SENECA, S.C. – Walmart FLW Tour competitors arrived to Lake Hartwell early Saturday morning only to find a thick blanket of fog that forced FLW Tournament Director Bill Taylor to delay takeoff. After approximately a three-hour delay, anglers were allowed to start day three of the Walmart FLW Tour at Lake Hartwell presented by Ranger Boats. Local pro Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., increased his lead after again bringing the largest five-bass limit of the day to the scale weighing 15 pounds, 7 ounces.
Ashley’s three-day total of 52 pounds, 11 ounces gives him a commanding 9-pound, 10-ounce lead over pro Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., heading into the fourth and final day of competition in the tournament that features the world’s best bass-fishing anglers casting for the top cash award of up to $125,000.
“I was really worried because we had such a short day today,” said Ashley, who is seeking his first Walmart FLW Tour win. “I’m not catching a lot of fish in one place, and I’m having to move around a lot. I’ve still got some stuff that I haven’t even fished yet, just because of time. It takes some time to keep fishing how I have been, and there is just not enough time in the day, especially today.
Ashley said that he wasn’t really doing anything special, and most of his fish were still coming on a jig and a shaky-head rig. After weighing in all largemouth bass on day one and mostly spotted bass on day two, Ashley brought a mixed bag to the scale on day three consisting of two largemouth and three spots.
“I’m going to go out there tomorrow and just pound on them,” Ashley said. “If I catch them, I catch them. If I don’t, I don’t.
“I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. This is the greatest feeling ever – to do well in your home state. You can’t take away from winning anywhere, but winning this close to home would mean a lot. Most of the time I have to scratch and claw to get where I’m going. Taking a 10-pound lead into the final day is new to me, but I’m ready for it.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Lake Hartwell are:
1st: Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., 15 bass, 52-11
2nd: Clent Davis, Montevallo, Ala., 15 bass, 43-1
3rd: Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 15 bass, 41-9
4th: Repel pro Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 15 bass, 40-0
5th: Ryan Davidson, Huntington, W. Va., 15 bass, 38-9
6th: John Cox, Debary, Fla., 11 bass, 35-8
7th: Charlie Ingram, Centerville, Tenn., 12 bass, 35-1
8th: George Foreman pro Dan Morehead, Paducah, Ky., 13 bass, 34-4
9th: Chevy pro Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 13 bass, 34-2
10th: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 13 bass, 33-12
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Stacey King, Reeds Spring, Mo., 15 bass, 32-10, $12,000
12th: Barton Aiken, Greenville, S.C., 10 bass, 31-11, $12,000
13th: Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, Fla., 12 bass, 30-14, $12,000
14th: Ramie Colson Jr., Cadiz, Ky., 11 bass, 29-13, $12,000
15th: Shad Schenck, Waynetown, Ind., 11 bass, 28-14, $12,000
16th: Barry Wilson, Birmingham, Ala., 10 bass, 28-6, $12,000
17th: Walmart pro Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 11 bass, 27-1, $12,000
18th: Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C., 11 bass, 26-15, $12,000
19th: Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., nine bass, 26-0, $12,000
20th: Rayovac pro Jacob Wheeler, Indianapolis, Ind., 10 bass, 25-2, $12,000
Final results for the remaining field can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 51 bass weighing 108 pounds, 5 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included six 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, won the co-angler division and $25,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 10 bass weighing 31 pounds, 8 ounces, followed by Todd Lee of Jasper, Ala., in second place with 13 bass weighing 30 pounds, 15 ounces worth $7,500.
“I didn’t have a whole lot of bites this week,” said Redington, who is fishing his first season as a co-angler on the FLW Tour. “But I caught the ones that did. All of my fish this week came on a Z-Man Original Chatterbait with a Lake Fork Tackle Magic Shad.”
Redington’s older brother, Tom, has been fishing professionally on the FLW Tour since 2009.
“I’m used to fishing behind a pro, so that helped me,” Redington said.
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: David Redington, Sulphur Springs, Texas, 10 bass, 31-8, $25,000
2nd: Todd Lee, Jasper, Ala., 13 bass, 30-15, $7,500
3rd: Bryan New, Belmont, N.C., 13 bass, 27-4, $5,000
4th: Braxton Setzer, Auburn, Ala., 11 bass, 23-6, $4,000
5th: Dennis Cameron, Travelers Rest, S.C., 11 bass, 23-3, $3,000
6th: Eric Self, Lawndale, N.C., 11 bass, 21-15, $2,500
7th: Frank Divis Sr., Fayetteville, Ark., 11 bass, 20-9, $2,000
8th: Mike Bodiford, Panama City, Fla., 10 bass, 19-5, $1,800
9th: Mike Comeau, Jericho, Vt., 10 bass, 19-2, $1,700
10th: Dennis Kirby, Lakeland, Tenn., eight bass, 18-15, $1,600
For a full list of results visit FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 30 bass weighing 53 pounds, 1 ounce caught by co-anglers Saturday. No co-anglers were able to boat a five-bass limit.
In addition to the top award of $25,000, co-anglers were also fishing this week for valuable points that would 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 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Sunday’s final weigh-in 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 Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-in. 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.