Wednesday, March 31, 2021

2022 Bassmaster Classic Will Be Held At Lake Hartwell

The world’s most prestigious professional bass tournament will be returning next year to the site of some of the best moments in the sport’s famed history.


B.A.S.S. officials, along with Visit Anderson and VisitGreenvilleSC, announced today that the 2022 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk will be held for the fourth time at scenic Lake Hartwell, March 4-6, with takeoffs from Green Pond Landing & Event Center. Daily weigh-ins will be held at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena and the annual Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo will take place at the Greenville Convention Center, both of which are in nearby Greenville.


B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin said the organization is excited to once again visit a venue that has become the gold standard for professional bass fishing events.


“Everything about Lake Hartwell and the city of Greenville make them the perfect setting for the Super Bowl of Professional Bass Fishing,” Akin said. “The Bassmaster Classic is not only a chance for the best anglers in the world to showcase their abilities, it’s an annual celebration of the sport itself.


“Lake Hartwell provides the perfect site for amazing competition, and the city of Greenville provides the hotels, restaurants and other facilities you need for an event the size of the Classic.”


Hartwell is a 56,000-acre man-made reservoir situated between Georgia and South Carolina and encompassing portions of the Savannah, Tugaloo and Seneca rivers. It features a vast array of habitat and a good population of both largemouth and spotted bass that are likely to be in the prespawn phase when the Classic competitors arrive.


The fishery has hosted three previous Classics that each provided action-packed finishes.


Monday, March 29, 2021

Ott DeFoe Wins Bass Pro Tour Event on San Rayburn!

3rd Texas Win for DeFoe

By Manson Prince


It came down to the final 30 minutes on a stingy Sam Rayburn Reservoir, but for the second time in as many years in the state of Texas, Ott DeFoe is a Bass Pro Tour Stage champion. DeFoe won the Toro Stage One Presented by Power-Pole by narrowly edging out Luke Clausen by 2 pounds, 13 ounces with a total weight of 13 bass for 30-2. The win is DeFoe’s third MLF win in the state of Texas after he won Stage Three of the Bass Pro Tour in 2020 at Lake Fork and the 2021 Heritage Cup in Waco, Texas.

DeFoe’s Drama-Filled Victory

DeFoe started out his morning like he had every day of competition thus far—on fire. The Tennessee pro landed 10 bass for 22-8 in Period 1, but his pace slowed dramatically in the afternoon. DeFoe went more than five hours without a scorable bass and fell into second place behind Luke Clausen because of it.

“I had to work for every fish I caught today,” DeFoe recapped. “I had to use a crankbait, spinnerbait, bladed jig, wacky worm, and a swim jig. It was a grind and I thought I had other places that would be productive. But there was a ton of boat traffic up by the river, so I just decided to go fishing.

But DeFoe never panicked. DeFoe went back up the river, found more laydowns, brushpiles, and current. He caught them when he needed them the most. In the final 15 minutes, as he was in an area with poor connectivity, DeFoe landed a 2-12 to tie Clausen and then a 2-13 to pass him for the top spot. The 2-13 margin of victory is the closest in Bass Pro Tour history, and DeFoe is glad he can finally catch his breath out of one of the more stressful days of his career.

“All of the stress you could ever imagine, I was feeling that last hour,” DeFoe expressed. “I knew we were going to have poor connectivity so my official was going to make me move with five minutes left. I didn’t know if Luke had caught another and I knew we were close. Just that feeling of relief when I knew that I had it was amazing.”

DeFoe is no stranger to winning in Texas and he has now won the last three MLF events held in the Lone Star State. When asked about what exactly it is about Texas that makes it like a second bass-fishing home to him, DeFoe had a simple answer.

“When you come to Texas, bass act like they’re supposed to,” DeFoe stated. “I tell everyone who asks me that same question that answer. I’ve won here on three completely different fisheries but caught them the way I knew they should be caught at that time of year in that particular environment. They eat shad, they live around cover, and they like current.”

Friday, March 26, 2021

2021 Bass Pro Tour Lake San Rayburn: Lucas Wins Knockout Round, Seven Others Advance to Join DeFoe & Spohrer

San Rayburn moody for Top 10.

