It sounds like many of the leaders are making long runs, but Casey Ashley is staying fairly close. He only had one other contestant in his area yesterday, and that angler did poorly, so Ashley hopes he'll cede it to him. Along with focusing on the same location, he'll rely on the same presentation. "I'm fishing so shallow there aren't many baits you can throw," he explained.
> Day 1: 5, 23-02 Ashley came into today with a good bit of confidence. He found reason to feel otherwise after his production on day 1.
"I expected to catch them better than I did," he said. "When I got there this morning, I was a little scared. I don't know if the storm last night had them all messed up or something, but the cooler weather had them biting short and slapping at the bait. They just weren't eating it good."
His first limit weighed about 12 pounds, but around noon he had a flurry that saw him cull everything he had in the next 30 minutes. He's mainly targeting isolated grass and humps and catching fish out of water as shallow as 2 feet.
"The area I'm fishing has a lot of fish in it," he said. "Fishing pressure is going to hurt it, I'm afraid. There are only two of our guys in there, but the locals really love to come in there and fish. I watched a lot of them come in and work on the outskirts and then come in. Who knows, but they're just there. They're coming and it's where they want to be. There will be a lot more fish coming in there so I'm excited." Read More
Exposed anglers, including Hank Cherry, Casey Ashley, Brandon Palaniuk, GMAN Gerald Swindle, Aaron Martens, Jason Christie, Shaw Grigsby, Mike McClelland, and 48 others face off at the Classic, which takes place in Alabama on Lake Guntersville on Feb. 21-23.
Classic entrants Hank Cherry and Casey Ashley also appear this week for the first time on Exposed, along with Elite anger J. Todd Tucker. The three reveal strategies and tips for working through the difficult practice days that led up to the Elite Series West Point Lake Battle in May of 2013. In addition to storms and hail having just passed through the area, the fish were post-spawn. During this time in the spawn cycle, bass become notoriously reluctant to take the bait. Read More
For Elite Series anglers, which represent the upper-most crust of the world’s pro bass fishermen, tournament seasons always are stressful.
But the stress level got ratcheted up a few more notches for Lyman’s Marty Robinson and Casey Ashley of Donalds with last week’s announcement that the 2015 Bassmaster Classic will return to the Upstate.
It will be the second stop at Lake Hartwell for the “Super Bowl of Bass Fishing,” which first came to the Upstate in 2008. Read More
Photo-Story by Alan McGuckin It’s Day One of competition at the Bassmaster Elite Series Diet Mountain Dew Mississippi River Rumble in La Crosse, Wis. The sun sets late and rises early. The days are long. And for 29-year-old Casey Ashley, a two-time winner on bass fishing’s toughest trail, the day begins in a hotel parking lot, at a speed matched well to his thick, near whisper, of a drawn-out Southern drawl.
5:30 a.m. – Casey walks out of his hotel and adds instant calm to chaos. “Nah, ain’t no need to be in a hurry,” he says, as other competitors file into a line of trucks and trailers exiting the hotel parking lot like morning commuters at rush hour Read Complete Story
BassFan.com > Day 2: 5, 13-08 (10, 22-07) Casey Ashley jumped 14 spots today, thanks in large part to a 6-06 brute that devoured his topwater bait this morning. The fish accounted for nearly half of his weight today and has him in position to make his second straight Top-12 cut.
"I still haven't gotten anything figured out," he said. "I'm doing everything everybody else is doing. It just happened that I caught a 6 today. I do have a place, though, where I can stop and catch a limit of spots pretty quick in the morning. I did that yesterday and left with a limit for about 6 pounds. Today, they weighed about 9."
Bassfan.com > Day 2: 5, 18-06 (10, 39-03) - Ashley's bag was about 2 1/2 pounds lighter than the one he caught on day 1, but it didn't cost him any ground in the standings.
"I'm right where I want to be," he said. "As long as I can stay in that Top 5, I'm within striking distance.
"It was a little tougher today. The place where I caught them yesterday morning, I only caught two day and I had to go to my second spot. I milled around in the first spot too long waiting for them to bite."
He loaded up in a hurry once he relocated at about 10:00.
"When I made my move, they were biting and I caught the tail end of it. It was boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then they were done."
Like Pace, he's fishing offshore with a 3/4-ounce football jig. His best fish today was a 5 1/2-pounder.
"There's no pattern to it – it's just spot-fishing. I haven't had any company yet. There were some locals watching me, but they were really respectful and kept their distance, and hopefully they won't fish my stuff when I'm not there
"I don't think I have anything to worry about during tournament hours, but there's a lot of wildcat night derbies that go on." Read More
BassFan.com > Day 1: 5, 20-13 - Ashley found five offshore haunts during practice that were holding schools of fish. He was hoping to have one of the two most productive locales to himself today, and that's just what occurred.
"I got to go where I wanted to go," he said. "I didn't sit there all day, but there was nobody else there while I was there. I only fished the one place, but I spent time in a lot of other places trying to find other fish."
He went through about 20 keepers on the day and had all of his weight before noon. His bag was topped by a fish that was just a little under 6 pounds.
"It's no secret, I'm catching them on a football jig offshore. The only one I lost was about a 3-pounder, but I caught another one just like it on the next cast.
"I feel pretty confident about it. I don't know if I can catch 20 pounds again, but I feel like I can get a solid 14- or 15-pound bag." Read More
Each morning drive to the boat ramp in Ashley’s Toyota Tundra is saturated by country music. Today it was the sound of one of his all-time favorite artists, Kenny Chesney, and the 2005 album “Be As You Are.”
“I got to have music every mornin’. Ain’t no static comin’ from my speakers. I got to be singin’ along to sumthin’,” grins the soft-spoken Ashley, who sits solidly in fourth place after two days of hot and grinding competition at the Bassmaster Elite Series event on gigantic Toledo Bend Reservoir. Read More
"I made a bunch of wrong decisions today. I had a mental lapse on the water. Everywhere I went, the wind had trashed it out. I kept trying to force something to happen instead of adjusting to what I saw. It's fishing. I really expected to catch a couple big ones first thing this morning. I've got one stretch where big ones live and that was the only place the wind didn't mess up. The fish just didn't bite this morning. The one fish I caught was a (spotted bass). I didn't even know spots existed in this river." Read More