Fishing & Boating News

Morgan Grabs Lead After Day Two of FLW Tour On Mississippi River

Iowa’s Herb Wins Co-angler Title, $20,000

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, TN, caught a 5-bass limit weighing 14 lbs, 9 oz Friday to capture the lead.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(May 19, 2017 - La Crosse, WI)  Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan of Dayton, Tennessee, caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 9 ounces Friday to capture the lead at the FLW Tour on the Mississippi River presented by Evinrude with a two-day catch of 10 bass totaling 31-4. He now holds a slim 4-ounce lead after Day Two of the four-day event that features 160 of the world’s best bass-fishing professionals casting for a top award of up to $125,000.

“This is my type of event,” said Morgan, a 19-time Forrest Wood Cup qualifier and the reigning FLW Tour Angler of the Year. “It’s a slugfest, but it’s not. You have to get a couple of decent bites – a 4-pounder – and if you can get a couple of those you’re in the game. I’ve never been here before, but I know that the Mississippi River is one of the best shallow water fisheries in the country. You come up here and you get busy.”

Morgan said that he caught fish Thursday in both Pools No. 8 and 9, but the bulk of his fish Friday came from Pool No. 9. He weighed in a limit consisting of three largemouth and two smallmouth on both days of competition.

“It’s just kind of dumb luck when I catch a smallmouth,” he said.

“There are several guys that made the cut and we’re all kind of in one general area, and today they were just biting,” Morgan said. “I caught a bunch of fish yesterday, but today I only caught maybe nine. It got cold, it got tough, but the mud is the concern. It painted me into a little bit of a corner today where I didn’t have as much water to run, so that’s going to be an issue come Day Three.”

The top 20 pros that made the Buck Knives Cut and will fish Saturday on the Mississippi River are:

              1st:          Livingston Lures pro Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., 10 bass, 31-4

              2nd:         Bryan Schmitt, Deale, Md., 10 bass, 31-0

              3rd:         Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., 10 bass, 30-14

              4th:         Jeff Sprague, Point, Texas, 10 bass, 30-11

              5th:         Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, Minn., 10 bass, 30-11

              6th:         Joshua Weaver, Macon, Ga., 10 bass, 30-0

              7th:         Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C., 10 bass, 29-12

              8th:         Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., 10 bass, 29-11

              9th:         Quaker State pro Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C., 10 bass, 29-7

              10th:       Polaris pro David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 29-5

              11th:       Quaker State pro Jimmy Houston, Cookson, Okla., 10 bass, 29-1

              12th:       Scott Martin, Clewiston, Fla., 10 bass, 28-13

              13th:       Alex Davis, Albertville, Ala., 10 bass, 28-12

              14th:       Yamamoto Baits pro Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 10 bass, 28-12

              15th:       Joey Cifuentes, Clinton, Ark., 10 bass, 28-6

              16th:       Jim Moulton, Merced, Calif., 10 bass, 28-0

              17th:       Justin Atkins, Florence, Ala., 10 bass, 27-15

              18th:       Clark Reehm, Huntington, Texas, 10 bass, 27-14

              19th:       Cody Meyer, Auburn, Calif., 10 bass, 27-12

              20th:       Michael Wooley, Collierville, Tenn., 10 bass, 27-11


James Watson of Lampe, Missouri, earned the Big Bass award on the pro side Friday, weighing a 4-pound, 10-ounce largemouth to win the $500 prize.

Overall there were 675 bass weighing 1,629 pounds even caught by 153 pros Friday. The catch included 112 five-bass limits.

Cole Herb of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won the co-angler division and $20,000 Friday with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 24 pounds, 11 ounces, followed by Jeremiah Shaver of Holmen, Wisconsin, who finished in second place with 10 bass weighing 23 pounds, 11 ounces, worth $7,600.

The top 10 co-anglers on the Mississippi River finished:

              1st:          Cole Herb, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 10 bass, 24-11, $20,000

              2nd:         Jeremiah Shaver, Holmen, Wis., 10 bass, 23-11, $7,600

              3rd:         Jamie Jacobus, Johnstown, Ohio, 10 bass, 23-2, $5,050

              4th:         Cody Wissink, Arcadia, Wis., nine bass, 22-10, $4,000

              5th:         Tim Beale, Hernando, Miss., eight bass, 21-4, $3,000

              6th:         Steve York, Bronson, Mich., nine bass, 21-4, $2,500

              7th:         Alan Bernicky, Joliet, Ill., nine bass, 20-14, $2,000

              8th:         Shawn Fulmer, Mount Pleasant, Wis., eight bass, 20-2, $1,800

              9th:         Jeffrey Clark, Hoover, Ala., nine bass, 19-15, $1,700

              10th:       Carlton Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, S.C., eight bass, 19-7, $1,600

Bailey Boutries of Daphne, Alabama, earned $250 for the Big Bass award in the co-angler division Friday with a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass.

Overall there were 304 bass weighing 684 pounds, 8 ounces caught by 154 co-anglers Friday. The catch included 12 five-bass limits.

In FLW Tour competition, pros and co-anglers are randomly paired each day, with pros supplying the boat, controlling boat movement and competing against other pros. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. The full field of anglers competed Thursday and Friday. Co-angler competition concluded following Friday’s weigh-in, while the top 20 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advance to Saturday. Only the top 10 pros continue competition Sunday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.

Throughout the season, anglers are also vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing. The 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will be on Lake Murray in Columbia, South Carolina, Aug. 11-13.

The total purse for the FLW Tour at Mississippi River presented by Evinrude is more than $800,000, including $10,000 through 50th place in the Pro Division. The tournament is hosted by Explore La Crosse.

Competitors will take off at 6:30 a.m. CDT each day from Veterans Freedom Park, located at 1 Clinton St., in La Crosse. Saturday and Sunday’s weigh-ins will be held at Veterans Freedom Park, beginning at 4 p.m.

Prior to the weigh-ins Saturday and Sunday, fans are invited to experience the free Fishing Expo at Veterans Freedom Park from noon to 4 p.m. The Expo is a unique opportunity for fishing fans to meet their favorite anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by FLW sponsors, and learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities.

Youth are also invited to participate in the free FLW Foundation’s Unified Fishing Derby at Copeland Park, located at 1130 Copeland Park Drive in La Crosse, on Saturday, May 20, from 9-11 a.m. The event, hosted by FLW Foundation pro Cody Kelley along with other FLW Tour anglers, is free and open to area youth (18 years of age and younger) and Special Olympics athletes (all ages). Rods and reels are available for the first 50 participants to use, but youth are encouraged to bring their own if they own one.

Television coverage of the FLW Tour at Mississippi River presented by Evinrude will premiere in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) Aug. 2 from Noon-1 p.m. EDT. The Emmy-nominated "FLW" television show airs on NBCSN, the Pursuit Channel and the World Fishing Network and is broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.