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GREENVILLE, S.C. — Once again, Jason Christie is on the verge of winning the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

And once again, his good friend — and occasional nemesis — Edwin Evers, has a chance to take it away from him.

The Oklahoma anglers occupied the Top 2 spots in the standings for the second straight day at Lake Hartwell, and they will lead the remaining 23 anglers into Championship Sunday with a chance to win the $300,000 first-place prize and the most coveted trophy in professional bass fishing.

Christie caught 16-6 during Saturday’s second round to push his two-day total to a tournament-best 37-4. Evers had a much tougher day than he did on Friday, landing only 13-0. But he remained in second place with a two-day mark of 32-9.

“It was the same deal today where you just had to weed through them until you found a good one,” said Christie, who also led the first two days of the 2016 Classic on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees, only to lose the title to Evers on the final day. “I had a chance to have a really good day, but I lost some fish. I don’t know if it was the lightning we had this morning or if the water’s clearing up or what, but they’re biting funny.”

Those funny bites led to some ragged hook sets that cost Christie on several occasions.

“I lost a 5-pounder and a 3- or 3 1/2-pounder,” said Christie, who won the GEICO Everyday Leader Award of $2,500 for the second straight day. “I also broke one off that was my fault. I hit a cable on one cast, and I didn’t retie. Then later on, I broke one off setting the hook.

“I caught a 4-pounder on my last cast, but I’m not getting enough of those kinds of bites. I can’t afford to booger those up when I get them.”

After landing 19-9 on Day 1, Evers struggled Saturday as he battled heavy boat traffic.

“I’d be fishing down a stretch expecting to get bit and it just wasn’t happening,” Evers said. “I would think to myself, ‘It seems like somebody’s already fished this.’ Then sure enough, I’d see a boat run out of the back of the pocket.”

When Evers scored his come-from-behind victory in the 2016 Classic, he changed radically on the final day from what he had been doing the first two days and managed to catch five bass that weighed 29-plus pounds.

He said he expects to make a similar change Sunday.

“I’ve got a plan — and it’s a pretty big change from what I’ve been doing,” he said. “I’m going to go fish a section of the lake that I haven’t fished because I think that section has been getting beat up pretty good.

“I don’t know that it’s going to work like it did back then (in 2016), but that’s the plan.”

Trailing closely behind Evers are Georgia pro Micah Frazier with 32-2 and a third Oklahoma pro, James Elam with 32-1. Alabama anglers Gerald Swindle is in fifth with 31-4, and Jordan Lee in sixth with 30-12.

Frazier said he fished a different area of the lake Saturday than he did Friday — mostly because he knew Elam was fishing the area as well.

“I started in an area Friday that James Elam was in, and he got there before me so he kind of took one side and I took the other,” Frazier said. “I chose not to go back up there today because I didn’t think there would be enough fish in there for both of us.”

The unselfish decision paid off.

“I started in a new area and caught a 5-pounder right off the bat,” Frazier said. “Then I ran to another area and caught two big ones.

“There’s a pattern to where all of the big ones have been — and they’re eating. But there’s just not a lot of them.”

The 6-11 largemouth caught by Alabama pro Mark Daniels Jr. still leads the race for the Berkley Big Bass Award. If that holds, Daniels will earn $2,500.

The tournament will conclude Sunday with takeoff scheduled for 7:30 a.m. ET from Green Pond Landing and Event Center in Anderson, S.C. Doors will open for the final weigh-in at 3:15 p.m. at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in downtown Greenville.

The GEICO Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in the TD Convention Center. Just outside the Center is the Get Hooked on Fishing presented by Toyota and Shakespeare, an interactive exhibit for youngsters from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. All activities are free to the public.

For more information, visit Bassmaster.com.

2018 Bassmaster Classic Title Sponsor: GEICO

2018 Bassmaster Classic Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods

2018 Bassmaster Classic Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2018 Bassmaster Classic Premier Sponsors: Power-Pole, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats

2018 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo Presenting Sponsor: DICK’S Sporting Goods

2018 Bassmaster Classic Local Sponsor: Mountain Dew

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For 50 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Mossy Oak Fishing Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

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Media Contact: JamieDay Matthews, 205-313-0945, jmatthews@bassmaster.com or Dave Precht, 205-313-0931, dprecht@bassmaster.com

Note: The 2018 B.A.S.S. Media Guide is now available on Bassmastermedia.com.
2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
3/16-3/18
Lake Hartwell, Greenville, SC.
(ANGLER) Standings Day 2

