Fishing & Boating News

Pollak Wins Walmart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Event on Mississippi River

by: Brian Johnson, FLW

(Jun 15, 2015 - LA CROSSE, WI.)  Joe Pollak of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 15 pounds, 3 ounces Saturday to win the third Walmart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division tournament of 2015 on the Mississippi River. For his victory, Pollak earned $4,498.
“Winning a tournament like this is a nice reward for the many hours spent in practice and preparation,” said Pollak of his first career win. “I’m very excited to see what the future holds for me in BFL competition.”
Pollak said he started his day by making a run to Pool No. 9. There, he used a bluegill-colored Dirty Jigs Swim Jig with a green-pumpkin craw to catch his fish.
“I knew I needed to target clear water because that’s where the bass were congregating,” said Pollak. “They were also feeding heavily on bluegills in two-foot depths, so I figured my presentation would clean up well.”
After a few hours, Pollak said he pieced together a small limit after a couple of passes through the area.
“Around 11 o’ clock I caught one more keeper and culled,” Pollak said. “It was slow until about 20 minutes before check-in when I caught a 3½-pounder. I felt good about my limit at that point.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st:          Joe Pollak, Lake Geneva, Wis., five bass, 15-3, $4,498
2nd:         Travis Brueggen, Cashton, Wis., five bass, 14-15, $2,249
3rd:          John Berrens, Weyauwega, Wis., five bass, 14-8, $1,498
4th:          Kary Ray, Tiffin, Iowa, five bass, 14-7, $1,050
5th:          Kevin Wolfram, Schaumburg, Ill., five bass, 14-6, $900
6th:          Todd Earnest, Ham Lake, Minn., five bass, 13-14, $787
6th:          Caleb Kuphall, Mukwonago, Wis., five bass, 13-14, $787
8th:          Josh Keeney, Greenville, Wis., five bass, 13-13, $675
9th:          Jeff Benson, Holmen, Wis., five bass, 13-10, $600
10th:        Kevin Ruh, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 13-8, $525
Jamie Gomez of Onalaska, Wisconsin, caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the pro division, a fish weighing 4 pounds, 12 ounces and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $645.
Ryan Coon of Bettendorf, Iowa, and Brooks Gullixon each weighed in five bass totaling 12 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to win $1,687 each in the co-angler division.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st:          Ryan Coon, Bettendorf, Iowa, five bass, 12-14, $1,687
1st:          Brooks Gullixon, Middleton, Wis., five bass, 12-14, $1,687
3rd:          Tom Lyskawka, Arlington Heights, Ill., five bass, 11-7, $752
4th:          Steve Mortenson, Oshkosh, Wis., five bass, 9-15, $525
5th:          Kevin Yeska, Madison, Wis., four bass, 9-2, $450
6th:          Mike Sather, Weston, Wis., four bass, 9-0, $412
7th:          Gregory Walker, Verona, Wis., four bass, 8-10, $375
8th:          William Bloomberg, West Burlington, Iowa, four bass, 8-7, $318
8th:          Paul VonWald, La Crosse, Wis., four bass, 8-7, $318
10th:        Kaying Lor, La Crosse, Wis., four bass, 8-2, $238
10th:        Rex McTier, Endeavor, Wis., four bass, 8-2, $238
10th:        Patrick Reynolds, Waterloo, Iowa, three bass, 8-2, $238
Reynolds caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the co-angler division and earned the day’s Big Bass award of $322.
The top 50 boaters and 50 co-anglers based on point standings will qualify for the Oct. 15-17 Regional Championship on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard.
The BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 120 tournaments throughout the season, five in each division. The top 50 boaters and co-anglers from each division qualify for a regional tournament and compete to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the Walmart BFL All-American. Top winners in the BFL can move up to the Rayovac FLW Series or even the Walmart FLW Tour.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2015 over the course of 240 tournaments across five tournament circuits, four of which provide an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.