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WELCOME TO THE HAWGSRUS BLOG.  FEATURING BASS FISHING NEWS AND OUTDOOR REPORTS.  SPONSORED BY THE BASS HOG.  PLEASE SUBSCRIBE USING THE RSS FEED IN THE BOTTOM RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THIS PAGE.  ADD THE FOLLOWING URL TO YOUR RSS FEED http://apps.hawgsrus.com/Blog/Rss FOR YAHOO, OUTLOOK, GOOGLE, AOL, HOTMAIL OR OTHER EMAIL ACCOUNT OR TABLET.  THANK YOU.  

Posted By Hawgsrus

May 1, 2017--RIDGELAND, Miss.--Severe storms may have caused the postponement of the final round of fishing Sunday, but nothing could stop Bassmaster Elite Series rookie Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala., from claiming victory in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite at Ross Barnett.

Connell caught a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 15 ounces today, pushing his four-day total to 64-13 and holding off a late-charging veteran Kevin VanDam, who ended with 62-10.

Hoisting the coveted first-place trophy overhead — and pocketing the $100,000 that goes with it — has been Connell’s dream since childhood.

“This dream was becoming a reality back in my college days, when I fished the Carhartt Bassmaster College Series Bracket Challenge against Matt and Jordan Lee of Cullman, Ala.,” Connell said. “They fished for Auburn University, and I fished on the University of Alabama team. Matt went to the Classic that year, and now the three of us compete in the Elite Series.”

Jordan Lee won the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in March, and now with Connell’s Elite Series victory, the anglers who rose through the college ranks are proving their worth.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get my start in big tournaments through the college fishing program,” he said. “It’s testament to Bassmaster’s seeding the future of professional bass fishing, and I’d say this to every college angler with a dream, ‘You can do this, too.’”

“I knew I needed to find something different and a long way from the crowds that would build on a smaller fishery like this,” the 26-year-old angler said. “When I arrived for official practice, I caught a 4- and a 5-pounder right away — and then I put my rods down.”

To save his bass for the competition days, Connell spent the rest of his practice viewing similar spots with his Lowrance sonar and GPS units.

“I caught probably 25 swim-jig fish on Thursday,” he said. His best five that day weighed 19-12. “But Friday was a turning point of this tournament. I didn’t have a fish before 10:30 because the Pearl River water rose and got muddier, slowing the pattern. I decided to go back and flip all of the same stuff, and I caught another 16 pounds in a short while. At that point, I knew I could win.”

“Today was definitely harder because of that weather system,” he said. “I really had to work for my fish, but thankfully I was able to catch two key fish this morning on a frog in a small pocket — locations that were critical for me throughout the week.”

Connell said winning an Elite Series event during his rookie season wasn’t expected, but something he’ll never forget.

“I can’t thank my family enough,” an elated Connell said. “They have supported this dream from the beginning, and to win one this early in my career gives me a lot of confidence that I made the right decision chasing after it.

“I love to fish. I fish every chance I get, and what I’m able to learn from fishing against the best in the world at these events is something I’m very grateful for.”

Rounding out the Top 12: Kevin VanDam (62-10), Jonathon VanDam (59-4), Bobby Lane (57-9), Mark Menendez (57-7), Dave Lefebre (56-14), Ish Monroe (56-1), Matt Herren (55-9), Skeet Reese (52-2), Fred Roumbanis (51-12), Keith Poche (51-4) and Brent Chapman (48-9).

Brandon Lester of Fayetteville, Tenn., won the Phoenix Boats Big Bass Award of $1,500 for the 7-2 largemouth bass he caught during Thursday’s opening round.

Courtesy of BASS Communications.


 
Posted By Hawgsrus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series will feature a pair of tournaments in the Western United States as the world’s greatest bass fishermen test their skills on the Sacramento River out of Sacramento, Calif., April 30-May 3, and Lake Havasu out of Lake Havasu City, Ariz., May 7-10. Both rank in the Top 20 of Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes, and it will be the first time since 2010 that the Elites have traveled so far west.
 
The two Western destinations represent the third and fourth stops of the 2015 Elite season, and both fisheries have been the sites of successful Bassmaster events in the past. B.A.S.S. held the first of eight events on the Sacramento River and California Delta in 1997. In 2007 and 2010, the Elite Series visited the Delta out of Stockton, Calif. Defending Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) Aaron Martens won the first, and eight-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier John Crews took the second. The Delta currently ranks 13th on Bassmaster’s list of the 100 Best Bass Lakes.
 
“It is a pleasure to welcome the Bassmaster Elite Series to Sacramento and our beautiful river,” said Mike Sophia, director of the Sacramento Sports Commission. “Sacramento plays host to the top sports events in the country, from the USGA to USA Track and Field and NCAA events. Bringing the best anglers in the world here and highlighting the natural beauty of our destination will show all we have to offer to anglers and visitors alike.”
 
Coming in at No. 20 is Lake Havasu, generally considered the best desert lake in the country and a fishery that offers both largemouth and smallmouth bass. The event will be the Elite Series’ first trip to the lake and B.A.S.S.’s first stop there in more than a decade. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Cliff Pirch of Payson, Ariz., finished second in the 2003 Bassmaster Western Open at Lake Havasu, and Elite Series angler John Murray of Phoenix was eighth.
 
“We can all be proud that our prime fishery will be put in front of fishing fanatics all over the world,” said Doug Traub, president/CEO of the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We expect that the entire town will be packed with fans who are here to see the Top 100 anglers in the world compete for a series-wide top prize of $100,000. We also thank all of our partners who came together to bring this world-class event to Lake Havasu for the first time. It’s taken nearly two years of effort to bring the Bassmaster Elite Series back to the Western U.S.”
 
“We’re thrilled to bring our premier anglers and events back to the West,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “The West offers outstanding angling, beautiful venues and first-class hospitality. The Elite Series is a national tournament circuit, and bringing it to California and Arizona gives us the opportunity to test our anglers while serving our fans and stakeholders in the area. 
 
“It’s always great to travel to a new venue because we draw huge crowds,” said Trip Weldon, B.A.S.S. tournament director. “Lake Havasu is a very unique spot in the country, and the fishing has really improved from what it was years ago. Our anglers are looking forward to competing out West again,” Weldon said.
 
There will be six other events in the 2015 Elite season plus a Toyota Bassmaster AOY Championship tournament that will crown the sport’s best angler of 2015 and send dozens of other top anglers to the 2016 Bassmaster Classic.


                                    Courtesy of BASS Communications.