Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens Blog

Connell putting on the pressure

10:19 am EDT, Apr 18, 2015

Just got a text from B.A.S.S. photographer James Overstreet who is with Russ Lane: "4 fish about 7 pounds."


Haven't had time to talk to Lane much this week, but with the pressure Dustin Connell is putting on him this morning, something's going to have to change big time for Lane to overcome the 2-pound, 10-ounce deficit he started the day with.


Connell has four fish, all in the 3-1/4 to 4-1/4 range. Big spotted bass. He's potentially one bite away from sealing the deal, and he's definitely one bite away from Lane needing 20+ to take him down.


This pool hasn't seen a 20-pound bag yet. Connell's 23-2 on Day 1 came from the next pool down. Jamie Horton's near 20-pound sack also came down. Lane locked down yesterday as well and is familiar with that pool and what it can produce. But he also knows Horton only caught five small fish there yesterday and Connell left with two small fish and caught his weight on this pool yesterday. Connell believes the rising muddy water has shut the bite down south and chose to run north from the ramp to Montgomery. With four big ones and Lane struggling, it seems to be the best choice of the day so far.

Lane with 7 pounds, Connell with 14

10:13 am EDT, Apr 18, 2015

You can watch the video blog posted earlier this morning by Shaye Baker. His post also declares the leader to have three bass. The update is that McConnell now has four fish weighing around 14 pounds.


Way down the river is second-place angler Russ Lane. James Overstreet reports the other local favorite to have only four fish weighing around 7 pounds. Lane started out fishing a topwater bite. He’s switched to a lipless crankbait and is fishing near the dam. He’s looking for current breaks; however, there is yet to be any water generated by the Alabama Power Co.


The irony of this scenario is that Lane is a Bassmaster Elite Series angler. Winning this tournament is important because by doing so he earns an automatic berth in the 2016 Bassmaster Classic. He is also fishing all three Southern Open events.


The same can’t be said for Connell. He waited too late to enter all three of the Southern Open events and is only fishing this tournament. In doing so he doesn’t have a chance to earn the Classic berth, even as the winner.

Video: Connell has three

9:10 am EDT, Apr 18, 2015

Two spots for Connell

8:44 am EDT, Apr 18, 2015

Hanging out with Dustin Connell in Montgomery this morning. He has two good spots in the boat for about 7 pounds total.

Connell still leading

7:28 pm EDT, Apr 17, 2015

Follow the leader

3:25 pm EDT, Apr 17, 2015

We head out on the Alabama River to chase down Day 1 leader Dustin Connell as he tries to maintain his lead of the 2015 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #2 Presented by Allstate. See it here

Bilbrey with a giant bass

11:24 am EDT, Apr 17, 2015

Scenes from the Day 2 launch

8:44 am EDT, Apr 17, 2015

Photos by Mark Bilbrey

Day 2 begins

7:49 am EDT, Apr 17, 2015

The weather ahead

7:37 am EDT, Apr 17, 2015

Welcome to Day 2 of the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens presented by Allstate.


A picture does better than words in describing the weather ahead.


Look for our Shaye Baker to follow the leader. Shaye is our resident local expert for and he'll provide enlightening reports about the action ahead.