Jason Christie, of Park Hill, Okla., has experienced a lot of tournament fishing success with a variety of bass lures. He has turned out a number of top-five career performances on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, topwaters, frogs and even drop shots. But when it came time to start narrowing his lure choices down to just three must-have bass baits that will catch fish anywhere at anytime, it was his flipping baits that he would not part with.
“I have given this a lot of thought,” Christie said of having to pick just three lures. “It’s an interesting premise. There are so many lures I love to throw, but at the end of the day they are all somewhat situational baits.”
“For instance, I love throwing frogs, spooks and jerkbaits,” he continued. “Those lures are awesome when the situation is right, but they’re not exactly universal in terms of any lake and any season. So I had to approach this from the standpoint of what technique is most universal to me and the answer I kept coming up with was flipping and pitching.
“I feel like no matter where I go, from Lake Okeechobee to St. Clair and everywhere in between, from 40-degree water to 90-degree water, I can generate a reaction bite with a flipping stick in my hand. Once I settled on that, I just decided to use my three choices to corner the market on flipping and pitching lures.”
“I’m not saying they’re the best baits for specific situations,” he clarified. “The premise here is that I get to pick three baits that together will cover all my bases to catch bass no matter the situation. So these are the most well-rounded baits I have in my boat at any given time.”
Yum Bad Mamma with a Big Weight
Interestingly, Christie’s first pick looks to be a punching rig. Given the fact that punching matted vegetation is a very small window, this would seem to be a contradictory pick.
“I didn’t want to show this one because in doing so I’m giving up something I’ve kept quiet for a long time,” Christie revealed. “This is one is a Yum Bad Mamma (green pumpkin blue) with a 1-ounce tungsten on 60-pound-test Sunline FX-2 braid. I know it looks like a punching bait, but the truth is I pitch a big weight a lot more than I’d like to admit – to bushes, to docks, to trees, to sight fish. Speed of the fall is a big key to a reaction bite, especially in clear water and a big weight just gets the job done when it comes to a fast fall that forces the fish to react.”
Jason Christie’s top three, anywhere, anytime bass baits: Yum Christie Critter (left), Booyah Bank Roll jig and Yum Bad Mamma. (Rob Newell photo)
The jig is at the heart of Christie’s must-have trio. His pick for versatility is a ½-ounce Booyah Bank Roll jig (green pumpkin blue) teamed with a Yum Craw Chunk (black/blue shadow) tied to 25-pound Sunline Shooter fluorocarbon.
“This jig is a jack of all trades,” Christie says. “I can put it in my hands, go down the bank and fish anything I come to with it – I can flip it to a bush, swim it next to a shallow laydown, skip it under a dock, swim it through shallow vegetation, drag it in 20-feet of water like a football jig, rip it up off ledges – it’s amazing how many places this jig will work.”
Texas-rigged Christie Critter
Granted, the 1-ounce-weighted Bad Mamma and the ½-ounce jig cover a lot of ground for Christie in the winter, spring and early summer. Those two lures, however, might be stretched pretty thin in the mid to late summer when water temperatures reach 75 degrees and waters clear. Getting a reaction bite off big, bulky lures that time of year is a little more challenging.
Fear not, for Christie recognizes this vulnerability and offers up his third and final lure to bridge the gap: a Yum Christie Critter creature bait in a color called “tin foil” topped with a 3/8-ounce weight.
“I flip this bait a lot once the water gets 70 degrees and above,” Christie detailed. “The biggest problem with flipping in mid to late summer on reservoirs is that bass start to key in on shad more. I rig this bait on a lighter 1/4- to 3/8-ounce weight. It’s got a slower fall and that silvery color has more of a shad look to it – I consider it my finesse flipping bait from late summer into fall. I’ll occasionally tip the tails in a little chartreuse as well.”
So there you have it, Jason Christie’s “flipper’s twist” on three must-have baits for catching bass anywhere and anytime.