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Opps!It didn’t take long for Casey Ashley, a 10-year veteran on the B.A.S.S. professional fishing circuit, to find out Mississippi River largemouth and smallmouth bass have a hearty bite.

And so do Coulee Region mosquitoes — especially after dark.

While in search of one, the native of Donalds, S.C., discovered the other, and not by choice. Ashley, a 36-year-old who is in La Crosse to compete in the four-day Plano Bassmaster Elite Series event on the Mississippi River, which starts this morning, found himself beached in the headwaters area of Lake Onalaska as Labor Day wound down.

About 7:30 p.m. Monday, Ashley was preparing to return to his launch area after a day of pre-fishing. Pre-fishing, for non-angling folks, is a practice day where the competitors pick out different spots, try different lures, and form a game plan of sorts before the big-buck tournament begins.

How big? A $638,000 purse will be distributed to the top 50 anglers in the La Crosse event, which is the 10th of 11 regular-season tournaments in the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series. The winner of the La Crosse event pockets a cool $100,000.

Tournament headquarters is at Veteran’s Freedom Park near the Clinton Street boat landing, with daily weigh-ins at 3:15 p.m.

Ashley was feeling pretty good about the spots he had fished, the weight of fish he had caught and released, and his strategy for Tuesday, which was another day of pre-fishing.

Then everything changed. Read More


“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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