Team Lucky Craft: Casey Ashley

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LuckyCraftBlogWell, the regular season is over. Next up is the inaugural All-Star postseason event which is comprised of two stand alone tournaments featuring the top eight anglers from the regular season points standings and four anglers voted in by the fans. Lucky for me, I’m one of the eight. Ever since my win at Lake Murray it seems like every decision I make is right. I know I’m fishing with a lot less pressure due to my automatic classic birth awarded to each event winner this year on the Elite Series. It was definitely the turning point of my season.

The Carolina Clash event on Lake Murray was right at the tail-end of the blue-back herring spawn so there were not nearly as many active fish as we had seen at some of our previous blue-back dominated events. Everyone knew the morning bite was crucial and I was no different. Unlike a lot of guys I didn’t want to waste much time chasing down schools of fish so instead I found two key points within eye-sight of each other and camped their each morning. If I saw the fish breaking the surface on the other spot it was a quick ride over to them. This approach allowed me to maximize my fishing time. When choosing a bait to imitate a blue back I always start with the Lucky Craft Gunfish 110 in the Ghost Shad Color. During that tournament I caught a big one each day on it in the first hour and then switched to my double fluke rig for the remaining low light time. I had a ton of giants blow up on that bait and it was really crucial I land at least one fish every time the bass started crashing the surface. After the sun came out I switched to a green pumpkin Zoom trick worm on a little shakey head with 8 pound test fluorocarbon line. I found myself fishing much shallower than most other anglers. All of my fish were in about three feet of water. That was a great feeling winning that tournament not far from where I grew up.

After that event things just came together for me. For example my next event was the last southern open at Douglas Lake in Tennessee. That tournament I found an old roadbed in the back of a creek that had the fish stacked up on the edge of it in 10-12 feet of water. I caught all my fish off that road bed on a Lucky Craft CB-D12 in the Chartreuse Shad color. I ended up finishing 22nd and landing in 9th spot in the southern open points.

I made the trip straight to my next Elite Series event on the Arkansas River. I’ll tell ya, the weights really didn’t show how good the fishing was. There were a lot of bass caught but the 15 inch fish were very scarce. I must have caught a limit of 14 inchers that weighed over 12lbs, all of those fish had to be thrown back and it really hurt. In practice I had found some good backwater areas where I caught fish on the G-splash popper bait. The first day of the tournament produced a lot of bass but it was just small fish after small fish and I knew I’d have to make a change. On the way back into weighin I did manage to catch two keepers fishing rock jetties that provided a current break for the bass. That kind of fishing is where the RC 2.0 shines. My primary color was the black/chartreuse in really shallow water. After such a lackluster day I decided not to mess with the locks and instead stayed local and fished new water. In retrospect that might have been my best decision all year. Not only did I catch a good bag of fish cranking the RC 2.0, but I also managed to avoid late penalties incurred by the majority of anglers who I fished near on day 1. That was a really tough break for those guys, but really fortunate for me that I didn’t get stuck down there. The last day I only managed three, but it was tough for everyone and I finished 38th.

My last tournament was just a few days ago and it was primarily dominated by the deep water fisherman. I went into the event with my mind set on making the All-star event and sitting in eighth place I was certain I’d need a good tournament to make that happen. Like everyone else I did catch some good fish offshore in practice, but I found it too crowded out there and watched as everyone else found the same spots I had. That made up my mind for me that I’d stay shallow and try to break the 12lb hump that would plague most anglers who didn’t head for deep water. The first day of the tournament I had all my weight in the first hour and never upgraded all day. I did go check my deep water spots, but arrived to see skeet and eventual winner David Walker all over it. Day 2 I had a good boat draw and knew I could be the first one to that spot, but that’s not really my style so instead I went back shallow. Day two was really windy and overcast which helped my bite tremendously. I swam a jig and threw a G-splash around bank grass finding my bite to be phenomenal later in the day when I boated two four pounders and a two and half pound fish. That was enough weight to get me into the final day and ultimately finish 24th.

This all leads me to where I’m at now. After the entirety of the season I placed 7th overall and couldn’t be happier. I’ll be attending the postseason and I’m truly excited to have an opportunity to fish to win. There should be some really neat extracurricular activities at the events and of course Alabama always brings in huge crowds for our events.

I’ll be sure to fill you in right after we conclude our tournament, wish me luck!


Team Lucky Craft: Casey Ashley

We just wrapped up the Florida swing of events and I very excited about my results. I ended up in 18th at the Harris Chain and 10th on the St. John’s River. Anytime you can get two top twenty finishes against these anglers you are doing well.

At the St. John’s River I knew it was going to be a sight fishing tournament. So I turned the trolling motor to high and went looking for bed fish. I was 100% committed to sight fishing from the moment I got there. I did cast around a speed worm or Lucky Craft G-Splash or Splash tail just to try to get a bite while I was looking. That didn’t go very well, I just couldn’t get a bite fishing.

On day 1 of the event I fished lake George. In practice I located a couple big fish and knew if I could get on them I could catch them. I just lucked out and got on both of them. I had one about 8 and another one about 7, from then I just kept looking and I found a couple more big ones but couldn’t get them to bite. I was sitting nicely near the top of the standings.

On the second day, I decided not to go to Lake George. I had another area that was closer called Dunns creek. I had some big ones picked out there as well. I went in and some of them were gone and some new ones had moved in. I just couldn’t do anything with them I ended up scratched out 12 pounds.

I returned to Dunns Creek on the third day to try and get some of the fish I didn’t get on day 2, but again I couldn’t get them to go. They wouldn’t lock in or act right.

On the final day, I decided to go somewhere else since Dunns Creek didn’t work out very well. So I went back to Lake George. The fish were everywhere. I had a limit in about 40 minutes. I had a 6-pounder that I tried to catch for about two hours. I never could get her to do anything. I found another 7 or 8–pounder and I spent about an hour on her. I did get her to bite, and I stuck her only to have her get off. I blew that one, but that’s part of the game. That’s kind of the way my day went, I never could get a big one.

Overall I finished in 10th and on the heels of a solid finish at the Harris Chain I feel pretty good.

In non-fishing related stuff, I am excited that I finished recording my album. The studio is working on it now and it should be done this week. After that, I’ll be able to check it out and make sure I like how it turned out. After that we’ll be deciding how and where we are going to sell them.

Back to fishing, I start fishing Lake Norman tomorrow in the BASS Opens I really like Lake Norman and I expect to do well there. I sure like to win it and qualify for the Classic. We’ll see!