Casey Ashley won the Classic with his dad's homemade baits
The 31-year-old South Carolina native, who has lived just a few miles from Lake Hartwell all his life, caught five bass that weighed 20 pounds, 3 ounces to cap a moving victory in the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro on his home waters with a three-day total of 50-1.
The weight was enough to help Ashley past Florida pro Bobby Lane, Jr., who finished second with 46-15, and Texas angler Takahiro Omori who placed third with 44-3.
Bobby Lane finished second
Lake Hartwell has been very, very good to Bobby Lane. Lake Hartwell has also been quite a difficult temptress for Bobby Lane.
The Florida pro fished his first GEICO Bassmaster Classic here in South Carolina in 2008, finishing fourth, and this week he improved upon that result, ultimately ending up as the runner-up to Casey Ashley by a deficit of just 3, pounds, 2 ounces. In a tournament where few fans remember anyone but the winner, those great finishes get lost in the media propwash.
His weights got better each competition day, culminating in a catch of 19-1 Sunday, but he was undone by a four-fish bag of 10-10 on Day One.
11-3 Takahiro Omori took 3rd using the Yamamoto Shad Shape Worm
43-13 Dean Rojas came in 4th using the Keitech 4.8 Fat Swing Impact lure
43- 1 Jacob Powroznik 5th with a lure similar to the Swormming Hornet Fish Head Spin
42- 6 Michael Iaconelli 6th