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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

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. — Lake Guntersville, site of the 2014 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by Diet Mountain Dew and GoPro, has been selected to host the 2015 Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship.
Top anglers on participating team tournament trails from across the country will have a chance to win a national team title and a berth in the 2016 Bassmaster Classic berth when they compete in the team championship tournament Dec. 9-12, 2015, at Lake Guntersville.
“Lake Guntersville is a rich part of B.A.S.S. history and a great fishery to host our second annual Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship,” said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO. “The Classic on Guntersville last year set several new catch records, and I know the lake will offer up plenty of big bass in this year’s team competition.”
The Marshall County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) will host the championship at Lake Guntersville, which is one of the lakes on the Alabama Bass Trail. The daily launches and weigh-ins will be held at Guntersville State Park.
“We are thrilled with the opportunity to host this team championship,” said Katy Norton, president of the Marshall County CVB. “We have hosted other bass tournaments in the past but this is a team championship that really highlights tournament trails. To be able to hold this team championship just makes sense for us. It gives us a chance to show off our lake to tournament trails across the country.”
The unique four-day tournament will qualify one angler for the 2016 Bassmaster Classic. The top two-angler team will also be crowned as the national champion of the event.
Teams across the nation qualify for the championship through various independently operated team trails sanctioned by B.A.S.S. (A list of sanctioned trails is available at
“Toyota has a proud history of supporting competitions for bass anglers of all levels,” said Jim Baudino, Engagement Marketing Manager for Toyota, the title sponsor of the championship. “We’re especially glad to partner with B.A.S.S. to showcase the fast-growing team tournament segment of the sport and provide America’s outstanding grass-roots anglers a top-level national championship event.”
The team portion of the competition, Dec. 9-10, pits the two-angler teams against one another to determine the national team champion. On Dec. 11-12, the six anglers from the Top 3 teams will compete individually in the Bassmaster Team Championship Classic Fish-Off. The winner of the individual competition earns a bid to fish the Super Bowl of Bass Fishing the following year.
In the inaugural team championship at DeGray Lake in Arkansas last year, teammates Flannagan Fife and Royce Davis from the Fishers of Men circuit clinched the team championship title in their home state and advanced to the Classic Fish-Off. However, North Carolina angler Brandon Gray from the Anglers Choice team trail won the fish-off and qualified for the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, to be held Feb. 20-22 on Lake Hartwell out of Greenville, S.C.
For more information on how a team trail can become sanctioned for the Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship, contact Stewart at

Couretsy of BASS Communications.

Posted By Hawgsrus
LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. (Jan. 27, 2015) – FLW College Fishing is headed to Lake Havasu Feb. 7 for the first of three regular-season stops in the Western Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Western Conference Championship tournament.
“This time of year, there are a couple of different patterns that you can run on Lake Havasu,” said Strike King Lures pro Cody Meyer, of Auburn, California, a six-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier. “The lake has a lot of big smallmouth and largemouth in it. I’d look for rock and gravel in the main lake, or possibly some scattered grass, and target the smallmouth. Anglers looking to fish for largemouth will be targeting the man-made structure.
“The man-made structure looks like a big jungle of plastic,” Meyer continued. “They are actually big cages made out of PVC pipe. The largemouth love to hang out there. If I was fishing the tournament, though, I’d be fishing the main lake and targeting the smallmouth because you’ll find some largemouth mixed in as well.”
Meyer said that jerkbaits, swimbaits, jigs and drop-shot rigs would all be popular baits amongst the college anglers
“Havasu can be tricky and it tends to get progressively tougher each day,” said Meyer. “With the Rayovac FLW Series event going on the same week, the key will be to have multiple patterns and multiple areas. I think a few teams will figure it out and that a 20-pound winning stringer is a definite possibility.”
Anglers will take off from the Windsor Beach boat ramps at Lake Havasu State Park, located at 699 London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., at 7 a.m. MST Saturday. Weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 2 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-in are free and open to the public.
Courtesy of BASS Communications.

