Oklahoma’s Jason Christie hit No. 1 in BassFan’s World Rankings halfway through the 2013 season and has held onto that spot until just recently. He fished both the FLW and B.A.S.S. Elite tours during 2013, posting two FLW wins and an Elite victory. Christie credits YUM soft plastics as a line of lures he used extensively during his impressive 2013 season.

“I was fishing almost every week, with tournaments back-to-back,” he said. “Being ranked No. 1, there was a big team of baits that played a part in it, and YUM was one I relied on.”

Christie’s first victory of 2013 came at the Beaver Lake FLW tournament April 11-14. He said he knew going into the event that the YUM Flash Mob Jr. could be just the tool to craft a victory, but it was the way he outfitted that lightweight umbrella rig that made the biggest difference.

“The Flash Mob Jr. is the kind of finesse, compact umbrella rig that I wanted for that event,” he said, “and the right bait for it was the Mud Minnow. For me, the Mud Minnow is perfect because it’s a hard bait. Once I glue it on a jighead and let it sit for a minute, that’s a rig I can throw all day long without it tearing up and having to re-rig.”

In addition to the bait’s toughness, Christie said the Mud Minnow’s boot-style tail swims even when he’s retrieving it at a snail’s pace. Ninety percent of the fish he weighed in bit the FMJ while he retrieved it slowly in 4- to 7-feet of water.

Christie credits that first victory of 2013 for providing the momentum for the rest of the year. The following weekend he set a record for making the biggest final day jump in B.A.S.S. history, from 11th to first, but what many people tend to forget, according to Christie, is the solid Day 2 he put in during extremely difficult fishing conditions.

“Most people talk about that last day when I caught them on the Spook,” he said, “but if I hadn’t caught ‘em on the second day when fishing conditions were so tough, I wouldn’t even have been there at the end. It was a tough bite and you needed a bait that would get you a few extra fish, and the YUM Lizard did it.”

Christie used a 6-inch green pumpkin Lizard on a Carolina rig with a ¾-ounce weight, and targeted smallmouth that were moving in to spawn in depths from 5- to 10-feet deep. He said the conditions called for a finesse presentation, but the added motion from the lizard tail and legs create a bigger look to a small package. Instead of the usual “drag, pause” retrieve most anglers use with a Carolina rig, however, Christie uses the reel handle to employ a very slow, constant retrieve.

“It’s almost like fishing a crankbait, real slow,” he said. “Ninety percent of your bites come when dragging it, so I figured I’d spend the whole time moving it with the reel. There’s just something that triggers in a bass’s mind...they just don’t like lizards.”

Christie’s third victory of 2013 came on his home lake of Grand Lake O’ The Cherokees in northeastern Oklahoma, and he used three lures to take the lead and keep it all four days of the FLW event. The first lure on that list is the YUM Wooly Bug, a beaver-style bait with a wide, thin paddle tail. It’s a bait that doesn’t get enough credit, according to Christie.

“A lot of times during a tournament you catch 15 bass on one bait and five on another, the bait you caught the 15 on gets all of the publicity,” he said. “But a lot of times those five are the ones that fill your limit or catch the biggest fish. That’s the way it was with the Wooly Bug. I caught four or five fish that I weighed in on that bait the first couple days of the tournament, but they were key fish. Two were 5-pounders.”

Christie flipped the green pumpkin purple flake Wooly Bug to isolated willows to catch his Grand Lake bass, but he wasn’t flipping in the traditional manner. He said the bass didn’t eat the bait on the way down, but waited until he reeled the bait to the first limb and shook before they committed.

“I don’t think the fish were relating to the bottom. It was mucky and there were still some shad fry in the cover, and I think that’s what the bass were feeding on. Once I went past them going down I was out of the strike zone, so I’d pull it up to a limb and shake it,” he said.