Mercury's Casey Ashley Leads FLW

Ashley Leads  Hartwell FLW by Ashley Leads  Hartwell FLW...

Ashley Stays Strong

FLW anglers dealt with plenty of wind and rain today until the afternoon when the sun decided to visit. Many anglers spoke of the bass opting out of biting their offerings. However, Lucky Craft pro Casey Ashley kept the pressure on the rest of the FLW Tour pro field today bringing in 15 pounds 3 ounces for a two-day total of 37 pounds 4 ounces to maintain his lead heading into Saturday.Ashley Leads

Ashley's closest competitor is Crestliner Boats pro John Cox with 34 pounds 8 ounces.

Rounding out the Top 5 are Ranger Boats pro Clent Davis with 33 pounds 14 ounces in third, Barton Aiken is in fourth weighing 31 pounds 11 ounces, Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan weighed 29 pounds 12 ounces for fifth.

Ashley avoided dead water.

"I started this morning in a different place than yesterday," said Ashley. "The place I started today was where I lost a good one in practice. There were two boats in there, so I moved to another area. I caught a 4-pounder there and my co-angler caught a three. I know this lake pretty well, so I don't spend a lot of time fishing dead water.

"I've really been looking forward to this tournament. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather tomorrow. I won't have to fish with purple hands."

Cox ready for tomorrow.

"I'm very excited about fishing tomorrow," said Cox. "I had a pretty rough day today out there with all of the rain. It went okay today for me."

Davis had few bites.

"I had a tough day today," said Davis. "I only had six bites, but a couple of them were the right ones. I was happy the sun was finally shining this afternoon. The sun came out for an hour today and I really caught 'em."

Aiken having fun.

"I'm having a ball," said Aiken. "I had a good day today. I'm glad the rain finally stopped. Maybe the sun shining will help the fishing tomorrow."

Morgan moved.

"I just went fishing again today," said Morgan. "I moved around a lot more today. I didn't catch a lot of them, but they are good ones. I lost one big one that might haunt me.

"The conditions are changing so much. Hartwell has a lot to offer. I know this lake pretty well. I could run around and bob-and-weave. By 9 this morning I knew what I was looking for to catch them."

Saturday's weather at Lake Hartwell is predicted to be sunny and 70 with light winds.