By Mason Prince

Bass Pro Tour

It was another tough day of fishing for the majority of the 38-man field in the
Toro Stage One Presented by Power-Pole Knockout Round on Sam Rayburn Reservoir, but eight anglers stood out above the rest. Those eight —Justin Lucas, Cliff Pace, Jeff Sprague, Luke Clausen, Tommy Biffle, Cliff Crochet, Bobby Lane, and Mark Davis — will be moving on to the Championship Round, joining Gerald Spohrer and Ott DeFoe to complete the 10-angler field.

Lucas Locks Up Top Spot

Justin Lucas made a strong case on Thursday for why he should be considered a favorite to win his second Bass Pro Tour event in as many years. The Alabama pro not only had the best day in the Knockout Round, but the best day of the event so far with nine bass for 36 pounds, 13 ounces. Lucas took a finesse approach with a drop-shot, a strategy he adopted after a solid round on Wednesday.

“I was trying to force myself to catch fish on the bank and they just weren’t there,” Lucas said. “There’s millions of fish in this lake and they all aren’t on the bank. I’m finding them on big grass flats in 3 or 4 feet of water. They’re prespawn and spawning out there.”

Lucas caught the majority of his fish on a drop-shot, but it was a big swimbait fish he caught during his second Qualifying Round that really brought the finesse mindset to the forefront.

“When I caught that 7-14 on a swimbait on Wednesday, I knew that I needed to switch things up,” Lucas said. “I told myself to back off these fish, get away from the bank and look for areas in these flats where they can be spawning or staging. It worked out and I think I know how I’m going to attack tomorrow.”

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Bill Lowen Wins 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake with 83-05lbs!

Cory Johnston 3rd with 79lbs! 

David A. Brown


Dreams do finally become a reality. 
(Photo: BASS) 

Bill Lowen turned in an impressively consistent performance at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake, but he’ll never forget the 8-pound, 5-ounce largemouth that buoyed his Championship Tuesday performance and delivered a winning total of 83-5.

The only competitor to break 20 pounds three of the four days, Lowen placed third on Day 1 with 21-3 and improved to second a day later by adding 23-13. He earned his final-round berth on Day 3 with a limit of 17-10 that put him in a first-place tie with Chad Pipkens.

On Tuesday, Lowen surged across the finish line with a limit of 20-11. Edging second-place Brock Mosley by 2-10, Lowen claimed his first Elite win and earned $102,000, which includes the daily and overall Phoenix Boats Big Bass awards.

Lowen’s game-changing kicker bit around 10:30 a.m., when he skipped his black and blue Signature Series 3/8-ounce Lure Parts Online jig with a chunk trailer under a dock near Kogers Island. He initially snagged a piece of submerged cover, but then his line tightened.

“I had to pitch way up in there so the bait could get down in the current and sweep it through,” Lowen said. “I felt my jig get into a limb or a piece of brush, and as I hopped the jig over I felt the bite. 

“I hesitated because I wanted to be sure, but when I got big pressure, I set the hook and it was game on.”

Lowen described that emotional catch: “There were so many feelings going through my head. You could hear me screaming and hollering and that’s not me. But that’s 14 years of excitement built up for this day. It all came out.” 

The Tennessee Valley Authority steadily worked the volume through the system. But with Wilson Dam dumping approximately 180,000 cubic feet per second into Pickwick, the rising water and intense current dramatically changed Lowen’s game plan. 

“My main goal was to start the tournament out on the grass flat by Koger Island. When all this rain and current came through I (was concerned) because I didn’t have anything else.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake Day 3: Lowen and Pipkens Tie for Lead with 62-10lbs!

Canadians Cory Johnston 3rd & Chris Johnston 24th

BASS Press Release

Current key for both leaders. 
(Photo: BASS) 

Tomorrow, there can be only one winner, but Bill Lowen and Chad Pipkens share the Day 3 lead at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake.


Both anglers head into Championship Tuesday with 62 pounds, 10 ounces.


If a tie occurs in the tournament’s final round, the winner will be determined by a fish-off between the tied competitors.


Hailing from Brookville, Ind., Lowen improved from second place by adding 17-10 to his previous days’ limits of 21-3 and 23-13. Pipkens, who lives in Holt, Mich., moved up from sixth. His daily weights were 21-2, 18-5 and 23-3.


Since last week’s fierce storm, the Tennessee Valley Authority has been moving a tremendous volume of water through Pickwick. Lowen started his day fishing main-river current breaks on the backside of Kogers Island and continued his quest to determine how the fish are adjusting.


