Schmitt wins FLW tourney in La Crosse

Pro Bryan Schmitt of Deale, MD, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 14 pounds, 10 ounces Sunday to win the FLW Tour at the Mississippi River in La Crosse presented by Evinrude.
Schmitt’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 61 pounds, 6 ounces, was enough to edge second-place pro Joshua Weaver of Macon, GA, and win the top prize of $125,000 in the four-day event that featured 160 of the world’s best bass anglers competing in La Crosse.
Already a well-known river expert, Schmitt built his career by picking apart the Potomac and James rivers. Schmitt was able to apply that expertise to Pools 7, 8 and 9 on the Mississippi River this week and earn his first career win on the FLW Tour.
“My knowledge of the rivers I fish back home was 100-percent key for me this week,” said Schmitt, a five-year Tour veteran who has amassed more than $680,000 in FLW competition. “I’ve never been here, but I fell in love with how it was setting up.”
Schmitt said his sweet spot this week was a barricaded pond on the lower end of Pool No. 8. He described it as a section of water near the main-river channel that was surrounded by sandbars which protected fish in multiple phases of the spawn.
“I don’t know if it was there from years and years of current building up the sandbars, but at some point local authorities may have added riprap to make it stay,” said Schmitt. “It had two main trenches that ran through it and had plenty of deep water. At the very top there was a hole in the rock jetty that let current flow in. It had all the right variables – just enough current to bring food in, grass and spawning habitat, and the deep water for when they were done.”
Schmitt said he spent the majority of his tournament in the area, noting that all but three of the fish he weighed in came from it.  
“I think the fish that I was catching were both prespawn and postspawn,” Schmitt said. “Fresh fish were moving in and the big ones that were done were moving out.”
Schmitt said that his primary lure this week was a black and blue-colored prototype Riot Baits Swim Jig with a swimming trailer. He also used a black and blue-skirted vibrating jig with a Riot T3 Tattle Tail Swimbait and a 5-inch Texas-rigged Riot Stick stickbait with a 1/2-ounce tungsten weight.
“Before my main pattern evolved, I caught quite a few by just pitching the stickbait to grass,” said Schmitt. “It got me a lot of key fish on the first two days, but the bigger ones wanted the moving baits.”
The final event on the FLW Tour schedule for the 2017 regular-season happens to be on the Potomac River – a place where Schmitt has three Costa FLW Series wins. Schmitt expressed that he is eager to finish the season on a high note.
“I’ve got the momentum now,” said Schmitt. “After all of this, words can’t describe how excited I am to get back out there and compete on the Potomac.”

1. Bryan Schmitt, Deale, MD, 20 bass, 61-6, $125,000.
2. Joshua Weaver, Macon, GA, 20 bass, 58-11, $30,700.
3. Andy Morgan, Dayton, TN, 20 bass, 58-10, $25,100.
4. Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, SC, 20 bass, 58-0, $20,000.
5. Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, AK, 20 bass, 57-9, $19,000.
6. Wesley Strader, Spring City, TN, 20 bass, 56-14, $18,000.
7. Austin Felix, Eden Prairie, MN, 20 bass, 56-8, $17,000.
8. Matt Stefan, Junction City, WI, 20 bass, 55-10, $16,000.
9. David Dudley, Lynchburg, VA, 20 bass, 54-10, $15,000.
10. Justin Atkins, Florence, AL, 20 bass, 53-3, $14,000.
For a full list of results visit


Tom Monsoor

Monsoor misses cut, finishes 89th in FLW tourney

Professional angler Tom Monsoor failed to take advantage of his home waters, finishing in 89th place in the prestigious FLW Tour Qualifier in La Crosse.
Monsoor, born and raised in La Crosse, has won almost $750,000 during a 14-year career on the FLW Tour. However, he has failed to cash in any qualifier this year, including this week's four-day event in La Crosse. Monsoor was in 129th place with a five-fish limit weighing 9 pounds, 10 ounces on Thursday. He caught five more bass on Friday, weighing 12-15 for a total, two-day weight of 22-9.
Andy Morgan or Dalton, TN, tops the Pro Division with a total weight of 31-4. Saturday's semifinal round was cut to the top 20 pros. Sunday's final round is reserved for the top 10 pros.
Cole Herb of Cedar Rapids, IA, won the Co-Angler Division along with a $20,000 check. His two-day weight was 24-11.
Jeremiah Shaver of Holmen, WI, finished runner-up with 23-11 and earned $7,600.

