Jason Christie Finds Two New Favorites

There’s another capital in Arkansas. If you follow the Arkansas River upstream, it will be there. Away from the lights and bridges and politics of Little Rock, you’ll find it. Past Lake Dardanelle and just up the highway from the official state capital, you’ll find a national capital of fishing—the PRADCO headquarters in Fort Smith.

It’s here, near the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, that you’ll find the home of legendary fishing brands like Heddon, Cotton Cordell, Bandit and Rebel. And it’s here—under PRADCO’s banner—that you’ll find a pair of future best sellers from another PRADCO brand, YUM.

The soft plastic YUM lure that Bassmaster Elite Series pro Jason Christie dubbed, “the perfect mid-sized creature bait,” in 2014, now has a full-size big brother with the 2016 introduction of YUM’s Magnum Christie Critter. At 7.75 inches, the Magnum Christie Critter weighs in at a full 3.25 inches longer than its predecessor, and the difference turns the bait into an all-out giant hunter.

“I’ve gained a lot of confidence in the Christie Critter over the last couple of years,” Christie says. “It’s become a big confidence bait for me, and I’ve won a lot of money on it. The idea for a bigger Christie Critter came when I was out fishing ledges last year. When you’re fishing deep, it feels like the choices are a big worm or another big worm, and I thought that a big-size Christie Critter would be something different and a great target bait.”

“I can see this bait being great on places where there’s a lot of four-plus pounders,” he adds. “Places like Kentucky Lake, Guntersville, Toledo Bend and Falcon, where you want to pull up to a school of fish and catch the five biggest fish in the school without burning through the rest of them.”

Christie is also using the Magnum Christie Critter for flipping and pitching (of course), but it’s good at a lot more, including Carolina rigging. “It’s not just a flipping and pitching bait or just a deep water bait, but it’s definitely a big fish bait.”

Out of the Bottle

“I always wanted a worm,” Christie says. “I finally found one.”

The worm he’s’ talking about is the second YUM newbie that’s finding a home in Christie’s 2016 arsenal. The Genie is a versatile 7.5-inch worm with a segmented body and flag tail that’s perfect as a Texas rig or shaky head. “I like flipping a worm a lot in late summer and early fall, when I feel like the fish have been pressured a lot. There’s just a time when you’re flipping docks and brush piles that something more subtle like the Genie is going to catch fish.”

“Since I like to flip a worm,” he adds, “the first thing I ask myself when I look at a bait, is if it has enough plastic for me to use it all day without having to spend more time re-rigging than fishing. The Genie is built so the head and hook areas are thicker than the rest of the worm, and that makes it tougher and capable of catching more fish with a single bait. It also uses that flag tail—it sort of looks like an arrowhead—to give it a little action, and you can scale the segmented body down to make it a smaller bait if you want. The Genie is a fantastic in places where fish get a good look at the bait.”

YUM’s new Magnum Christie Critter and Genie, together, they’re the latest innovations coming from Arkansas’ supreme capital of fishing tackle.