Bassmaster Classic champion Jason Christie won an extra $7,500 for himself and a $1,000 cash donation to a conservation partner of his choice through Costa’s Compete + Conserve contingency program for his finish at the 2022 Classic. Compete + Conserve rewards the highest finishing angler wearing Costa Sunglasses on the water for over 300+ supported tournaments.
In conjunction with the angler payout / prize, there is an allotted conservation contribution included with every event. For his Classic win, Christie chose the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame to receive his $1,000 donation.
“I’ve been ate up with the outdoors long before I was a professional bass fisherman,” Christie said. “Growing up I fished, hunted, camped, hiked, and walked in creeks or the woods every chance I could get. I didn’t care what it was, as long as it was outside.
“That’s what’s so cool about the Compete + Conserve program, more than just earning bonus money, it allows anglers to give back. To donate to organizations working to protect and improve our lakes and rivers for us now and for future generations.”
“Unfinished business” was the phrase coined around Christie’s return to Bassmaster Elite Series, and he wasn’t afraid to admit it had everything to do with the Classic. Christie’s near misses in previous Classics are well-documented and have been talked about ad nauseum since 2018, the last time he came up short of bass fishing’s biggest prize. While he was at peace with his decision making on Lake Hartwell in 2018, the end result still left a bad taste in his mouth.
For him to leave the Elite Series in 2019, requalify through the Bassmaster Opens in 2020, make it back to the Classic via his performance in 2021, and then win the Classic on Lake Hartwell four years removed from his third-place finish on the same fishery is truly incredible. Hollywood screenwriters couldn’t come up with a better story.
Christie certainly isn’t done winning tournaments. Heck, he just proved that on Lake Chickamauga, capturing his fifth Bassmaster Elite Series trophy, but in many ways, he’s put a bow around his unfinished business on the water. The bass fishing phenom from a small town in eastern Oklahoma is now thinking more about the bigger picture of enhancing opportunities in the outdoors.
“Honestly this conservation donation from Costa has lit my fire a little bit and got me thinking,” Christie said. “For years I’ve wanted to do more in my local or regional area to get kids fishing and more people outside. We’ve been hosting a Children’s Fishing Day with the Cherokee Nation for several years and it’s truly one of my favorite days of the year. There is nothing better than helping young people discover the magic of the outdoors.
“I don’t have my hands around exactly what it is yet, but I want to do more things like that. If we want to get more kids outdoors, we need to have healthy lakes, rivers, and woods for them to get out in. Costa’s commitment to conservation through Compete + Conserve helps with that and gets us bass anglers thinking about what more we can do.”
As long as you own a pair of Costas, Compete + Conserve is completely free to register. Get signed up here and start earning rewards for yourself and the watery resources we all love.