There’s four fishermen and one bass standing between Casey Ashley of Donalds and the Bassmaster Classic championship. The four fishermen are Takahiro Omori, Dean Rojas, Mike Iaconelli and Randy Howell. The one bass is the big one he hasn't caught yet.
Ashley checked in Saturday with his second-straight limit of 3-pound bass. His 14-pound, 11-ounce catch on Lake Hartwell gave him a two-day total of 29-14, less than two pounds behind second-day leader Omori.
And Ashley hasn’t caught a big bass yet.
“If you had told me this morning that I’d have a good limit at 10 o’clock and got to do what I wanted to do the whole rest of the day and didn’t catch a 5-pound fish, there’s no way I’d have believed you,” said Ashley. “I fished for six hours and didn’t catch one big fish.”
Ah, but the fishing gods may be smiling. With cloudy, rainy conditions expected for Sunday’s final day, Ashley feels like his big bass will start biting.
“It’s not like I’ve been saving anything, but now I know something not to do tomorrow,” he said. “I’m gonna fish the way I fish every day. Everybody is gonna come out swinging for the fences.
“I still feel good. Tomorrow is gonna be good. I just haven’t found the big fish yet.”
South Carolina’s second entry in the Classic, Andy Montgomery of Blacksburg, had a terrible day on Saturday. In 18th place after Friday’s action, Montgomery didn’t catch a fish on Saturday and wound up in 43rd place with 11-8. He won’t fish Sunday, as the field of 56 has been cut to the top 25.
“It’s what it is,” Montgomery said. “I fished two places today where I’d caught fish before, and then I ran to new water. My deep fish just went away.”