LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

Bassmaster Elite angler Casey Ashley had already made a name for himself during his week in La Crosse. On Labor Day he got his boat stuck in a sandbar where it sat overnight. The experience made him miss most of Tuesday's practice session.

Ashley made more headlines on Thursday, but for a much better reason. His 17-pound, 10-ounce bag put him in first place through Day 1 of the four day Bassmaster Elite tournament in La Crosse.

"You know I really didn't know what I was going to do if the fish weren't there, I was just going to have to start from scratch and start to practice today, that's what I was going to have to do. But fortunately the first place I pulled down they were there and I got them going pretty quick."

The 2015 Bassmaster Classic champion said most of his keepers were found early in the day.

"If you could write out on a piece of paper how you want your day to go, today was to the 'T' how I want my day to go. Now tomorrow? Who knows, it may be like the sandbar deal you know. You can go from high to low in fishing really, really quick."