Christie, Birge Report In from Deer Stand, Duck Blind
Two Major League Fishing pros explain how hunting helps them prepare for a busy 2019 season
By Aly Akers
November 16, 2018
It can be tough to catch up with some of the Major League Fishing pros in the offseason because when they’re done with their last tournament of the season, they leave the bass boat at home and head into the woods.
Earlier this week, we were able to chat with Jason Christie between deer hunts. Christie said that he first went hunting with his dad as a child, which are some of his fondest memories.
MLF pro Jason Christie
“There were no silly phone games. If you wanted to be entertained, you went hunting or fishing,” Christie said.
Those forms of entertainment grew into passions as Christie grew older. As the fishing season comes to an end, his anticipation for deer season starts to grow and he’s raring to get to the deer stand.
“After I make my last cast of the season, I don’t want to make another cast until after deer season,” Christie said. “You don’t get to deer hunt all year, so you can’t wait. It’s like my break.”
But even during his break, he’s still thinking about fishing. Christie admits that his deer stand serves as his office: it’s a place where he can mentally prepare for the season ahead. While he’s perched up in a tree, he makes lists of what he needs for the next year.
“It kind of organizes me and prepares me," Christie said. "It’s just sitting up there and thinking about what I need to do. It’s kind of mental preparation for fishing."
Another Oklahoma pro, Zack Birge, is also eager to head out to the woods after fishing season. But he’s not interested in hunting deer. He prefers to spend his time in a duck blind, having a good time with his friends.
“When you’re duck hunting, you don’t have to sit there and be quiet like you do in a tree stand,” Birge said. “You can actually sit around and have a good time. Whereas, basically in a tree stand, you sit around all day and can hardly sniffle.”
Birge says hunting takes his mind off fishing and competing. He likes to spend his offseason relaxing and enjoying the time off with family and friends.
“That way when tournament season comes around again, I’m fired up and ready to go,” Birge says.
We asked both Birge and Christie which they prefer: The view from their bass boat or the view from their blind?
Birge quickly answered: “If I could make as much or more money sitting in a duck blind, I’d rather sit in a duck blind.”
But Christie was torn.
“That’s like trying to decide which of your kids you like the most. I love them both,” he said.
You’ll see both Birge and Christie hunt for bass on the new season of MLF, premiering Saturday, January 5 on Outdoor Channel.