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
Twenty-eight-year-old Casey Ashley has already notched two Bassmaster Elite Series victories and four Bassmaster Classic qualifications in just five years on tour. He now joins a Quantum roster of pro anglers that is rich with legends, and prideful of its exclusivity and longevity.
“What’s crazy is how light and smooth Quantum’s new EXO and Smoke are compared to the reels and rods I was using just five years ago when I got my first Elite Series win,” said Ashley, who is an extremely simple angler, choosing the same hand-tied jig, whether he’s casting or pitching it. “It’s really obvious that the guys at Quantum have their hearts and heads in building the best products in the industry,” added the 28-year-old. Complete Story
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Casey Ashley has to be feeling pretty good about his victory in the Ramada All-Star Semi-Final, but he knows it means nothing now.
The budding country singer might just be headed into a buzzsaw, at least someone who sure wants to show out on the Alabama River. Top-seeded Ashley gets Skeet Reese in a first-round matchup of the Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship. Read More
Casey Ashley's Debut CD "Released"
6 Song CD featuring:
$10.00 plus $3.95 Shipping