Adjustment and flexibility is the key when you are a professional bass angler and fishing this Bassmaster Classic this year was no different. Fishing this time of year on Lake Hartwell was fishing spring and all of its climatic zones were experienced. The days are getting longer and the weather is severe. When you fish Lake Hartwell with any regularity you are prepared for it all that’s just how it is fishing here. You never know what the lake is going to be like and it’s different every year.
The 45th Bassmaster Classic bass fishing tournament of the year and it’s Championship championship day. Randy Howell 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion with his eye on the $300,000 prize. Last year this time he was in 11th place and went on to win big time. This year he is in the 4th place 15-6 fishing to the last minute 30-11 for q total of 37-2.
Dave Mercer asks Bobby Lane, “What would it do to you to win the 2015 Bassmaster Classic?” Bobby ‘Big Fish’ Lane answers, “It would mean the world to mean to win like my brother Chris Lane. To catch the big fish like he did and with all of the support I had it would sure mean a heck of a lot to me.”
Casey Ashley three time Bassmaster Elite winner and six-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier and ‘Backyard Bonus’ from South Carolina. 20-3 and 50-1 getting choked up on stage. “I gotta’ thank all my friends and family. I don’t know whats fixin’ to happen or if I can even talk any more after this. I’ve surrounded myself with good people all of my life and it’s made a difference.”
Springville, Alabama Randy Howell came to weigh in with just two fish on championship Sunday, 6-7 and a total of 37-2. “When it’s meant to be it’s meant to be. Everything just lines up for you. For all my family and friends and Kings family and friends that showed up. Don’t get me crying as I hand off the trophy because it doesn’t take much to get me crying. Good luck everybody ya’ll hear.”
Mike Ianconelli New Jersey 11-6 and a total of 42-6. “This week was tough and all about having the right equipment for the weather. Under Armour and Abu Garcia rods Early Rappala Shadow Rap Moss Back Shiner lure and Missile ¾ ounce football jig. I was fishing about 35-40 feet over the top of standing timber.”
Dean ‘The Machine’ Rojas digging deep into that live well. Started the day with 31-9 and five fish gets Dean 12-4 for a grand Super Bowl of bass fishing total of 43-13. “It’s so exciting none of the pros can stand it. I never lost anything and I was king for a day the first day on this my 13th Classic. I just wanna’ thank my lovely wife and my two boys.”
Casey Ashley,” I’ve dreamed of this since I was a kid, You never dream of winning it on your home lake and fishing it and winning it big.”
First international angler Takhiro Omori day two Bassmaster King for day yesterday, finished in third place with 44-3. “I hated this cold weather I hatted fishing so slow. I hated fishing a jig. I kinda’ start liking it now. All of my fish were caught from 30-40 feet.”
Jacob Powroznik came in fifth place 18-15 and 43-1, ”With a Mag finesse worm away from all of the structure in the warm mud and that’s been my pattern all week and chasing the blue backs in the morning. I was fishing flats, but there is so much standing timber jumbled mess. Three of the biggest ones I caught I thought the fishhead out there. Until you get out off the bank it’s such a dead zone.”
Casey Ashley is a jig fisherman and won the Classic on a homemade lure made for him by his dad. “I was laying in bed thinking about that jig and it’s the one that did it for me. All my friends and family I love you all and South Carolina this one’s for you.”
Casey Ashley pulled off the tournament in a single area; something that everyone thought couldn’t be done on this lake. “I found them vertical jigging, I always start with a vertical blade runner it’s just something I always do. I’ve spent a lot of time fishing these same areas before. I found them in the timber and then they moved off into the flat and feeding on the bait.” The bait his dad made, “A pony head, blade willow leaf, and a swivel and its white and a Mustad hook it’s zoom superfluke junior. I fish it on the bottom, long casts and painfully slow, you will see it in the footage.”