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Connell Wins Bass Pro Tour on Smith Lake – Wired2Fish

For the second time in two years, Alabama is ‘dwelling candy dwelling’ for MLF professional angler and 2021 REDCREST Champion Dustin Connell of Clanton, Alabama, who caught a complete of 33 bass weighing 71 kilos, 2 ounces throughout Monday’s Championship Spherical to take dwelling the massive, pink trophy and $100,000 on the Favourite Fishing Stage Three on Lewis Smith Lake Offered by Mercury in Cullman, Alabama. This was Connell’s second main nationwide win in his dwelling state, the primary being REDCREST 2021 on Lake Eufaula, in Eufaula, Alabama.

Monday marked the seventh time Connell has certified for the Championship Spherical on the MLF Bass Professional Tour. The MLF NOW!® broadcast workforce coined the Alabama professional “Connell the Conqueror” – a moniker that simply could stick after battling it out with a star-studded area of fierce opponents and a headliner listing of among the greatest within the enterprise.

Connell mentioned he felt blessed to have the ability to discover his honey-hole on Lewis Smith Lake and that the whole lot lined up the best way it did on the ultimate day.

“I rolled in right here in the course of the afternoon of the Knockout Spherical. Once I noticed the fish and the chance in right here my adrenaline began speeding and I believed, ‘Oh my goodness – that is the profitable spot’,” mentioned Connell. “I knew if I might make it into the Championship Spherical, it might occur. I wakened this morning and advised my spouse and my digital camera man Brett, ‘It might occur right this moment.’

“I feel I ended up catching over 70 scorable bass right this moment – I obtained a little bit little bit of ‘bass thumb’ happening,” laughed Connell.

The Alabama professional mentioned he attributes his success on Championship Monday largely to the present on Lewis Smith Lake.

“The water has been excessive on this fishery all week, however they began pulling off two generators in preparation for the rain right this moment, which is numerous present,” mentioned Connell. “I might see numerous noticed bass stacked up on a giant rock ridge on my Lowrance ActiveTarget . Any time they obtained up off the underside and on bait, I might pitch over to them, and it was an automated chunk.

“I caught numerous my fish utilizing my ActiveTarget, on Favorite Fishing 6-foot 10-inch and 7-foot 2-inch Hex Series rods, spooled with 15-pound Seaguar Smackdown braided line with a 12-pound Seaguar Gold Label Fluorocarbon Leader.”

Whereas the numbers appeared nice on the finish of the third interval, the ultimate day wasn’t a runaway by any means. Connell had Berkley professional Jordan Lee – a Cullman native who ended the day in second place – on his heels, getting inside 12 kilos of him twice all through the day.

“Kudos to Jordan, man, he caught them good,” mentioned Connell. “I simply stored listening to my SCORETRACKER® updates and considering, ‘Please don’t break that 10-pound barrier’, as a result of you possibly can simply catch two five-pounders right here after which increase, another person is main.

“I caught these previous couple of fish and was considering ‘I simply received the event’, however I used to be nonetheless checking with my competitors official with three minutes left on the clock,” laughed Connell.

And what a confidence-booster for Connell – to win one other main occasion earlier than going into REDCREST 2022 – the distinguished Bass Professional Tour World Championship – in only a few brief weeks in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

“I felt like I used to be in a little bit of a hunch after final season ended, as a result of I hadn’t made a prime 10, apart from REDCREST 2021,” mentioned Connell. “I got here shut a number of occasions, however it simply didn’t ever work out.

“The primary two occasions this yr had been powerful for me, so I didn’t see this week going the best way it did. I knew one thing particular might occur, however I’d have to search out the fitting little zone for the whole lot to work out.”

And discover it he did, in the course of the Knockout Spherical, with one hour left of competitors.

“Outdoors of the present, I feel the largest key for me this week on Smith Lake was the nice and cozy climate, adopted by heat rain,” mentioned Connell. “It sort of put all of the fish within the creeks in a funk as a result of they’re desirous to spawn however weren’t actually able to stand up there but.

“The water all through a lot of the fishery was excessive and muddy all week – however the fish up on the dam the place I fished right this moment had been hardcore, pre-spawn bass, which was a game-changer. The water temp was 52 levels there, whereas it’s 62 up within the creeks, and people fish by the dam had been all grouped up. I knew if somebody might discover them in that deep, clear water, they may win the event.”

The highest 10 professionals on the Favourite Fishing Stage Three Offered by Mercury completed:

  1. Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 33 bass, 71-2, $100,000
  2. Jordan Lee, Cullman, Ala., 29 bass, 56-1, $45,000
  3. Michael Neal, Dayton, Tenn., 24 bass, 52-2, $38,000
  4. Jesse Wiggins, Addison, Ala., 17 bass, 34-1, $32,000
  5. Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla., 13 bass, 30-2, $30,000
  6. Wesley Strader, Spring Metropolis, Tenn., 13 bass, 27-8, $26,000
  7. Ott DeFoe, Blaine, Tenn., 13 bass, 25-1, $23,000
  8. Jacob Wheeler, Harrison, Tenn., 12 bass, 24-5, $21,000
  9. Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 5 bass, 11-15, $19,000
  10. Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala., 5 bass, 9-7, $16,000

Full outcomes for your entire area will be discovered at

Total, there have been 164 scorable bass weighing 341 kilos, 12 ounces caught by the ten professionals Monday.

Evers and Ehrler each caught noticed bass weighing 4-pounds, 10-ounces within the third interval to tie for the ultimate day $1,000 Berkley Huge Bass Award, which might be break up between the 2 professionals, with professional Randall Tharp of Port Saint Joe, Florida profitable the $3,000 Berkley Huge Bass of the event together with his 6-7 largemouth caught on Friday. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass every day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the event.

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