Connell Goes To CrushCity And Dominates Redcrest On Lay Lake

Alabama pro Dustin Connell made history this week by winning his sixth overall Bass Pro Tour event

Alabama pro Dustin Connell made history this week by winning his sixth overall Bass Pro Tour event, his second in six weeks, and perhaps most importantly his second Redcrest Championship. He craftily adjusted his championship game plan over the four days of competition, ducking and dodging and reassessing on the fly, and ended up with a dominating victory thanks largely to his spotted bass expertise and his extreme reliance on the CrushCity™ Freeloader and the soon-to-be-released CrushCity™ Mooch Minnow.

Strategy and Complete Domination

The winning margin of nearly 31 pounds made it look like he coasted to the trophy, but Connell's game-day strategy was anything but easy. "I caught them from dam to dam, 55 miles," he said. While other competitors may have viewed the site of his CrushCity wrapped Triton flying here and there as a sign of distress, in reality, it showed just how attuned to the conditions Connell remained throughout the competition. He'd been catching spotted bass in the upper tailrace with the Freeloader on a spinnerbait and scrounger jig, calling it an "instrumental factor in getting to the championship round," but despite every intention of heading there late on the last day, his down lake fish never let him leave.

"I won the tournament on the Mooch Minnow, the same bait that was integral to my win at Toledo Bend," he said. "At that tournament, it produced a 7-pounder and a few 5-pounders. The tabs on the tail make it special. The whole time it's shimmying in the water. It's a great size to replicate gizzard shad. That last day I had a 20-pound, five-fish limit of spots on it."

Mooching for History

This marks not only a second Redcrest victory for the 33-year-old Connell but also his second one in his home state of Alabama. When you have one of the best spotted bass anglers in the world, and he's dialed into gameday mode, with a bait yet to be in circulation, it's a recipe for excellence.

For now, the Mooch Minnow is not yet in distribution, but it will be officially released at the 2024 ICAST show. If you want some of your own, you'll have to wait, or perhaps raid Connell's rapidly-filling trophy case.

"These two baits (Freeloader and Mooch Minnow) are going to hang on this trophy and on the Toledo Bend trophy," he said.

Connell's best friend and traveling partner, CrushCity pro Jacob Wheeler, likewise a 2024 BPT winner, finished 6th overall. He's a six-time BPT winner and won back-to-back AOY awards in 2021 and 2022. He's finished no worse than 6th in his last four Redcrest outings and has never been outside the top four in end-of-season rankings.

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