Casey Ashley Leads Day One of 2016 BASSfest at Lake Texoma

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2016 B.A.S.S. Elite Series BASSfest Lake Texoma Day One Leader Casey Ashley - photo by Seigo Saito - Bassmaster

2016 B.A.S.S. Elite Series BASSfest Lake Texoma Day One Leader Casey Ashley – photo by Seigo Saito – Bassmaster

DURANT, Okla. — Flooded shorelines and muddy water didn’t stop some Bassmaster Elite Series pros from finding big bass during the GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest presented by Choctaw Casino and Resort at Lake Texoma.

After a very difficult and unproductive practice, Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., “just went fishing,” and put together the day’s heaviest five-fish limit of bass that weighed 20 pounds, 1 ounce. His lead eclipsed Chad Morgenthaler of Coulterville, Ill., who is in second place by only 11 ounces with a total of 19-6.

Ashley’s limit included the tournament’s current Phoenix Boats Big Bass that tipped the scales at 6-15. If the 2015 Classic champion can hold the big-fish lead for the duration of BASSfest, he’ll earn a $1,500 bonus.

“I had no idea I was going to catch them that good today,” Ashley said. “The first bite of the day was my big one, and when you start things out with that kind of momentum, it really helps you to settle in and make good decisions for the rest of the day.”

The South Carolinian is unsure if he can replicate today’s success on Thursday, but he’s sure going to try.

“All I can do is just put the trolling motor down, keep my head down and go,” he said. “I’ve found that there really isn’t a good way to predict where the bites will come from. Covering water quickly and making accurate casts seems to be the key to finding the big fish, and I’m going to do my best to make it happen again tomorrow. “

Unlike Ashley’s unproductive practice, Morgenthaler located his fish earlier in the week.

“I started my day on what I felt was my best spot, but it didn’t turn out that way. I relocated to another spot that I found during practice and caught a limit pretty quickly. Being able to make some key upgrades as the day went on really helped me put together a solid limit,” Morgenthaler said.

He said that he caught a lot of fish today, and will be starting Thursday off with “comfortable confidence.”

He thinks the receding water should improve his pattern, but the lake is changing by the hour and he knows that he’ll have to adapt quickly to stay on the bass.

As of 5 p.m. CT, Texoma was measured at 625.48 feet (above sea level) with normal full pool measuring at 619 feet. The reservoir’s current release rate is 41,900 cubic feet per second, which has created quite a riffle below the dam. That means the lake level will be steadily decreasing. Those who adapt the quickest will likely finish the strongest.

Local favorite and 2016 Bassmaster Classic champion Edwin Evers of Talala, Okla., will begin Thursday’s second round of competition in third place after weighing in 18-8.

“Today was a grind. It looks good on paper, but I only had five bites all day long,” Evers said. “Practice was crucial to how and where I fished today, but with the water going down I’ll have to adjust throughout the day — and I think I can do that. ”

The full field of 108 anglers will resume competition on Thursday, vying for a Top 50 spot, which is where the field will be cut for Friday’s semi-final round. Takeoff will be held at Dam Site Park in Denison, Texas, at 6:15 a.m. CT, while the weigh-in will take place at Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla.

There will be no fishing on Saturday, as Bassmaster University will take place at Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, Okla., the same location as daily weigh-ins. Gates open at 10 a.m., and it’s completely free to the public. Bassmaster fans will have opportunities to visit sponsor booths, attend seminars, ask their favorite pros questions and even gather autographs.

Competition will crescendo on Championship Sunday, as the remaining Top 12 anglers battle for the $100,000 grand prize and a berth to the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Toyota, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, GoPro, Huk, Humminbird, Mercury, Minn Kota, Nitro Boats, Skeeter Boats

2016 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Shell Rotella, Shimano, Academy Sports + Outdoors, A.R.E. Truck Caps, Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, Power-Pole, Rapala

About B.A.S.S.
B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation presented by Magellan, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.

2016 GEICO Bassmaster BASSfest presented by Choctaw Casino and Resort 6/8-6/12
Lake Texoma, Durant  OK.
(PROFESSIONAL) Standings Day 1