As the water level slowly declines, warming conditions have set the stage for a possible spawning movement.


“It just seems like every day the morning has been the deal, that first three hours,” Lowen said. “After that, I just have to beat around and try other things. I’m just trying to find out where the fish have gone.


“I feel like the current is pushing those fish off the flats. I have some areas that they should be going to. I keep checking them, but they haven’t shown up yet.”


Lowen caught his fish on his signature series 3/8-ounce Lure Parts Online jig with a chunk trailer. This bait’s weight and buoyancy allows it to sweep across shallow wood cover without snagging.

Monday, March 22, 2021

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake Day 2: Kreiger Keeps Lead with 45-11lbs!

Canadians Cory Johnston 22th , Chris Johnston 23rd & Gustafson 90th

BASS Press Release

Current loving smallmouth key to big limits. 
(Photo: BASS) 

Koby Kreiger’s main pattern provided a solid foundation, but a strategic relocation proved essential to maintaining his lead at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake.

Adding a five-bass limit of 19 pounds, 15 ounces to his Day 1 leading catch of 25-12 — the event’s biggest bag — the pro from Alva, Fla., tallied 45-11. Heading into Semifinal Monday, Kreiger leads second-place Bill Lowen by 11 ounces.

Kreiger started his day in the Wilson Dam tailrace, where he targeted the down-current side of a wooded rock island. With the dam releasing an hourly average of 178,170 cubic feet per second, bass were leveraging the intense feeding opportunities.

Heavy rainfall from Wednesday’s massive storm system brought extreme current and flood conditions, which required B.A.S.S. officials to postpone the tournament’s scheduled start from Thursday to Saturday.

“The fish just hunker down behind that (structure) and anything that falls over those rocks, they eat it,” Kreiger said. “It was a grind today. I caught one big smallmouth pretty early this morning and I was lucky to catch three to go with it. Then I struggled for a while.

“I made a move and went down my limit bank and caught a 4-pounder and another one about 3 1/2.”

Kreiger’s second area was a riprap bank near the takeoff site at McFarland Park. He spent about an hour in this spot.

Returning to the tailrace in the afternoon, Kreiger found that the bite had completely shut down. He attributes the decline to increased turbidity.

“The upper end of the lake is getting dirty and I think that’s part of the problem,” Kreiger said. “They didn’t bite after this morning. When I returned (to the tailrace), I never got another bite. It was nowhere near like it was yesterday.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake Day 1: Koby Kreiger Scores Lead with 25-12lbs of Smallmouth

Canadians Cory Johnston 12th , Chris Johnston 24th & Gustafson 95th

BASS Press Release

Kreiger focusing on fast-water smallmouth for big limit.
(Photo: BASS) 

A strong start plus a strong finish was the formula for Koby Kreiger to lead Day 1 of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake.


The veteran pro from Alva, Fla., caught a five-bass limit that weighed 25 pounds, 12 ounces.


“I caught a 6-6 pretty early this morning on a balsa Wee Bait in the silver shad color and I kept that bait in my hand until I caught my limit,” Kreiger said. “It took me a little while to do it, but I got zeroed in on some stuff.”


Working mostly in the 7-Mile Island area, downstream from the tournament’s McFarland Park takeoff, Kreiger targeted rocks and current seams. With Pickwick’s water level swollen by Wednesday’s major storm, Kreiger said he sought to dial in the strike zone relevant to the fluctuating water conditions.


“The current seams may be 5 feet off the bank today and tomorrow, they may be 20 feet off the bank,” he said. “I don’t like for the water to be too muddy because I’m throwing little bitty baits, so I want them to be able to see it.”

Friday, March 19, 2021

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake Resumes Saturday!

Flooding Forces Postponement Of Elite Event At Pickwick Lake        

(Photo: BASS)


After increased current caused by severe weather and high sustained west-southwest winds forced the postponement of Day 1 of the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake on Thursday, B.A.S.S. officials announced that Friday’s planned competition would also be postponed.

Tournament staff is working in conjunction with the Tennessee Valley Authority, National Weather Service and other agencies to monitor flooding conditions, water flow and potential floating debris to ensure that the event resumes safely.

Competition is expected to start Saturday morning at 6:45 a.m. CT when a full field of 100 anglers launches onto Pickwick Lake. Daily weigh-ins will be held at 3 p.m.

