SENECA, S.C. – Professional angler Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., brought a five-bass limit to the scale Friday weighing 15 pounds, 13 ounces to extend his lead at the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Hartwell presented by Ranger Boats. Ashley’s two-day cumulative weight of 37-4 gives him a 2 pound, 12 ounce lead over second-place pro John Cox of Debary, Fla., who has a two-day weight of 10 bass worth 34-8 as the tournament heads into the third day of competition. The field is now cut to the top 20 in the four-day event that features the world’s best bass-fishing anglers casting for the top cash award of up to $125,000.
“It’s been a great two days,” said Ashley, who lives only 45 miles from Lake Hartwell. “This is a dream come true to fish a big tournament on your home waters like this and have it work. The weather has been nasty, but it’s changing every day. I’m just taking it day by day, because I know that the fish are going to change, too.”
After weighing in a five-fish limit of largemouth bass Thursday, Ashley brought a limit consisting of four spotted bass and one largemouth to the scale Friday.
“It took me until 1 p.m. to get a limit today,” Ashley said. “It’s slow fishing. I’m picking off one here, and one here. I was able to fish some new stuff today because the wind blew out of another direction and I was able to fish where I couldn’t get to yesterday.”
Ashley said that he has been catching most of his fish this week throwing a jig and a shaky-head rig. The largemouth that he weighed in Friday came via a swimbait.
“The sun doesn’t really help or hurt me,” Ashley said. “The fish that I am catching are relating to what they relate to for different reasons. They just live there. I’m spending a lot of time in good places.
“I’m looking forward to fishing tomorrow because my hands won’t be cold,” Ashley went on to say. “I hope the sun helps me. The fish are not real active right now. I think that if we get another warming trend we’ll get another wave of them to pull up.”
The top 20 pros that will fish Saturday on Lake Hartwell are:
1st: Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., 10 bass, 37-4
2nd: John Cox, Debary, Fla., 10 bass, 34-8
3rd: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 10 bass, 33-14
4th: Barton Aiken, Greenville, S.C., 10 bass, 31-11
5th: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 29-12
6th: Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 10 bass, 28-12
7th: Ryan Davidson, Huntington, W. Va., 10 bass, 28-8
8th: Charlie Ingram, Centerville, Tenn., 10 bass, 28-2
9th: Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, Fla., 10 bass, 28-2
10th: Shad Schenck, Waynetown, Ind., 10 bass, 27-11
11th: George Foreman pro Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., 10 bass, 27-4
12th: Repel pro Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 27-2
13th: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 10 bass, 27-2
14th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 10 bass, 26-10
15th: Walmart pro Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 25-10
16th: Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C., 10 bass, 25-8
17th: Rayovac pro Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 10 bass, 25-2
18th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., eight bass, 25-1
19th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., eight bass, 25-0
20th: Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 10 bass, 24-15
For a full list of results visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Davidson won the FLW Big Bass Award and $500 on Friday on the pro side with a fish weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces.
Overall there were 614 bass weighing 1,289 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 168 pros Friday. The catch included 79 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top 35 anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify. The 2014 Forrest Wood Cup will be in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17 on Lake Murray and is hosted by Capital City Lake Murray Country. Anglers could win as much as $500,000 – professional bass-fishing’s richest prize.
David Redington of Sulphur Springs, Texas, leads the co-angler division with 10 bass weighing 31-8 followed by Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., in second place with 10 bass weighing 24-15.
The top 20 co-anglers fishing Saturday are:
1st: David Redington, Sulphur Springs, Texas, 10 bass, 31-8
2nd: Todd Lee, Jasper, Ala., 10 bass, 24-15
3rd: Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., nine bass, 21-7
4th: Dennis Cameron, Travelers Rest, S.C., 10 bass, 21-4
5th: Eric Self, Lawndale, N.C., 10 bass, 20-9
6th: Frank Divis Sr., Fayetteville, Ark., 10 bass, 18-12
7th: Kevin Gordon, Aiken, S.C., eight bass, 17-7
8th: Cody Kelley, Conway, Ark., 10 bass, 16-5
9th: Mike Comeau, Jericho, Vt., eight bass, 16-3
10th: Ken Coats, Tahlequah, Okla., 10 bass, 16-2
11th: Nick Loeffelman Jr., Valles Mines, Mo., eight bass, 15-7
12th: Dearal Rodgers, Camden, S.C., nine bass, 15-1
13th: Mike Bodiford, Panama City, Fla., seven bass, 14-12
14th: Gary Hurley, Dayton, Tenn., seven bass, 14-7
15th: Dennis Kirby, Lakeland, Tenn., six bass, 14-6
16th: Andrew Owens, Dividing Creek, N.J., 10 bass, 14-6
17th: Braxton Setzer, Auburn, Ala., seven bass, 14-2
18th: Alan Woodford, Winslow, Ind., eight bass, 14-2
19th: Jonathan Henry, Grant, Ala., eight bass, 14-2
20th: Richie Eaves, Nauvoo, Ill., seven bass, 14-0
For a full list of results visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Joshua Weaver of Macon, Ga., caught Friday’s FLW Big Bass in the co-angler division weighing 6-10 to win $250.
Overall there were 343 bass weighing 641 pounds, 9 ounces caught by co-anglers Friday. The catch included 25 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2014 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The top 35 co-anglers in the point standings from the six events on the 2014 Walmart FLW Tour will qualify.
Anglers will take off from the Clemson Marina located at 150 Clemson Marina Drive in Seneca, S.C., at 7 a.m. on Saturday. On Sunday, the final day of competition, the top 10 anglers will take off at 7:30 a.m. from the Clemson Marina. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 1636 Sandifer Blvd. in Seneca beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will also be treated to the FLW Expo at the Walmart on Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public. Also on Sunday, country music artist Josh Thompson will perform a free live concert on the Walmart weigh-in stage at 3 p.m.
Coverage of the Lake Hartwell tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when “FLW” airs May 24 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. ET. The Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.