Casey Ashley at Soner Euro Cup VII 2016


Casey Ashley finishes 10th at La Crosse

Casey Ashley

Ashley rockets into 30th place in Angler of the Year battle

Photo Gary Tramontina - Casey Ashley from Donalds, S.C. didn’t win the La Crosse Bassmaster Elite Series tournament this past weekend, but he probably wouldn’t be any happier if he did. He finished 10th, and gained plenty of valuable Angler of the Year points, and secured himself a spot in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic.

Ashley was in a tough spot going into this tournament, the last of the Elite Series regular season trail. He needed to finish well to make it to next week’s Angler of the Year Championship, which only the top 50 anglers compete in. Ashley was in 41st place. 41st out of 50th sounds like a sure thing, but not during the last Elite Series tournament of the year, where a dozen other anglers were within just a few points of Ashley.

He admitted this week that he knew if he stumbled at La Crosse, his season would be over. He did anything but stumble, leading after Day 1, and staying the in the top 10 throughout the entire 4-day tournament.

He was also two places out of making the 2017 Bassmaster Classic, but with his 10th place finish at La Crosse, Ashley rocketed up to 30th place.

Ashely was the only Carolina angler fishing on the final day of the tournament. Ott DeFoe of Knoxville, Tenn. took the lead on Day 2, and never looked back, winning the tournament with 63-10.

Jason Williamson of Wagener, S.C. barely missed the Day 4 cut, finishing 14th overall. Hank Cherry Jr of Maiden, N.C. took 19th place, and Shane Linebarger, also of Maiden finished 23rd. Blacksburg, S.C.’s Andy Montgomery finished 43rd, and Britt Myers of Lake Wylie took 61st.

Davy Hite of Ninety Six, S.C. couldn’t recover from his struggles on Day 1, when he only managed to bring three small fish to the scales. Despite his strong Day 2 total of 17-9, he finished 65th. Marty Robinson of Lyman, S.C. struggled as well, finishing 72nd.

The other Carolina anglers who finished in the top 50 and are moving on to next week’s Angler of the Year Championship are Montgomery, Williamson, and Cherry, the highest finisher among Carolina anglers at the number 10 spot. Link


Ashley Puts Practice Misery Behind Him With 17-10 Leads Day One


B.A.S.S./SEIGO SAITO > Day 1: 5, 17-10 Ashley doesn’t pretend to be an expert on the upper Mississippi. He’s not sure if the fish he caught today were part of a group that was moving into the area or heading out. What he does know is that he’s going back there tomorrow with the hope more of the same-sized bass are still there.

“I’m going to catch them until they stop biting,” he said. “I thought I could catch ‘em. I thought I could catch 13, maybe 14 pounds. I was surprised with almost 18. I didn’t catch anything like that in practice.”
He declined to disclose what pool he spent the day in, but said he had his weight by noon. He’s not too concerned about the dirty water encroaching on his area.

“If it changes drastically, everybody will be in trouble I think,” he said. “As far as the mud goes, it wasn’t that bad today. Whatever is going to come this way, Saturday and Sunday are the days to worry about because it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. I think I’ll be fine. The only thing that worries me is other guys trying to slide in there. I never saw another boat today.” Read More


Shallows of Lake Onalaska maroon South Carolina angler

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


6th: Tough Day for Ashley


> Day 4: 3, 4-09 (18, 56-08) Photo by: B.A.S.S. / Seigo Saito - It was a disappointing final day for Ashley. On the bright side, he picked up a lot of AOY points and is up to 34th in the standings, which is inside the cutoff for next year's Classic.

"It was just one of those days," he said. "It sure would've been nice to win it, but I'm not going to worry about it. That's just fishing.

"With it being overcast all day, the fish didn't get in the bushes all that great. I tried throwing a bunch of stuff – a topwater, a spinnerbait, a buzzbait, a Pop-R – but I couldn't get anything going. I thought I'd still be able to catch some one way or another, but I just didn't figure it out."

His primary baits for the week were a Zoom Z-Craw and a Strike King Slither Rig, but attached to a half-ounce weight.

"I had some more bites today and some short strikes, but even if I landed every fish that bit it wouldn't have mattered." Read more


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