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Realtree Pros Capture Major Bass Fishing Titles

Realtree Pros Capture Major Bass Fishing Titles

Posted 2024-04-08  by  Team Realtree

Connell takes REDCREST, while Gregory wins top kayak tournament

COLUMBUS, GA., April 8, 2024: March was a successful month for Realtree Fishing’s team of competitive anglers, as two top pros came away with championship wins. Dustin Connell, of Clanton, Alabama, was crowned REDCREST World Champion after winning the culminating event of Major League Fishing’s Bass Pro Tour. The win paid $300,000.

Connell was an early favorite. With REDCREST held on Lay Lake outside of Birmingham, Connell came in with a wealth of experience. But it was more than home-field advantage that propelled Connell to the winner’s circle. In fact, familiarity nearly sunk him.

“The pressure will crush you,” Connell stated in the press conference following the event. “I tried my best to not let it happen. I had to physically stop, and think about it, and just go fish.” Too often in bass tournaments, home-town anglers choose fishing locations based on previous experience rather than current conditions, resulting in a frenzied approach that ultimately leads to their downfall.

Connell would not let that happen. Evolving his fishing locations and methods each day of the event, he capitalized on a bite the others missed. Early in the event, he fished areas with swift current using spinnerbaits and Scrounger jigs. Once that bite fizzled, and a few other stops resulted in poor catches, Connell began scouring for new areas that could produce the winning string on the final day.

Image: Dustin_Connell

Realtree Fishing pro Dustin Connell was crowned the REDCREST World Champion last month after his win on Lay lake.

What Connell found as a result could only be described as the motherlode. Utilizing forward-facing sonar and his reliable Crush City soft-plastic lure, Connell unleashed the most dominating final-day performance in the history of REDCREST.

The Bass Pro Tour features a live feed, allowing fans to watch and cheer the winner in realtime. During the third and final period of fishing, Connell dominated the competition with back-to-back catches of hefty spotted bass, each plucked from what became the best fishing spot on the lake. As time ran out, Connell had amassed a 30-pound lead, leaving the rest of the field in the dust.

A week later, Drew Gregory of Kent, Ohio, took down kayak bass fishing’s biggest title, winning the Bassmaster Kayak Series Championship on Lake Tenkiller. There, Gregory caught 10 bass measuring over 180 inches, beating 163 other anglers from around the country.

Image: Drew_Gregory1

Realtree Fishing Pro Drew Gregory won the Bassmaster Kayak Series Championship on Tenkiller Lake.

Known a a shallow-water specialist, Gregory took his kayak as far as it would go up the Illinois River to reach his fishing area. Prior to the event, he had modified and balanced his Crescent Kayak Shoalie — a boat he designed — to draft as little water as possible. Combined with his experience in white-water kayaking, the program put Gregory in remote places other competitors couldn’t reach, and big bass were the result.

Gregory has been a stand-out on the kayak tours since he started, capturing eight national wins in short time. Yet, the big trophy had previously eluded him. “This is one to win, and I’ve been close before,” Gregory said, referring to his second place finish at the KBF Championship in 2019. Five years and two angler-of-the-year titles later, Gregory became a national champion. “It’s something I’ve been waiting on for a long time, and wondering if I’d ever achieve,” he admitted.

Gregory joined Connell as one of the winningest pros in the game, each capping their career accomplishments during the same fruitful week of March. With a new season now underway, we can only wonder if the possibility of a repeat is entering their minds.

Follow along with the Realtree Fishing team this season on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and through and

***DON’T MISS: *How to Pick the Best Soft-Plastic Lures for Crappie Fishing.

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