B.A.S.S. is working alongside local officials to determine if a new venue is needed for takeoffs and weigh-ins after McFarland Park, the original ramp and weigh-in venue for the tournament, was evacuated mid-morning on Thursday due to flooding.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake Day 1 Cancelled and Friday Very Uncertain Day 2

B.A.S.S. officials made a decision to postpone the first day of competition at the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake as increased current caused by severe weather and high sustained winds are making the fishery unsafe for boaters. The forecast is calling for sustained west-southwest winds of 15-20 mph with gusts to 30 expected by mid-morning.


“The combination of flood-level flow and high wind blowing against that current can create a dangerous condition for boaters,” said Lisa Talmadge, Bassmaster Elite Series Senior Tournament Manager. “The safety of our anglers is always our first priority.”


The full field of 100 anglers will now compete on both Friday and Saturday, with only the Top 50 advancing to Sunday’s semifinal round. The Top 10 will compete for the championship on Monday. Daily takeoffs will be held at McFarland Park at 6:45 a.m. CT and weigh-ins each day at the park at 3 p.m.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

2021 Lunkerbowls

 2021 Hourly Big Bass Lunkerbowls

Tri-Lakes, July 4 | Rice Lake, July 18 | Rice Lake, August 15 | Tri-Lakes, August 29

The Competitive Sport Fishing League "CSFL" is pleased to announce four 1-Day Hourly Big Bass Lunkerbowls for 2021 on Tri-Lakes and Rice Lake.

It is the fresh innovative ideas that keep the CSFL as recognized industry leaders. The CSFL continues its thrive to elevate the excitement of competitive sport fishing here in Canada by bringing new anglers to the forefront of competitions and maintaining the integrity of an equal playing field in the all new Hourly Big Bass Lunkerbowls this summer!

The CSFL is proud to unveil its newly formatted rotating Hourly Big Bass Lunkerbowls, each event will begin with a traditional national sport coin toss at 6 am (that will be live streamed across our social platforms) to determine the first hour’s weigh-in species – all competing anglers will be notified accordingly. Largemouth and smallmouth windows will be rotating every hour based on the coin toss result, with a total of 8 hours starting at 7am-8am, 8am-9am, 9am-10am, 10am-11am, 11am-12pm, 12pm-1pm, 1pm-2pm, 2pm-3pm. For example, if the coin toss results with smallmouth, 7 am - 8 am window will be designated for weighing in smallmouth only, 8 am - 9 am will be designated for weighing in largemouth only and so on. Anglers can target both smallmouth and largemouth throughout the event day, but can only weigh in the specified species.

Cam Brownson, Berkley Marketing Manager, Canada states “The Lunkerbowl’s are going to be a great way to introduce all anglers, to a little of the competitive side of fishing. A fun day spent on the water with family and friends while mixing in a little bit of the extra challenge to hopefully win some money. Anyone can win any hour, big boat or small boat, new to fishing or you’ve been fishing for years, it only takes one fish. The excitement of fishing; the thrill of competition all wrapped up in an affordable fun day.”

Sunday, March 14, 2021

John Cox Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Smith Lake with 62-04lbs!

Staying shallow key to big win


Wire to wire win for Cox, the shallow water king. 
(Photo: MLF) 

It seemed like it was only a matter of time. Then again, with everything that had happened to John Cox at Smith Lake in the past, he never knew if it actually would.

Today, “it” finally happened. Today, he finally got the win after being so close so many times.

With some late heroics to seal the deal, the DeBary, Florida, pro brought in 16 pounds, 10 ounces to take home the win at the second Stop on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit with 62 pounds, 4 ounces total.

“I really wanted this one so bad,” Cox admitted.

Considering his history on Smith, it makes sense.

His previous two tournaments at Smith resulted in runner-up finishes, but it was a 2015 event that he feels was his best chance at the win. While most everyone was targeting spotted bass in the main lake, Cox had keyed in on a pattern far up Ryan Creek that was producing some giant largemouth, and it was primed to explode with the conditions on the final day. Unfortunately, he never got to find out just how good it could’ve been, as he was thrown from his boat on the final morning and didn’t complete the day.

That tournament, in particular, ran through his head a lot today.

