World, meet Dustin Connell


Garrick Dixon
Now that Elite Series Rookie has won his first Bassmaster Elite tournament at Mississippi's Ross Barnett, here are a few more details about him. The 26-year-old is from Clanton, Alabama, which is south of Birmingham. He fished on the college team at the University of Alabama and competed in the 2012 Carhartt College Series Bassmaster Classic Bracket against Jordan and Matt Lee. Matt won that tournament. Connell graduated from Alabama in 2012 with a marketing degree. He's now the first College Series angler to win an Elite tournament.

Ross Barnett is just his 9th Bassmaster event as a pro. That includes five Opens and four Elites. He won the 2015 Southern Open #2 on the Alabama River, but didn't qualify for the Classic that year because he didn't fish in the other two Southern Opens. In 2016 he finished 4th in the Southern Opens points race to qualify for the Elite Series. 

This year he has finished 37th on Cherokee, 26th on Okeechobee, and 56th on Toledo Bend. The win at Ross Barnett moves him into 7th place in the Toyota Angler of the Year race. And he sits atop the Toyota Rookie of the Year standings. 

Here is a profile Mark Hicks wrote about Connell before the 2017 season began.

His career winnings before Ross Barnett were $81,831. Nice to more than double that number with a $100,000 check today! 
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