Oklahoma natives Christie, Palmer reflect on rapid changing conditions during Bassmaster Classic

Mar. 24—Although the 2024 Bassmaster Classic was fished on the same lake all three days, it looked like anglers were fishing a new body of water.

Over the three days, the conditions continuously changed for the anglers. Day one was rainy, then hot and humid, followed by a cold partially overcast day that saw some late sun on day two. The final day was the most difficult, however. Anglers had to battle the fish and the elements, with winds coming out of the south reaching 40 mph.

"It is difficult; it's changed every day," Colgate native Luke Palmers said. "I've pretty much caught my fish in the same spot, just a little pushed back and farther back. I would like to see a consistent weather pattern but that's not the case."

While the two first days were fairly similar, the anglers got a curveball on day three on Sunday, March 24. The winds that were a cub turned into a lion and ripped through, creating some challenges for the anglers.

The wind caused parts of the lake to whip around with some good-sized waves getting in the way.

"It's going to be tough to move around, but the fishing will be good once we get there," Park Hill native Jason Christie said. "[The wind] is going to get worse as the day goes along. Here's the thing: These guys have seen all the conditions. It's not like they're not going to catch anything."

As it stands, the Oklahoma anglers Christie and Palmer were able to catch a limit, but do not expect to factor in as top finishers. Before the official weigh-ins, both anglers were expected to finish near the back of the final 25 competitors.

Christie sits in 23rd place with a three-day projected total of 40.03 pounds, after posting 11.06 projected pounds. Palmer is in 21st place, with a projected bag of 40.11 pounds after a 10.13-pound day.

"It's the Classic; every day is a good day. Big-time change in conditions — it's going to be a rough ride, but that's fishing. That is what makes it exciting; a lot of things could change today," Palmer said at the launch.

As it stands, Justin Hamner is projected to finish with 56.02 pounds to win the tournament. Weigh-ins officially start at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 24.

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