(Sep 18, 2017 - La Crosse, WI)
Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, won the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River Sunday with a two-day cumulative catch of 10 bass weighing 36 pounds, 10 ounces. For his efforts, Monsoor took home $8,175.
“I fished weeds that were 5 feet down and near the current, but not in it. I think the fish like having the food brought right by them,” said Monsoor, who earned his sixth career BFL win on the Mississippi River. “I had 15 areas, but only worked through six of them each day. I also had some deeper spots in the 20-foot range that produced good fish for me.”
Monsoor said he threw his signature Humdinger Swim Jig Saturday, paired with a white 3½-inch Yamamoto Swim Senko trailer. Sunday he switched to a black and blue swim jig and swapped out the Swim Senko for a 3¾-inch Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog.
“The wind really picked up and muddied the water Sunday, so I went with darker colors,” said Monsoor. “The bite slowed down, too. There weren’t any big flurries. On Saturday, the water was clearer and you could catch 20 fish in a spot, but Sunday you’d only have one or two every so often.”
Monsoor said he trimmed off all but the tail from the Flappin’ Hog. He said it was the same setup he used to win the four-day FLW Tour event on the Potomac River in June.
“When you only throw one lure, that’s when you’re doing the best,” said Monsoor. “Give me a swimming jig around weeds and I’m in Heaven.”
The top 10 boaters finished the tournament in:
1st: Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, Wis., 10 bass, 36-10, $6,175 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Dan Mohn, Lansing, Iowa, 10 bass, 34-12, $3,088
3rd: Cade Laufenberg, Winona, Minn., 10 bass, 33-11, $3,107
4th: Jeff Benson, Holmen, Wis., 10 bass, 31-13, $1,441
5th: Luke Ledvina, Tomah, Wis., 10 bass, 31-12, $1,235
6th: Glenn Walker, Savage, Minn., 10 bass, 31-2, $1,132
7th: Terry Fitzpatrick, Waukon, Iowa, 10 bass, 31-1, $1,029
8th: Mark Myers, Cedar Falls, Iowa, 10 bass, 30-14, $1,026
9th: Robby Tufte, Fountain City, Wis., 10 bass, 30-9, $823
10th: Nick O’Keefe, La Crosse, Wis., 10 bass, 30-5, $720
Laufenberg caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 12 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the Boater Big Bass award of $847.
Richard Conrad of Burnsville, Minnesota, caught a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 11 ounces, to win the Co-angler Division and $3,088.
The top 10 co-anglers were:
1st: Richard Conrad, Burnsville, Minn., 10 bass, 27-11, $3,088
2nd: Ronald Syverson, Holmen, Wis., 10 bass, 26-15, $1,544
3rd: Tony Seiler, River Falls, Wis., 10 bass, 25-14, $1,030
4th: Greg Oppegard, West Saint Paul, Minn., 10 bass, 25-3, $820
5th: Kevin Andera, Calmar, Iowa, nine bass, 25-1, $618
6th: Jake Schultz, Rochester, Minn., 10 bass, 24-10, $616
7th: Brad Juen, La Crosse, Wis., 10 bass, 24-10, $515
8th: Mike Kochanski, Bolingbrook, Ill., 10 bass, 24-4, $463
9th: Josh Mohn, Lansing, Iowa, 10 bass, 24-4, $412
10th: Tong Lor, La Crosse, Wis., 10 bass, 24-3, $360
Steve Esser of Dubuque, Iowa, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 4 pounds, 11 ounces – and earned the Co-angler Big Bass award of $424.
The T-H Marine FLW BFL Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River was hosted by the La Crosse County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the Barren River in Scottsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.
The 2017 BFL is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 tournaments throughout the season, five qualifying events in each division. The top 45 boaters and co-anglers from each division, along with the five winners of the qualifying events, will advance to one of six regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American. Top performers in the BFL can move up to the Costa FLW Series or even the FLW Tour.
FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW" television show, broadcast to more than 564 million