ALABAMA’S ASHLEY WINS COSTA FLW SERIES SOUTHEASTERN DIVISION OPE - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

ALABAMA’S ASHLEY WINS COSTA FLW SERIES SOUTHEASTERN DIVISION OPENER ON LAKE OKEECHOBEE PRESENTED BY POWER-POLE

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CLEWISTON, Fla. – 19-year-old Taylor Ashley of Warrior, Alabama, fishing in his first ever Costa FLW Series event, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 6 ounces, Saturday to claim top honors at the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division opener on Lake Okeechobee presented by Power-Pole. Ashley’s three-day total of 15 bass weighing 68 pounds, 12 ounces, was enough to earn him the win by a 7-pound, 10-ounce margin and a check for $60,200.

“I’m feeling pretty great right now,” said Ashley, who became the third-youngest boater to ever win an FLW Series event. “All of my fish came from one area of the lake, on the south end. It wasn’t my original plan to fish there but the adjustment ended up being the biggest of the week.”

Ashley said his area – which spanned between 500 and 600 yards – was littered with reeds and lilypads. He said he caught 95 percent of his bass throughout the week on a 3/8-ounce Dirty Jigs No-Jack Swimjig.

“I swam it along the edges of the reeds and cast it as far as I could in the pads,” said Ashley. “Everybody that was watching me fish said I was doing something called the “Alabama Shake”, which means that I was shaking the lure while swimming it. I threw it in both green-pumpkin and white colors, but most of my big bites came on the white.”

Ashley’s heaviest five-bass limit weighed in at 25 pounds, 6 ounces, on Friday. He noted that those five fish included his most crucial catch of the week.

“I hooked a largemouth in the lilypads and the bait popped out of her mouth just as my co-angler dipped the net under to grab it,” said Ashley. “She was buried under a bunch of pads in the net and ended up being a 7-pounder. That definitely was my anchor for the tournament.”

The top 10 pros on Lake Okeechobee were:

1st:          Taylor Ashley, Warrior, Ala., 15 bass, 68-12, $60,200

2nd:         Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 15 bass, 61-2, $25,900

3rd:          Derek Yasinski, Senoia, Ga., 15 bass, 61-1, $17,000

4th:          Gary Milicevic, Labelle, Fla., 15 bass, 57-12, $15,000

5th:          Scott Byrd, Ocklawaha, Fla., 15 bass, 52-5, $14,000

6th:          Robert Beatty, Clermont, Fla., 15 bass, 51-4, $10,500

7th:          Brian Holder, Denver, N.C., 15 bass, 49-3, $9,300

8th:          Buddy Gross, Chickamauga, Ga., 15 bass, 45-2, $8,000

9th:          Bill Tervin, Pocola, Okla., 15 bass, 44-14, $7,000

10th:        Ron Nelson, Berrien Springs, Mich., 12 bass, 44-1, $5,000

A complete list of results can be found at FLWFishing.com.

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