“I actually had a few breakdowns on live,” Cox said. “I was hitting some spots that I’d fished in the past and caught fish off in the past, and it made me think of everything.”

Friday, March 12, 2021

2021 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Covercraft Smith Lake Day 1: Kerry Milner Leads with 18lbs!

Canadians Luzak 11th & Sim 61st


Big limit of spots vaults Milner to top. 
(Photo: MLF)

If you’ve become weary of hearing about forward-facing sonar dominating tournaments over the last year or so, then
Kerry Milner of Fisher, Arkansas is your breath of fresh air.

Today, Milner weighed in 18 pounds of spotted bass to take the Day 1 lead in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit presented by Bad Boy Mowers event on Smith Lake.

When asked if forward-facing sonar played a role in his catch, he confirmed that he didn’t have any on his boat.

“The way I’m fishing, I don’t think it would have been of much help anyway,” Milner says. “There are other guys fishing in the same areas, but I’m using a different technique; I could go in behind people today and catch fish after they left.”

Milner leads the event by just 5 ounces over Joseph Webster, but it’s the sheer numbers of 15-inch plus keeper bass Milner is catching that’s impressive. On the day, he estimates he caught between 15 to 20 keepers and noted that he caught more keepers than non-keepers.

“I have two places where they’re schooled up on herring,” Milner says. “At times, I can see the herring blown-up under the boat on regular 2D sonar. When I get the fish in the boat they are spitting up herring, too.”

Milner has fished Smith just two other times in his career, but experienced lackluster performances both times.

“We came here for another event and I got on this same pattern the first day of practice,” he says. “But that event was later in the year and, by tournament time, the schools broke up and headed to the bank to spawn. The water is colder this time around so I feel better about it holding up.”


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Jerkbait Refinement for Bass with Megabass Pro Nick Cousvis


This time of year, a lot of attention is put into jerkbait fishing. Nick Cousvis is a master. Listen to him explain how to refine your jerkbait fishing for both smallmouth and largemouth. 

Monday, March 8, 2021

Winning Ways of Jeff Gustafson at 2021 BASS Elite Tennessee River: Moping 101

Z-Man president Daniel Nussbaum recalls his first day in the boat with Gustafson. “Had the good fortune to meet and fish with Gussy five years ago in Canada, and I knew that day he was someone who belonged on the Z-Man team,” says Nussbaum. “Yeah, he’s one of the nicest, most genuine dudes I’ve met, but he also completely ‘gets it’ in terms of recognizing and relying on the benefits of our ElaZtech material.”

Driving back home to celebrate with friends and family, flashing the friendly grin that’s endeared the Keewatin, Ontario angler to fans across the continent, Gussy reflected on his game-winning pattern. “Actually drove by my spot in prefishing a few times before fishing there. It was a canal area connecting Tellico and Fort Loudoun lakes—a 35 mile run from the weigh-in. My friend Clent Davis told me he’d had several bass come up in there and look at his swimbait. So, I motored through the canal and marked a lot of rock and cement chunks and quite a bit of bait and just felt there had to be some bass in there.

“One of my first drops, the Jerk ShadZ went whap! and I caught a 17-incher. Started hooking bass pretty regularly and would see other fish on the screen. Probably caught 20 to 30 smallmouths each day here, and some of them were the bigger ones.”

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Bass Tactics Bryan Gustafson’s Smeltinator Jigs (PRE SALE ONLY)


(Photo: BASS)

Due to extensive demand for the smeltinator hooks, orders will be filled upon arrival.

 (Expected Arrival Date: Mid April)

Put to the test and proven whilst claiming championship titles in tournaments such as the KBI, Fort Frances’ Canadian Championship or Sioux Narrows Bassin’ For Bucks, and the BASS Elite at Tennessee River, these versatile swimbait style jig heads are a must have and a staple in every anglers arsenal. 


Creator, designer and tournament angler, Bryan Gustafson, implemented key elements such as a clear coated airbrush paint job, 3D holographic eyes, textured gill plates and mouth as well as a universal ribbed bait keeper.

Boasting a variety of Gamakatsu hook sizes, these custom pro-designed head are sure to keep up with their reputation in the tournament angling scene.