1. ANDY MORGAN,    DAYTON, TN, 31-4 (10).        
2. BRYAN SCHMITT, DEALE, MD, 31-0 (10).        
3. MATTHEW STEFAN,    JUNCTION CITY, WI, 30-14 (10).        
4. JEFF SPRAGUE, POINT, TX    , 30-11 (10).        
5. AUSTIN FELIX, EDEN PRAIRIE, MN, 30-11 (10).        
6. JOSHUA WEAVER, MACON, GA, 30-0 (10).
7. TODD AUTEN    , LAKE WYLIE, SC, 29-12 (10).    
8. WESLEY STRADER, SPRING CITY, TN, 29-11 (10).        
9. MATT AREY, SHELBY, NC, 29-7 (10).        
10. DAVID DUDLEY, LYNCHBURG, VA, 29-5 (10).        
11. JIMMY HOUSTON, COOKSON, OK, 29-1 (10).        
12. SCOTT MARTIN, CLEWISTON, FL, 28-13 (10).        
13. ALEX DAVIS, ALBERTVILLE, AL, 28-12 (10).        
14. LARRY NIXON, BEE BRANCH, AR, 28-12 (10).        
15. JOEY CIFUENTES, CLINTON, AR, 28-6 (10).        
16. JIM MOULTON, MERCED, CA, 28-0 (10).        
17. JUSTIN ATKINS, FLORENCE, AL, 27-15 (10).        
18. CLARK REEHM, HUNTINGTON, TX, 27-14 (10).        
19. CODY MEYER, AUBURN, CA, 27-12 (10).        

1. COLE HERB, CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, 24-11 (10), $20,000.
2. JEREMIAH SHAVER, HOLMEN, WI, 23-11 (10), $7,600.
3. JAMIE JACOBUS, JOHNSTOWN, OH, 23-2 (10), $5,050.
4. CODY WISSINK, ARCADIA, WI, 22-10 (9), $4,000.
5. TIM BEALE, HERNANDO, MS, 21-4 (8), $3,000.
6. STEVE YORK, BRONSON, MI,    21-4 (9), $2,500.
7. ALAN BERNICKY    , JOLIET, IL, 20-14 (9), $2,000.
8. SHAWN FULMER    , MOUNT PLEASANT, WI, 20-2 (8), $1,800.
9. JEFFREY CLARK, HOOVER, AL, 19-15 (9), $1,700.
10. CARLTON THOMPKINS, MYRTLE BEACH, SC,    19-7 (8), $1,600.

FLW rolls into town

2017 FLW Tour rolls into La Crosse
La Crosse is playing host to the highly acclaimed FLW Tour this week. The four-day event is scheduled May 18-21, on Mississippi River Pools 7, 8 and 9.  
While the Tour has never competed here, there have been a handful of Costa FLW Series derbies at La Crosse, although they have usually been in the summer or early fall. The only May tournament history FLW has on the river was the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League level in April.
The river is high right now. The current is also strong, but you can bet the top pros in the world will find... and catch bass, both largemouth and smallmouth.
All pros and co-anglers compete Thursday and Friday. The co-angler champion is crowned on day two, and the field will be cut to the top 20 pros on Saturday and the top 10 pros on Sunday. The winners will be determined by total cumulative weight.
Takeoff Time is 6:30 a.m., from Veterans Freedom Park on Clinton Street.
Weigh-in time is 3 p.m., on days one and two, and 4 p.m., on days three and four, all at Veterans Freedom Park.


Monsoor stumbles on Day 1 of FLW Tour Qualifier

Tom Monsoor admits he is having one of his worst years on the FLW Tour.
The La Crosse angler's luck didn't change after the opening round of the FLW Tour Qualifier in La Crosse on Thursday.
The La Crosse native and 14-year FLW Tour pro stands in 129th place after Day 1 on Monsoor's home waters - the Mighty Mississippi River in La Crosse.
Monsoor caught a five-fish limit, but it only totaled 9 pounds, 10 ounces.
Despite a big weather change from practice, day one of the FLW Tour presented by Evinrude on the Mississippi produced some excellent weights.
Matt Stefan of Junction City, WI, weighed an even 18 pounds. In second, Matt Arey of Shelby, N.C., rustled up 17-14 and is just 2 ounces off the lead.
Monsoor, indeed, has a lot of ground to make up on Friday. Only the top 20 pros advance to Saturday's semifinal round, and Sunday's finale is reserved for the top 10 pros. The 20th place pro on Friday managed 14-11.
Cody Hackett of Stoddard, WI, is in second place in the Co-Angler Division with a bag limit of five fish totaling 13-6.

1. Matthew Stefan – Junction City, WI – 18-0 (5).
2. Matt Arey – Shelby, NC – 17-14 (5).
3. Todd Auten – Lake Wylie, SC – 16-11 (5).
3. Andy Morgan – Dayton, TN – 16-11 (5).
5. Matt Greenblatt – Port St. Lucie, FL – 16-1 (5).
6. Scott Martin – Clewiston, FL – 15-14 (5).7. David Dudley – Lynchburg, VA – 15-13 (5).
7. Jeff Sprague – Point, TX – 15-13 (5).
9. Josh Weaver – Macon, GA – 15-9 (5).
9. Cody Meyer – Auburn, CA – 15-9 (5).

Tim Beale - Hernando, MS 15-8 (5).
Cody Hackett, Stoddard, WI 13-6 (5).
3. Casey Goode, La Crosse, WI    13-4 (5).        
4, Caleb Kuphall, Mukwonago, WI 12-9 (5).        
5. Cole Herb, Cedar Rapids, IA 12-8 (5).        
6. David Goodyear, Beloit, WI 12-6 (4).
7. Matthew Frisk, Sparta, WI 12-3 (5).        
8. Carlton Thompkins, Myrtle Beach, SC 12-3 (5).        
9. Richie Eaves, Nauvoo, IL 11-15 (5).        
10. Jeff Cox, Saline, MI 11-14 (5)