Angler                   Hometown              No./lbs-oz  Pts   

1.  Casey Ashley           Donalds, SC              5  20-01  110
Day 1: 5   20-01
2.  Chad Morgenthaler      Reeds Spring, MO         5  19-06  109
Day 1: 5   19-06
3.  Edwin Evers            Talala, OK               5  18-08  108
Day 1: 5   18-08
4.  Ott DeFoe              Knoxville, TN            5  18-05  107
Day 1: 5   18-05
5.  Brandon Palaniuk       Rathdrum, ID             5  18-03  106
Day 1: 5   18-03
6.  David Walker           Sevierville, TN          5  16-08  105
Day 1: 5   16-08
7.  Yusuke Miyazaki        Forney, TX               5  16-05  104
Day 1: 5   16-05
8.  Brandon Card           Caryville, TN            5  16-00  103
Day 1: 5   16-00
8.  Keith Poche            Pike Road, AL            5  16-00  103
Day 1: 5   16-00
10. Michael Iaconelli      Pitts Grove, NJ          5  15-15  101
Day 1: 5   15-15
11. Greg Hackney           Gonzales, LA             5  15-10  100
Day 1: 5   15-10
12. Kevin VanDam           Kalamazoo, MI            5  15-09   99
Day 1: 5   15-09
13. Brett Preuett          Monroe, LA               5  15-07   98
Day 1: 5   15-07
14. Ish Monroe             Hughson, CA              5  15-02   97
Day 1: 5   15-02
15. Gerald Swindle         Guntersville, AL         5  14-11   96
Day 1: 5   14-11
15. Chris Zaldain          Laughlin, NV             5  14-11   96
Day 1: 5   14-11
17. Adrian Avena           Vineland, NJ             5  14-09   94
Day 1: 5   14-09
18. Randall Tharp          Port St. Joe, FL         5  14-06   93
Day 1: 5   14-06
19. Jeff Kriet             Ardmore, OK              5  14-04   92
Day 1: 5   14-04
20. Rick Clunn             Ava, MO                  5  14-00   91
Day 1: 5   14-00
20. Bobby Lane Jr.         Lakeland, FL             5  14-00   91
Day 1: 5   14-00
20. Mark Menendez          Paducah, KY              5  14-00   91
Day 1: 5   14-00
23. Mike McClelland        Bella Vista, AR          5  13-13   88
Day 1: 5   13-13
24. Bill Lowen             Brookville, IN           5  13-10   87
Day 1: 5   13-10
25. Chris Lane             Guntersville, AL         5  13-08   86
Day 1: 5   13-08
26. Gary Klein             Weatherford, TX          5  13-04   85
Day 1: 5   13-04
27. Keith Combs            Huntington, TX           5  13-03   84
Day 1: 5   13-03
27. Jared Lintner          Arroyo Grande, CA        5  13-03   84
Day 1: 5   13-03
29. Todd Faircloth         Jasper, TX               5  13-01   82
Day 1: 5   13-01
30. Dean Rojas             Lake Havasu City, AZ     5  12-14   81
Day 1: 5   12-14
31. Alton Jones            Lorena, TX               5  12-10   80
Day 1: 5   12-10
32. Seth Feider            Bloomington, MN          5  12-06   79
Day 1: 5   12-06
32. Jordan Lee             Grant, AL                5  12-06   79
Day 1: 5   12-06
34. Clent Davis            Montevallo, AL           5  12-04   77
Day 1: 5   12-04
35. Dave Lefebre           Erie, PA                 5  12-02   76
Day 1: 5   12-02
36. Bernie Schultz         Gainesville, FL          5  12-01   75
Day 1: 5   12-01
37. John Murray            Spring City, TN          5  12-00   74
Day 1: 5   12-00
38. Terry Scroggins        San Mateo, FL            4  12-00   73
Day 1: 4   12-00
39. Brandon Coulter        Knoxville, TN            5  11-11   72
Day 1: 5   11-11
39. Dennis Tietje          Roanoke, LA              5  11-11   72
Day 1: 5   11-11
41. Josh Bertrand          Gilbert, AZ              5  11-10   70
Day 1: 5   11-10
41. Ken Iyobe              Tokoname  Aichi JAPAN    5  11-10   70
Day 1: 5   11-10
43. Casey Scanlon          Rocky Mount, MO          5  11-10   68
Day 1: 5   11-10
44. Steve Kennedy          Auburn, AL               5  11-09   67
Day 1: 5   11-09
45. James Elam             Tulsa, OK                5  11-07   66
Day 1: 5   11-07
46. Chad Grigsby           Maple Grove, MN          5  11-06   65
Day 1: 5   11-06
47. Scott Rook             Little Rock, AR          5  11-04   64
Day 1: 5   11-04
48. Jacob Powroznik        Port Haywood, VA         5  11-01   63
Day 1: 5   11-01
49. Drew Benton            Panama City, FL          5  10-09   62
Day 1: 5   10-09
49. Randy Howell           Guntersville, AL         5  10-09   62
Day 1: 5   10-09
49. Clifford Pirch         Payson, AZ               5  10-09   62
Day 1: 5   10-09
49. Jason Williamson       Wagener, SC              5  10-09   62
Day 1: 5   10-09
53. Cliff Crochet          Pierre Part, LA          5  10-07   58
Day 1: 5   10-07
53. Brandon Lester         Fayetteville, TN         5  10-07   58
Day 1: 5   10-07
55. Shaw Grigsby Jr.       Gainesville, FL          5  10-06   56
