Casey Ashley took top honors the last time the Bassmaster Classic was held at Lake Hartwell, but the Donalds angler fell a little bit short this time around, finishing in eighth place with a total three-day weight of 42-pounds, 12-ounces.
Ashley, who loves fishing on Lake Hartwell, said the lake and weather conditions couldn’t have been more opposite of what he was hoping for during the three day event.
“Everything went exactly wrong for what I wanted in this tournament. I wanted the lake to stay low, I wanted it to stay cold, so it was the total opposite, and when you turn 52 of the world’s best bass anglers loose on this lake in those conditions, they’re going to catch them,” he said.
“I was catching all my fish shallow on docks with my signature Greenfish shakey-head that just came out in 1/8-ounce with a Zoom trick worm in pumpkin, and also in watermelon candy,” said Ashley.
Overall, despite having the conditions he wasn’t looking for, Ashley was thankful and pleased to get a top ten finish. Read Complete Story
Photo by: Andy Crawford - (12-07, 42-12) “I had high hopes going into the day. I looked at the weather and I knew the wind was going to blow out of the north/northeast and that’s terrible here. I thought even though it’s going to blow out of the northeast, it’s still going to be warm and slick. I thought maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t affect them like it normally does, but it did. The docks I was catching them on, whereI was catching largemouths, it was all little spots today.
"That’s the M.O. for this lake. I don’t care how good you’re on them, if you get that high-pressure day, you’ll roll into those places and all you’ll catch are spots. That’s what happened today and I knew a lot of guys were going to be in trouble, but I couldn’t change.” Read more
Photo by: Seigo Saito > Day 2: 5, 15-05 (10,30-05) - Ashley, the winner of the last Classic at Hartwell who's again fishing on his home lake, made a six-place jump in the standings on day 2. However, he knows he'll need a bigger bag on the final day in order to have a shot at prevailing again.
"The fish just aren’t doing what I want them to do …yet," he said. "I’m having to fish too slow to really cover any water – I’ve got a lot of stuff I haven’t even fished yet.
"Tomorrow, I've kind of got some key deals right now that seem to be replenishing, so I’ll run and hit that, but I’m going to cover some new water tomorrow. If I can get what I want going on, I can cover a lot more water and that will be good.”
What are his chances of catching the type of stringer he'll need?
“I know where 20 pounds is under one dock – if they’ll bite." Read more