Tom Monsoor could be headed for the biggest payday of his life.
The La Crosse native has a tiny 2-ounce lead after the third round of the FLW Tour Qualifier presented by Costa Sunglasses on the Potomac River on Saturday.
Monsoor was in second place in the 161-angler field after Day 1. He took the lead on Friday and kept it on Saturday despite his lightest bag of the week. Yet, the 68-year-old Monsoor continues to top the leaderboard.
Saturday's semifinal field was cut to the top 20. Sunday's field is reserved for the elite 10 and Monsoor is right there at the top of the totem pole.
Collecting 15 pounds, 5 ounces on Saturday, Monsoor’s total is 51-9, just two ounces more than Brandon McMillan and 12 ounces more than Chad Warren. Monsoor’s weights have fallen each day, and McMillan has weighed two straight bags over 19 pounds.
"My second best spot was dead today," Monsoor said during his weigh-in on FLW Tour live internet video. "Brandon is going up and everyone else is going down, but anytime I get to fish four days, I'm a happy camper."
Monsoor will certainly be camping in his hotel room one more night in Marbury, MD, but who knows how much sleep he will get realizing a first-place, $125,000 paycheck could be awaiting him late Sunday.
"Oh yeah, I'll sleep," Monsoor said in an exclusive interview with boblamboutdoors.com early Saturday evening. "But, right now I have to get my boat fixed."
In between his interview and answering questions from a friend who was trying to find out what problems there were with his battery and livewell, Monsoor had little time.
"Tomorrow's the big day for sure, but I have to get this boat fixed first," he said.
"Yes, I caught a limit at my first spot from 6:30 to 8:30 this morning. Then I went to my second spot at 9 and that was dead," Monsoor added. "I got two good ones, but the spot wasn't as good as it has been."
Monsoor caught all of his fish on his patented swim jog.
"I have no idea what's going to happen at all on Sunday, absolutely none at all," he said. "Sorry, but I have to run."
TOP 10 PROS
1. Tom Monsoor – La Crosse, Wis. – 51-9 (15)
2. Brandon McMillan – Clewiston, Fla. – 51-7 (15)
3. Chad Warren – Sand Springs, Okla. – 50-13 (15)
4. Chris Johnston – Peterborough, Ont. – 49-13 (15)
5. Jeff Sprague – Point, Texas – 48-15 (15)
6. Cody Meyer – Auburn, Calif. – 48-2 (15)
7. Michael Neal – Dayton, Tenn. – 48-1 (15)
8. Andy Young – Mound, Minn. – 47-8 (15)
9. Brandon Cobb – Greenwood, S.C. – 47-2 (15)
10. Mike Surman – Boca Raton, Fla. – 47-2 (15)