Day 1: 5   10-06
55. Brett Hite             Phoenix, AZ              5  10-06   56
Day 1: 5   10-06
57. Matt Reed              Madisonville, TX         5  10-06   54
Day 1: 5   10-06
58. Hank Cherry Jr         Maiden, NC               5  10-06   53
Day 1: 5   10-06
59. Brent Ehrler           Newport Beach, CA        5  10-05   52
Day 1: 5   10-05
59. Takahiro Omori         Emory, TX                5  10-05   52
Day 1: 5   10-05
61. Marty Robinson         Lyman, SC                4  10-03   50
Day 1: 4   10-03
62. Paul Elias             Laurel, MS               5  10-02   49
Day 1: 5   10-02
62. Koby Kreiger           Bokeelia, FL             5  10-02   49
Day 1: 5   10-02
64. John Hunter Jr         Shelbyville, KY          5  10-01   47
Day 1: 5   10-01
65. Jason Christie         Park Hill, OK            5  10-00   46
Day 1: 5   10-00
66. Bradley Roy            Lancaster, KY            5  09-15   45
Day 1: 5   09-15
67. Paul Mueller           Naugatuck, CT            5  09-14   44
Day 1: 5   09-14
68. Matt Herren            Ashville, AL             4  09-14   43
Day 1: 4   09-14
69. Russ Lane              Prattville, AL           5  09-13   42
Day 1: 5   09-13
70. David Mullins          Mt Carmel, TN            3  09-13   41
Day 1: 3   09-13
71. Brock Mosley           Collinsville, MS         4  09-12   40
Day 1: 4   09-12
72. Andy Montgomery        Blacksburg, SC           5  09-11   39
Day 1: 5   09-11
73. Fred Roumbanis         Bixby, OK                5  09-10   38
Day 1: 5   09-10
74. Skeet Reese            Auburn, CA               5  09-09   37
Day 1: 5   09-09
75. Kelly Jordon           Flint, TX                4  09-09   36
Day 1: 4   09-09
76. Tim Horton             Muscle Shoals, AL        5  09-08   35
Day 1: 5   09-08
77. Shane Lineberger       Lincolnton, NC           5  09-07   34
Day 1: 5   09-07
78. Justin Lucas           Guntersville, AL         5  09-05   33
Day 1: 5   09-05
78. Britt Myers            Lake Wylie, SC           5  09-05   33
Day 1: 5   09-05
80. Cliff Pace             Petal, MS                5  09-03   31
Day 1: 5   09-03
81. Cliff Prince           Palatka, FL              5  09-01   30
Day 1: 5   09-01
81. Fletcher Shryock       New Philadelphia, OH     5  09-01   30
Day 1: 5   09-01
83. Tommy Biffle           Wagoner, OK              5  08-15   28
Day 1: 5   08-15
84. Luke Clausen           Otis Orchards, WA        5  08-15   27
Day 1: 5   08-15
85. Chad Pipkens           Lansing, MI              5  08-13   26
Day 1: 5   08-13
85. David Williams         Newton, NC               5  08-13   26
Day 1: 5   08-13
87. Kelley Jaye            Dadeville, AL            5  08-07   24
Day 1: 5   08-07
88. Brian Snowden          Reeds Spring, MO         5  08-07   23
Day 1: 5   08-07
89. Brent Chapman          Lake Quivira, KS         5  08-05   22
Day 1: 5   08-05
90. Davy Hite              Ninety Six, SC           4  08-03   21
Day 1: 4   08-03
91. Aaron Martens          Leeds, AL                5  07-11   20
Day 1: 5   07-11
92. Greg Vinson            Wetumpka, AL             5  07-10   19
Day 1: 5   07-10
93. Jay Brainard           Enid, OK                 5  06-15   18
Day 1: 5   06-15
94. Morizo Shimizu         Suita, Osaka JAPAN       5  06-14   17
Day 1: 5   06-14
95. Micah Frazier          Newnan, GA               5  06-13   16
Day 1: 5   06-13
96. Boyd Duckett           Guntersville, AL         4  06-12   15
Day 1: 4   06-12
97. Billy McCaghren Jr     Mayflower, AR            3  06-05   14
Day 1: 3   06-05
98. Carl Jocumsen          Queensland TX AUSTRALIA  5  06-04   13
Day 1: 5   06-04
99. John Crews Jr          Salem, VA                3  06-02   12
Day 1: 3   06-02
100. James Niggemeyer       Van, TX                  5  06-01   11
Day 1: 5   06-01
101. Randy Allen            Shreveport, LA           3  05-09   10
Day 1: 3   05-09
102. Matt Lee               Guntersville, AL         4  05-07    9
Day 1: 4   05-07
103. Stephen Browning       Hot Springs, AR          2  05-00    8
Day 1: 2   05-00
104. Mark Davis             Mount Ida, AR            5  04-09    7
Day 1: 5   04-09
105. Fabian Rodriguez       Ocean City, DE           2  03-01    6
Day 1: 2   03-01
106. Kotaro Kiriyama        Moody, AL                2  02-14    5
Day 1: 2   02-14
107. J Todd Tucker          Moultrie, GA             2  02-12    4
Day 1: 2   02-12
108. Jonathon VanDam        Kalamazoo, MI            1  01-13    3
Day 1: 1   01-13
———————————————————————–
Totals
Day   #Limits    #Fish      Weight
1        91       508      1176-04
———————————-
91       508      1176-04