• Road to the Championship

    13.Mar.2013 by Gary Mortenson

    Meet the Crimson Tide

    The Alabama team of Dustin Connell and Logan Johnson finished the Southeast Conference Championship in fourth place. (Photo by Brett Carlson)
    University of Alabama teammates Logan Johnson, Dustin Connell share their thoughts on qualifying for the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship
    13.Mar.2013 by Gary Mortenson

    (Editor’s note: Leading up to the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship – slated for April 19-21 on Beaver Lake in Rodgers, Ark. – will publish weekly, in-depth features stories of each of the 25 national championship team qualifiers. At stake in the tournament is a first-place prize package that includes $30,000 in cash, a brand new, Ranger Z-117 bass boat and an automatic berth in the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup.)

    Name: Logan Johnson (pictured on left)

    Class: Senior

    Major: Advertising

    Hometown: Jasper, Ala.

    Other interests: Hunting.

    Name: Dustin Connell (pictured on right)

    Class: Alumnus

    Major: Marketing

    Hometown: Clanton, Ala.

    Other interests: That’s a tough one right there – other than fishing, I enjoy deer hunting. I’ve always had a passion to be outdoors and if I’m not on the water, I’m in the woods or in Tuscaloosa celebrating all of our National Championships with my buddies on the fishing team. Roll Tide!!

    Club Web site:

    Q&A How were you introduced to fishing?

    Logan Johnson: I was introduced to fishing first by my dad when I was about 3 years old and have been fishing with him ever since. I’ve also been competing in tournaments since the age of 15.

    Dustin Connell: My brother, James, introduced me to fishing at an early age. I was probably 8 years old. I can still remember that day on the creek beside my house where he put me on an old school Creme worm and I caught my first bass on an artificial bait. It was a 3-pounder. That day seriously changed my life. I would have never thought how much fishing would become a passion to me. It’s my life. I can remember before school every morning at daylight I would ride my bike up the street a mile and go fishing at my neighborhood pond. To think how far I’ve come with fishing really blows my mind. I attribute all my success and learning to my brother who pushes me to be better every year. What style/method of fishing are you most comfortable with?

    Logan Johnson: Power fishing, covering a lot of water with a swimming a jig, fishing square-bill crankbaits and throwing topwaters are all staples in my arsenal. Although I don’t mind occasionally slowing down and punching grass or flipping docks and wood.

    Dustin Connell: That’s a tough one also. I grew up fishing the Coosa River in Alabama and as everyone knows, one can do anything on the Coosa to catch fish. I have no problem sitting in 25 feet catching them on a crankbait or pulling out my flipping stick. I’d say the most comfortable style for me is fishing around current. I’ve learned how fish position themselves in certain spots and how to read the water, which makes it easier to catch them. That style of fishing is definitely my strength. What did it feel like to qualify for the 2013 FLW College Fishing National Championship? How do you plan to prepare for the big event?

    Logan Johnson: It was a great experience to be able to qualify and represent our school. We plan to practice as much as possible before the cutoff date and hopefully form a plan during the official practice.

    Dustin Connell: Qualifying for the FLW National Championship feels awesome. This will be our first championship and I’m pumped up about it. Before last year’s qualifiers began we set a goal to get to the championship and we made it. We plan on researching the lake a good bit and going pre-fishing ahead of time to get a feel of the lake. I’m very comfortable traveling to different lakes and fishing. I get to bring some of my home cooking with me and I can’t wait to pull out some Coosa River stuff on Beaver Lake. Tell us something interesting about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.

    Logan Johnson: I enjoy watching TV commercials and critiquing them almost as much as watching the actual show.

    Dustin Connell: I used to race motorcross.