ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. - La Crosse's Tom Monsoor finished seventh in the FLW Tour Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Qualifier in Alexander City, Ala., on Saturday.
The 17-year local FLW Tour pro finished in the same spot as he began in Saturday's top 10 final field. It was good enough for a $17,000 payout and a huge jump from 116th place into 66th place in the current FLW standings.
"I can't believe it. I'm 66th now," he said in an exclusive interview early Saturday night. "I need one more like this one to get me up into the 30s."
The top 30 FLW anglers at the end of the year earn a spot in the Forrest Wood Cup, the grandaddy of all bass fishing in the world.
Monsoor finished with a five-fish limit weighing 11 pounds on Saturday for a four-day 47-15 total.
Jason Abram of Piney Flats, Tenn., kept his lead and won with a total bag of 52-9 for $100,000. Despite weighing his smallest limit of the week – 11-3 – Abram edged Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., by just over one pound.
"I started slow today, but at least the fish weren't bumping my lure. They were hitting," said Monsoor, adding that he had five spotted bass by 12:30 p.m., but they weighed only about 6 pounds.
"Then the bigger ones started biting and I that's when I caught my biggest fish which was about 2.5 pounds," he said. "I just culled after that."
Monsoor once again relied upon his patented chartreuse and white swimming jig, which tournament officials looked at after the event.
"They went down to my boat and saw six all six of my poles with chartreuse and white jigs. They couldn't believe it," he laughed. "I thought that was funnier than hell."
Monsoor and Karen Savik, his longtime girlfriend, are expected to leave early Sunday morning for the 17-hour drive back to La Crosse. Not much sleep for a guy that just made $17,000?"No. Karen drives most of the time because I sleep," he said. "I'm the best sleeper in a vehicle than anybody you've seen."