Monsoor wins $10,000 in chilly FLW Qualifier

Tom Monsoor of La Crosse cashed in for the first time on the FLW Tour this season.
Monsoor finished 59th in the FLW Tour Qualifier on Lake Lanier in Gainesville GA, on Friday. His 25-pound, 14-ounce total was just enough to get him a $10,000 check.
"Finally... I got a check," he said. "And I just made it, too."
Only the top 60 finishers earn paychecks in each of the seven qualifiers featuring 184 of the world's top professionals. The 31st through 60th finishers in the Pro Division earn $10,000 each, while the top 30 advance to Saturday's final round with a chance to win more. Sunday's field is reduced to the top 10 anglers with more than $100,000 going to the winner.
Monsoor said the weather remains cold in Georgia with temperatures in the 40s. However, it was below freezing for the Friday morning takeoff.
"I had ice in my reel guide the first couple of hours, it was that cold," he said. "It was freezing, but within the first couple hours I had a limit. Thursday it took me until about 10 or 11 to catch a limit."
Monsoor caught his limit both days, with 12-12 on Thursday and 13-2 on Friday. All 10 fish were spotted bass. His 25-14 total weight was 2 ounces more that 61st place.
It was by far Monsoor's best finish this year. He finished in 73rd place in the tour opener in January. However, he slumped to 155th in the second event in February.
Monsoor's girlfriend, Karen Savik of Minnetonka, MN, earned $1,000 competing in the Co-Angler Division, which is only a two-day event. Savik caught four fish weighing 9-12 on Thursday, then caught three on Friday (9-13) for a 19-9 total and 35th place finish.
Both Monsoor's fish and Savik's fish were all caught on Monsoor's patented white swimming jig.
"That's the only swim jigs we'd use, and we went through enough of them," he said. "We took about two dozen with us and we only have two left.
"You just lose so many on rocks and brushpiles," he added.
So, guess what Monsoor will be doing when he returns to La Crosse Sunday morning?
As for Saturday's plans, Monsoor and Savik and his yellow lab, Jigs, were headed out fishing on Lake Lanier one more time before packing up and heading north.

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