Four Months After Winning the Super Bowl of Professional Fishing, Simms Pro, Casey Ashely Still Can’t Believe His Dream Became Reality.
For Simms Pro, Casey Ashley, winning the Bassmaster Classic was an achievement that consumed his mind since he was a kid. Never in his wildest dreams would he have thought the highlight of his career would take place in his hometown, on his home lake in front of his closest friends and family. So how is Casey adjusting to life after the Classic? Despite a few tough tournaments, he’s still the 2015 Bassmaster Classic Champion and he’s not letting the trophy out of his sight.
The confetti from February 22, 2015 has long settled but even now, four months later, Casey still finds himself in disbelief that the trophy he held in such high regard since he was a child, rests in his Donalds, South Carolina home. “Man, sometimes I still can’t believe it. There’s no doubt about it, it’s a dream come true. Every time I walk in the house, I catch myself sneaking a glance over at the trophy just to remind myself it’s still there.” says Casey. “There’s only been 45 of them so other than me, there’s 44 other winners, that’s a really small group if you think about the fishing world and how big it is and how long the Classic has been around and what it’s evolved into. To have my name amongst such an elite group is a true honor that can never be topped.”
For Casey, since winning the Classic, life has changed a bit. He’s found that when you win the Super Bowl of bass fishing, there’s a much higher demand for your time — but he’s certainly not complaining. Things are definitely busier these days but even though Casey admits, his life will probably never be the same, things are getting pretty close to back to normal. So what is normal for Casey? “Normal for me is being at home. I come from a small town and when I’m home, I’m home. Once I’m here, I really don’t like to leave.” says Casey.
There might be no place like home but Casey still has a long way to go before his 2015 season comes to a close. With four tour stops left, Casey is most excited for the Bassmaster Elite at Chesapeake Bay. “You know, three of the four tournaments I have left are smallmouth tournaments which is a lot of deep water, finesse fishing. I can do it, but it’s just not my style. I love fishing new water and I love fishing shallow. We’ve never fished the Chesapeake before and I’m thinking there’s going to be a lot of shallow water opportunities on this one so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Once Casey’s season comes to a close, he doesn’t have any extravagant plans. Like he said, when he’s home, he’s home. His plans aren’t unlike other residents of Donalds, South Carolina. “After the season, I really hope to spend as much time as I can at home, relax and do as much deer and dove hunting as I can.” says Casey.
Winning the Classic has been the highlight of Casey’s career and he will always put this win on a pedestal. “If I was never to win another Classic or managed to win 10 more, this one will always be the most special, just because of how it happened. I won it on a bait my dad made, it was my first one, it was on my home lake in my hometown — all these things combine into a feeling I’ll never forget and that’s something nobody can ever take away from me.”
With plenty more years of professional fishing ahead, what other accomplishments would Casey like to add to being named the 2015 Bassmaster Champion? His answer is short and sweet. “To be the 2016 Bassmaster Champion.”
Look out for Casey at the 2016 Classic on Grand Lake O’ — in Casey’s words “It’s a lake that sets up perfectly for my style.”
Shop Casey’s Kit here.