Angler Hometown No./lbs-oz Pts Total $$$

1. Jason Christie Park Hill, OK 10 37-04 0 $5,000.00
Day 1: 5 20-14 Day 2: 5 16-06
2. Edwin Evers Talala, OK 10 32-09 0
Day 1: 5 19-09 Day 2: 5 13-00
3. Micah Frazier Newnan, GA 10 32-02 0
Day 1: 5 13-07 Day 2: 5 18-11
4. James Elam Tulsa, OK 10 32-01 0
Day 1: 5 16-07 Day 2: 5 15-10
5. Gerald Swindle Guntersville, AL 10 31-04 0
Day 1: 5 15-13 Day 2: 5 15-07
6. Jordan Lee Grant, AL 10 30-12 0
Day 1: 5 18-10 Day 2: 5 12-02
7. Jacob Wheeler Harrison, TN 10 30-11 0
Day 1: 5 16-01 Day 2: 5 14-10
8. Casey Ashley Donalds, SC 10 30-05 0
Day 1: 5 15-00 Day 2: 5 15-05
9. Brent Ehrler Redlands, CA 10 29-13 0
Day 1: 5 17-08 Day 2: 5 12-05
10. Ott DeFoe Blaine, TN 10 29-13 0
Day 1: 5 16-08 Day 2: 5 13-05
11. Clifford Pirch Payson, AZ 10 28-13 0
Day 1: 5 13-11 Day 2: 5 15-02
12. Jacob Powroznik North Prince George, VA 10 28-04 0
Day 1: 5 15-04 Day 2: 5 13-00
13. Mike McClelland Bentonville, AR 10 28-03 0
Day 1: 5 12-15 Day 2: 5 15-04
14. Seth Feider Bloomington, MN 10 28-00 0
Day 1: 5 12-14 Day 2: 5 15-02
15. Aaron Martens Leeds, AL 10 27-05 0
Day 1: 5 14-02 Day 2: 5 13-03
16. Cliff Pace Petal, MS 10 27-00 0
Day 1: 5 13-13 Day 2: 5 13-03
17. Mark Daniels Jr. Tuskegee, AL 10 26-09 0
Day 1: 5 15-14 Day 2: 5 10-11
18. Matt Lee Guntersville, AL 10 26-09 0
Day 1: 5 14-01 Day 2: 5 12-08
19. Dustin Connell Clanton, AL 10 26-01 0
Day 1: 5 15-05 Day 2: 5 10-12
20. Brandon Palaniuk Hayden, ID 10 26-00 0
Day 1: 5 13-00 Day 2: 5 13-00
21. John Cox Debary, FL 10 25-15 0
Day 1: 5 12-02 Day 2: 5 13-13
22. Brandon Coulter Knoxville, TN 10 25-13 0
Day 1: 5 10-14 Day 2: 5 14-15
23. Russ Lane Prattville, AL 10 25-12 0
Day 1: 5 11-05 Day 2: 5 14-07
24. Jason Williamson Wagener, SC 10 25-08 0
Day 1: 5 15-05 Day 2: 5 10-03
25. Mark Davis Mount Ida, AR 10 24-09 0
Day 1: 5 13-10 Day 2: 5 10-15
26. Randy Howell Guntersville, AL 10 24-08 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-02 Day 2: 5 13-06
27. Brandon Lester Fayetteville, TN 10 24-04 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-08 Day 2: 5 12-12
28. Josh Bertrand San Tan Valley, AZ 10 23-14 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-09 Day 2: 5 10-05
29. Kevin VanDam Kalamazoo, MI 10 23-12 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-07 Day 2: 5 09-05
30. Jamie Hartman Newport, NY 10 23-10 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 15-12 Day 2: 5 07-14
31. John Crews Jr Salem, VA 10 23-10 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 13-12 Day 2: 5 09-14
32. Luke Clausen Otis Orchards, WA 10 23-09 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 5 09-09
33. Hank Cherry Jr Lincolnton, NC 10 23-08 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-08 Day 2: 5 11-00
34. Steve Kennedy Auburn, AL 10 22-15 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-07 Day 2: 5 11-08
35. Greg Hackney Gonzales, LA 9 22-13 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-00 Day 2: 4 11-13
36. Ryan Butler Blue Eye, MO 9 22-05 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-00 Day 2: 4 08-05
37. Todd Faircloth Jasper, TX 10 22-04 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-03 Day 2: 5 10-01
38. Michael Iaconelli Pitts Grove, NJ 10 22-00 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-02 Day 2: 5 09-14
39. Jacob Foutz Charleston, TN 10 21-06 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 11-15 Day 2: 5 09-07
40. Keith Combs Huntington, TX 10 21-02 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-09 Day 2: 5 10-09
41. David Walker Sevierville, TN 10 21-01 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-01 Day 2: 5 09-00
42. Alton Jones Lorena, TX 9 20-09 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 14-09 Day 2: 4 06-00
43. Bobby Lane Jr. Lakeland, FL 10 20-09 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-02 Day 2: 5 10-07
44. Bradley Roy Lancaster, KY 10 20-00 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-13 Day 2: 5 09-03
45. Luke Gritter Otsego, MI 10 18-11 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 10-05 Day 2: 5 08-06
46. Jesse Wiggins Cullman, AL 10 18-00 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-10 Day 2: 5 05-06
47. Carl Svebek III Siloam Springs, AR 10 17-07 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 08-00 Day 2: 5 09-07
48. Marty Giddens Cropwell, AL 8 17-00 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 09-08 Day 2: 3 07-08
49. Caleb Sumrall New Iberia, LA 6 15-11 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-11 Day 2: 1 03-00
50. Rick Morris Lake Gaston, VA 9 14-11 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 08-02 Day 2: 4 06-09
51. Stanley Sypeck Jr Sugarloaf, PA 5 12-01 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 5 12-01 Day 2: 0 00-00
52. Skeet Reese Auburn, CA 5 11-05 0 $10,000.00
Day 1: 0 00-00 Day 2: 5 11-05
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day #Limits #Fish Weight
1 51 255 684-12
2 45 245 584-12
———————————-
96 500 1269-08