Connell, Hunter win fishing tournament

Published 5:10 pm Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dustin Connell, left, and Bo Hunter caught five fish weighing 13.47 pounds to win Saturday's Peach Classic fishing tournament.

Practice paid off for Dustin Connell and Bo Hunter on Saturday as the duo won the Peach Classic Fishing Tournament.

Connell, who is a member of the University of Alabama fishing team, said he and Hunter are good friends and often fish together on Lake Mitchell, the site of the tournament, which is sponsored annually by the Rotary Club of Chilton County.

Tyler Brown caught the day's "big fish," weighing 5.45 pounds.

“When I’m home, I go every day,” Connell said. “We learn a lot from each other, different techniques and stuff. We have similar styles, so that helps out a lot.”

They had their most success over the weekend when the dam was creating current, mostly using jerkbaits and jigs.

“I’ve got a bunch of rock piles upriver that I fish, mostly deeper rock piles,” Connell said. “When the current was cut on, the fish moved up on them.”

Connell and Hunter took home a check for $1,500. Prize money, along with door prizes, were donated by local businesses to the Rotary Club.

Connell said he and Hunter’s boat most of the day was in sight of the second-place winners.

“I would see them catch one, and then we would catch one,” he said. “It was a slugfest all day.”

Hunter won the tournament–fishing by himself–two years ago.

Most of Connell’s and Hunters’s fish were spotted bass, but the winner of the “big fish” contest was a largemouth bass.

Tyler Brown reeled in the 5.45-pound fish while working a deep rocky bank with a crankbait.

“I thought it was a catfish, the way it was fighting. It was just dead weight,” Brown said. “It came up and I realized it was a bass, and I said, ‘Get the net.’ The hook came flying out as it jumped into the net. It was incredible. I was lucky to catch it.”