Casey Ashley's ready smile hides the heart of a serious competitor. The young South Carolinian already has two Elite wins in his brief career, and his first album (appropriately titled "Released") is available on CaseyAshley.com. He's had a good year — the best of his career — and is ready to top it off with a $100,000 paycheck at Toyota Trucks All-Star Week.
"The Voice" may be relatively new to the world of professional bass fishing, but his résumé is already long and impressive.
His win on Smith Mountain Lake in 2007 made him the youngest Elite Series winner ever at just 23 years, four months and nine days. Earlier this season, Ashley won at Lake Murray, making him the third youngest Elite champion at 27-3-14
In 2008 at Lake Falcon, Ashley recorded the 13th best catch in Elite history with a four-day total of 113 pounds, 3 ounces. His 11-14 largemouth from California's Clear Lake in 2007 is one of the biggest bass ever brought to the scales in a B.A.S.S. tournament.
Between March 2010 and June 2011, Ashley limited on 39 consecutive competition days of the Elite Series — the ninth best streak in history.
If Ashley can avoid the distraction of the bright lights and concert halls of Nashville, there's no stopping him from being one of the biggest stars in the world of fishing. Either career option is demanding, but the South Carolinian has bass fishing in his veins, and — for now at least — music is taking a back seat.
A win at All-Star Week could keep music on the back burner for a while longer.
|2011 AOY rank:||7th|
|Strengths:||Jig fishing; perfect pitch — on and off the water|
|Weaknesses:||Finesse; is a music career a distraction?|