A big hometown win for Casey Ashley secured the Bassmaster Classic at Lake Hartwell.
Casey Ashley took home the trophy for the 2015 Bassmaster Classic last Sunday at Lake Hartwell. This is his first Bassmaster win after six tries, and he couldn't have been happier to have done it in his home lake.
Growing up just miles from Lake Hartwell, he has fished the lake thousands of times.
"I know everybody wanted to win this tournament, but they couldn't have wanted to win more than I did," Ashley told FOX. "I broke that record that nobody can win on their home lake. There have been a lot of guys who said they fished the Classic on their home waters through the years when it really wasn't their home waters. It was just close to their home. But these are really my home waters. This is my backyard and that's special."
Not just a pro-angler, Ashley used his skills as a singer and songwriter to open the tournament. He put on a wonderful performance of the National Anthem at the Green Pond Landing to kick off the opening round.
From that point, Casey kept his momentum going to bring in 10 fish with a total of 50 pounds, 1 ounces.
He consistently caught fish all three days using homemade lures. Prior to the tournament his father made him 20 fish-head spinners, rigged with a pearl white Zoom Super Fluke Jr., a perfect match for the rainy, overcast conditions they fished at the lake.
"I was going out and getting a good limit with that bait and then going and fishing brush piles and structure looking for big fish with a jig," said Ashley. "I burned a lot of time doing that the first two days."
After switching to just using the homemade baits, Ashley quickly rose from fifth to first. Dean Rojas placed second with a weight of 43 pounds, 13 ounces and Jacob Powroznik placed third with 43 pounds, 6 ounces.