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SENECA — Casey Ashley says the secret to bass fishing is “knowing where they live.”

Apparently Ashley has that part covered; now he just hopes they stay home and answer when he comes knocking the next two days.

Ashley, a 30-year-old pro from Donalds, continued his mastery of Lake Hartwell’s bass Friday and enters the weekend halfway to a $100,000 payday, courtesy of the Wal-mart FLW Tour.

After taking the lead with five bass weighing 21 pounds, 7 ounces Thursday, Ashley followed up with another limit Friday that tipped the scales at 15 pounds, 13 ounces, giving him a 37-4 total and a 2-pound, 12-ounce lead. Read More

Pro leader Casey Ashley holds up part of his 15-pound, 13-ounce day-two stringer. (Photo by Brett Carlson)

 by Brett Carlson SENECA, S.C. – It was inconceivable to think the conditions could get any worse at the Walmart FLW Tour event, but that’s exactly what happened on day two at Lake Hartwell. In addition to the wind and cold, steady rain pounded the field and changed the water color in many of Hartwell’s popular creeks from stained to burnt orange.

The bite changed for pro leader Casey Ashley, but he was still able to build his lead to nearly 3 pounds. Instead of catching mainly largemouths, today Ashley weighed four sizeable spots and just one bucketmouth.

“Yesterday was really a freak thing,” said Ashley who lives in nearby Donalds, S.C. “I made every right move yesterday. It took me until 1 p.m. to get a limit today, but then I culled six or seven times. It’s slow fishing. I’m picking off one here, and one there. I was able to fish some new stuff today because the wind blew out of another direction and I was able to fish where I couldn’t get to yesterday.”

000111825 headlineSENECA, S.C. – Casey Ashley may be fishing his first Walmart FLW Tour season, but he’s no stranger to big-time tournaments on Lake Hartwell. One in particular still sticks with him and not for good reason. Today, he put some big-time revenge on the Hartwell bass – catching a 21-pound, 7-ounce stringer on a day where less than half the field cracked double digits.

With temperatures in the mid-40s and a steady 20 mph northeast wind, the conditions made a tough bite even tougher. Right as the day-one weigh-in commenced, the rain started and isn’t supposed to let up until Friday afternoon. None of this affected Ashley, who fishes Hartwell often and knew the bite was screwy thanks to a cold and unpredictable spring. Read More

Casey Ashley sits in sixth place heading into today's final round, and he's hoping Guntersville lives up to its potential.
"You never know with this place," Ashley said. "It's loaded with fish. I'm in a good area, but any of us could pull up on our first spot and catch 30 pounds. You can get well real quick on this place."
Ashley said he plans to expand on his primary area today, having more water to roam because there are fewer anglers in the field.

After bouncing around for an hour and catching several short fish, Ashley returned to his sweet spot to run out the last 45 minutes. He manages to catch one bass that let's him cull up a few ounces

Ashley moves for the third time since leaving his sweet spot. He's trying different baits and patterns hoping for a last minute kicker. He needs it badly.

Ashley hears the clock ticking. It prompts him to leave the spot he's been fishing since the start of the Classic. After 30 minutes there without a bite he moves again.

The water where Ashley is fishing is flat calm with bright sunshine beating down. He needs a kicker fish to keep pace with the leaders. There's still time but the bass aren't helping.

Ashley's bites are coming so slowly that only two fans have hung around to watch him. Ashley looks calm and collected but he has to be feeling the pressure. He stops to rig up a bait that he hasn't shown to the bass yet during this Classic. He gives it two casts and goes back to what he had been doing.

My boat driver, Phil Williams, and I just checked out two other creeks looking for other pros to photograph. We didn't find any. Other than Cliff Prince, I don't believe there's another pro fishing within 5 miles of Ashley. If his bass cooperate, he's going to have them to himself.

“You always dream of fishing the Bassmaster Classic on your home lake, but to be able to win it on your home lake? This is a dream come true.” 
Casey Ashley
Casey does not imitate or mimic country. He defines it.

He has ridden the back roads from rural Carolina all the way to victory lane of the Bassmaster Classic, leaving many people wondering who Casey Ashley is and what the secret is to winning the world championship of bass fishing.

Born and raised in Donalds, S.C., Ashley’s blood is as red as Piedmont clay and when he speaks you can hear the easy, confident flow of the Savannah River in his voice.

Read More










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