his home.

But conditions this week aren’t allowing them to be as fruitful as Evers’ pecan orchards.

“Not one of the brushpiles is going to pay off in this Classic,” said Zona, conveying Evers’ pain.


It wasn’t the longest, wildest or craziest mustache ever seen at a Classic, but it was impressive enough to draw the eye. And because Tyler Garretson and girlfriend Heather Songer had a couple of fishing poles in their hands — and he looked kinda young for such a stylized ‘stache, that warranted a convo.

It got downright coincidental when they said there were from Pickles Gap, a little touristy village in Central Arkansas not far from where I live.

More interesting was that they picked up a sweet deal at the Classic Expo, getting both of those rods, which retail for $60 each, for $30.

Garretson, 20, also divulged that he’s an aspiring tournament angler, and if he makes it would love a facial hair competition with Shaw Grigsby. I don’t think he’d stand a chance against Ike, if Ike put his mind to it.