Connell wins first Bassmaster Elite event

Published 3:37 pm Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Nearly a year since qualifying for the Bassmaster Elite Series, Dustin Connell has earned his victory on the professional circuit.

The 26-year-old Clanton native won the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Elite event at the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi.

Connell is in the midst of his rookie season at the top level, and the event was just his ninth on tour.

According to the Bassmaster website, the win moves him into seventh place in the Toyota Angler of the Year standings.

He now sits among the best bass fishermen in the world and has a win to help showcase his growing position within the sport.

After competing while attending the University of Alabama and then finishing highly ranked in the Bassmaster Southern Opens last year, he has stepped right into a contending role as a pro.

To claim the top prize, Connell had to out-duel several former champions, which included multi-title winner Kevin VanDam.

Connell captured a four-day total of 64 pounds, 13 ounces en route to a $100,000 payday.