I can catch ‘em shallow, I can catch ‘em deep Open water or the back of a creek. ~ Casey Ashley,Fisherman
He sang it first, and, at the 2015 Bassmaster Classic, he proved it true.
Casey Ashley leaped to the top of bass fishing’s professional pyramid with his come-from-behind win on his South Carolina home water of Lake Hartwell.
Ashley unabashedly prefers to catch his fish in shallow water on jigs and topwater lures. But, as the song lyrics avow, the man can catch ’em deep when conditions demand, and, on Hartwell, he found his winning fish in deep water and adjacent flats.
Apparently, Ashley’s hometown fish just wanted a little home cooking in the form of a homemade fishhead spin jig that his dad crafted for him, trailed with a Zoom Super Fluke Jr.
Interestingly, that same Zoom Fluke enabled him to cash a $100,000 check fishing another South Carolina water, Lake Murray, in spring of 2011. In that event, however, he fished the fluke as a topwater bait, casting it far and covering water with a retrieve that mimicked the frightened, skipping movement of frantic baitfish—in the case of these two home waters, primarily blueback herring.
Although the Fluke was the constant in both wins, the presentations couldn’t have been more different.
Throughout most of the season, Ashley prefers skipping an unweighted Fluke in a fast and aggressive manner to the self-described “painfully slow” presentation that earned him the bass fishing world’s most coveted title at the Greenville, S.C., weigh-in.
This spring, you will likely find him fishing the Fluke often on a 4/0 Mustad offset worm hook. He will cast it far, skip it frantically for 10 or so feet, then let it twitch and die. If a bass lets him get past the first twitch, he will repeat the sequence…but only if!
“If you throw it over his head and he sees it skipping and twisting and cutting flips, that is going to make him follow the bait,” Ashley explained. “Then you kill it…and it darts that one time…He is going to eat it! He just can’t help it!”
Find more how-to videos with Casey Ashley and other top professional anglers on Mike Pehanich’s Small Waters Fishing.
Video: Casey Ashley’s Finesse Fluke Presentation: