2011 Elite Series - Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship
Alabama River - Montgomery, AL, Jul 29 - 31, 2011

Finals Matchup: Casey vs. Skeet

Singing angler takes on someone with something to prove

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Casey Ashley has to be feeling pretty good about his victory in the Ramada All-Star Semi-Final, but he knows it means nothing now.

The budding country singer might just be headed into a buzzsaw, at least someone who sure wants to show out on the Alabama River. Top-seeded Ashley gets Skeet Reese in a first-round matchup of the Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship.

“I wanted the best, and I got the best,” Ashley said.

Reese, who needed fans to vote him into Toyota Trucks All-Star Week, said he'd sure like to gain some more redemption on the postseason fisheries.

Reese lost chances to wrap up Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles here in 2009 and 2010, beaten both times by Kevin VanDam. He exacted a bit of revenge Sunday, being the last of the final eight in and knocking KVD out.

“There’s satisfaction in knowing I beat Kevin out of this thing,” Reese said. “I don’t care what happens the rest of the week — I got Kevin, I took him out.”

Ok, so maybe Reese doesn't necessarily have it in for Ashley, but he gave the young smiling one a little smack talk when the finalists were announced Sunday.

“I go do my job, I catch fish, I take skinny boy out,” Reese said.

There are four matches in the Evan Williams Bourbon All-Star Championship on the Alabama River starting Friday.

The Ashley-Reese winner advances to fish Saturday against the winner of No. 3 seed Aaron Martens and No. 6 Edwin Evers. No. 2 seed Ott DeFoe will face Mike Iaconelli on the other side of the bracket and that winner meets the Terry Scroggins-Gerald Swindle winner on Saturday.

The one-on-one title will be decided Sunday, with $100,000 on the line in the winner-takes-all format. Second gets nothing. Not even redemption.

- Mike Suchan

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