Posted By Hawgsrus

BISMARCK, Ark. — The second-place team in this week’s Bassmaster Team Championship on DeGray Lake, Arkansas, has been disqualified, Jon Stewart, tournament director for the event, announced today.

Stewart said the team of Brandon Gladish and Aaric Correll of Indiana was disqualified for violating Rule C7, which covers tackle and equipment.

The rule states, “Any umbrella-type rigging, harness, or other device designed to hold more than one lure at a time — with or without hooks — is not allowed. Such rigging, harness, or device cannot be added to a single lure as described above. Traditional twin arm spinnerbaits or buzzbaits are allowed. Trailer hooks and plastic trailers must be on the main hook of the bait; only spinner blades can be affixed to the arms. The head on the main stem may be hinged. On these spinnerbaits or buzzbaits, no more than two wires, with a maximum length of 6 inches, may extend off the main arm or body of the lure. The ‘head and hook’ portion of the lure must trail behind the blade or blades. B.A.S.S. officials have the sole authority to determine whether a lure is considered a single lure as defined above.”

The team of Brandon Gray and Todd Massey of North Carolina moved into second place, and the fourth-place team of Jon Griffith and John Stewart Jr. of Arizona moved to third.

Members of the Top 3 teams — including champions Flannagan Fife and Royce Davis of Arkansas — are competing individually today and Saturday on DeGray. The top angler after Saturday’s weigh-in will earn the right to compete in the 2015 GEICO Bassmaster Classic. 

Courtesy of BASS Communications

Posted By Hawgsrus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The top bass fishery in the nation according to Bassmaster’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list will get a chance to prove just why it earned that top spot as the 2015 Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship will head to Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin, for the first time in Elite Series history Sept. 17-20.
Open only to the Top 50 Bassmaster Elite Series anglers at the end of the 2015 regular season, the AOY Championship will pay out $1 million, an increase from $900,000 this year, said Bruce Akin, B.A.S.S. CEO.
“The $1 million prize purse will undoubtedly heat up the competition,” Akin said. “Each angler will have a lot at stake, including at least 36 Bassmaster Classic berths on the line, and $100,000 for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year title. It’s sure to be one of the most exciting events of the season.”
“We are proud to partner with B.A.S.S. in showcasing the talents of the Bassmaster Elite Series anglers,” said Jim Baudino, engagement marketing manager for Toyota. “The Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship celebrates the achievements of the year’s most successful fisherman, and it’s a great format for involving fishing fans and their families in this sport.”
To qualify for the championship, an Elite Series pro must be No. 50 or higher in the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points standings after the eight events of the 2015 regular season, including BASSfest. Points are earned by pros based on their finishes at each of those eight events.
“We are delighted and honored to partner with and welcome Bassmaster to Sturgeon Bay, Door County, Wisconsin,” said Todd Trimberger, Bassmaster event coordinator for the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center. “We have a fantastic destination to share with Bassmaster fans, competitors and their families. Door County is an incredibly scenic place with kind people and the best bass fishing in the country. We are excited to show the world!”
“It seems only appropriate that the 2015 Angler of the Year Championship will be crowned on the best bass fishery in the country,” said James Hall, editor of Bassmaster Magazine. “Sturgeon Bay was ranked No. 1 on Bassmaster Magazine’s 100 Best Bass Lakes list this year for two reasons.
“One, the population of smallmouth in Sturgeon Bay is second to none. But perhaps more importantly, the average size of the smallies here is world class. Place the world’s best bass anglers on a fishery that produces so many giant bass, and you have the potential for a history-making event.”
Fans will be able to enjoy the Sturgeon Bay competition during Toyota Bassmaster AOY Championship Week, which features a full schedule of activities, including daily takeoffs and weigh-ins, the Bassmaster Elite Series Expo and a special fan appreciation day.
Local hosts for the event are the Sturgeon Bay Visitor Center, the City of Sturgeon Bay, the Door County Visitor Bureau and Door County.
Live coverage of the tournament will take place on
Courtesy of BASS Communications.