 Gamakatsu Hook

 3D Holographic Eyes

 Universal Ribbed Bait Keeper


Wednesday, March 3, 2021

New DT Opens Tour

The Competitive Sport Fishing League announced today they have partnered with DT Powersports Marine in creating the DT Opens Tour. The DT Opens Tour will qualify one team to advance to the highly anticipated Johnny Morris Bass Pro Shops US Open National Bass Fishing Amateur Team Championship, taking place November 19 through 21, 2021 on Table Rock Lake, Missouri.

DT Powersports is giving the opportunity for a team to compete in the upcoming US Open Championship in November with a $1 Million Grand Prize, and a total purse valued at $4.3 Million in cash and prizes including $1 Million Conservation donation! The US Open Championship is being created exclusively for amateurs including serious weekend tournament anglers, parents, grandparents, and youngsters, giving everyday anglers, friends, and families the chance to win the biggest payout ever in angling history.

The Competitive Sport Fishing League is pleased to partner with DT Powersports and Marine, an organization that has successfully worked with the CSFL and offers ongoing support to CSFL Anglers. The DT Opens, formerly known as the CSFL Open Tour, made up of events from both the CSFL Eastern and Western Tours, will still offer ten qualifying positions advancing to the CSFL National Classic. In addition, a team that participates in a minimum of 3 out of 4 qualifying events with the highest finishing points and meets the qualification guidelines will get an opportunity to advance to the BPS US-Open Championship and represent Canada.

For more information and to register for the DT Opens Tour visit

Monday, March 1, 2021

Jeff Gustafson Wins 2021 Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Tennessee River with 63lbs!

Canadians Cory Johnston 33rd & Chris Johnston 46th

By Christopher Decker


Smallmouth and moping gives Canadian his first Elite win.
(Photo: BASS)
While check-in for the Guaranteed Rate Bassmaster Elite at Tennessee River was scheduled for 3 p.m. ET, Jeff Gustafson was waiting in the parking lot behind the World’s Fair Park Performance Lawn by 2. 

With his limit of smallmouth filled and potentially treacherous waters ahead, the Keewatin, Ontario, native wanted to make sure he was back in plenty of time. 

“I figured it would take a really big bag to catch me,” Gustafson said. “And being 40 miles down the river and with all the logs on the river, there was room for something to happen and I just wanted to get these fish in and get back here.” 

Turns out, Gustafson could afford to quit early.

With a 14-pound, 3-ounce limit, the Canadian pro claimed his first career Bassmaster Elite Series victory with a four-day total of 63-0, just over 7 pounds ahead of second-place finisher Steve Kennedy.

With the coveted blue trophy in hand, Gustafson reflected on all of the people who’d helped him reach his lifelong dream of scoring an Elite Series win.

“My dad took me fishing every chance I wanted to go when I was a kid and I just caught the bug for it,” Gustafson said. “This is my whole life doing this stuff. It means everything to me. I think about a lot of people that I did it for, my family and I have a lot of good buddies at home that have the talent to do this and just have a different direction in their lives. 

“They all really support me and send me messages all the time, good or bad. I can’t wait to show them all this trophy.”

Dustin Connell Wins REDCREST 2021!

Connell claims his 1st REDCREST


Jerkbait and Live Sonar key to $300 000 victory.
(Photo: MLF)  
Some days out on the water, it’s like you can do no wrong. Googan Baits pro Dustin Connell had himself one of those days Friday.  Connell, of Clanton, Alabama, caught 12 fish weighing 36 pounds, 15 ounces, to win REDCREST 2021, the Bass Pro Tour championship and earn the top prize of $300,000 at Lake Eufaula in Eufaula, Alabama. Connell grabbed the lead in the second period and never looked back, winning by a 5-pound, 11-ounce margin over second-place pro Michael Neal of Dayton, Tennessee, who caught 10 bass totaling 31 pounds, 4 ounces, good for $60,000.

“I still can’t believe this, I really can’t,” said an emotional Connell while on stage after being awarded the REDCREST trophy. “This is truly what dreams are made of. I look around and I see guys like Jacob (Wheeler), (Bryan) Thrift, Ott (DeFoe), and I am just so blessed to be fishing against these guys. It’s an honor just to be here and compete. To come out of here with a win, this is a dream come true.”

Connell’s quest to get to Championship Friday was not easy. On Monday, the first day of competition, Connell caught five bass totaling 15 pounds, 5 ounces to finish the day comfortably in 12th place. Tuesday, Connell only managed two bass and squeaked into the top 20 cut in 19th place to barely advance.