La Crosse's Monsoor wins $17,000

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."


La Crosse bass pro Monsoor moves into final round

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. - La Crosse's Tom Monsoor did just enough to advance to Saturday's final round of the FLW Tour Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event in Alexander City, Ala.
The 17-year local FLW Tour pro dropped two spots into seventh place entering Saturday's final round, but remains in great shape for a hefty payday.
Monsoor caught a five-fish limit weighing 10 pounds, 6 ounces, his lightest weight so far in the four-day event, but still has a 36-15 total.
Jason Abram of Piney Flats, Tenn., kept his lead with a total eight of 41-6 on Friday.
"I can't believe it. I made it with the fish I caught," Monsoor said Friday night. "I thought I had maybe 9 pounds."
Monsoor was not the only one struggling to catch larger fish on Friday, perhaps because the spawn has begun.
"There was something weird going on. They weren't biting, just bumping the lures," he said. "I guess it was weird for everyone from what I hear. Maybe they are spawning because they were just pushing away the bait."
Monsoor's largest bass on Friday was a 2.5-pounder, very disappointing by his standards.
"Today was a disappointment, but we'll find out tomorrow," he said. "There's no pressure now. The worst I can do is 10th."
The current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic pushed the tournament up one day so it will complete on Saturday rather than Sunday. Monsoor said tournament officials discouraged spectators other than immediate family members to attend this week.

La Crosse angler ready for early start to FLW Tour event

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. - The coronavirus is affecting just about everything nowadays. Add the FLW Tour season to that.
The FLW Tour Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event in Alexander City, Ala., scheduled to begin on Thursday, has been pushed up to Wednesday.
Nonetheless, La Crosse's Tom Monsoor (pictured), a 17-year FLW Tour pro, hopes to take advantage of the Alabama sun to do well on the third stop of the annual FLW Tour.
"It's gorgeous down here," he said from his hotel room late Tuesday night, adding that temperatures have been 75-80 degrees with sun during pre-tournament fishing for three days.
"There's a lot of fish, but not big ones," he said about the fishery that holds largemouth and the smaller spotted bass. "I only caught one largemouth in three 3 days."
While tournament officials said the water clarity has been poor, Monsoor found one clean area where he can catch fish. He's crossing his fingers the fish will still be there the next few days.
Monsoor also said it could take a 5-fish limit of 2- or 3-pounders each day to make the two-day cut, and if he could weigh in a total bag of 12.5 pounds the first day, he would be ecstatic.
"Right now I've been fishing for fish looking for food. I haven't seen a fish on a bed yet," he said, of the imposing spring spawn.
Monsoor is currently in 116th place in the standings with 197 points. Ron Nelson, of Berrien Springs, Mich., is atop the standings with 386 points.
The coronavirus pandemic pushed Wednesday's first round up one day with the event ending on Saturday rather than Sunday. Monsoor said the reason is a large crowd is not expected because tournament officials have informed the public that spectators are discouraged other than immediate family.
"And, they already canceled the next event in Tennessee, where I have done really well," Monsoor said. That sucks. Oh, well. Let's see how I do here."


La Crosse bass pro Monsoor jumps into top 5

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. - Tom Monsoor climbed 13 spots up to fifth place in the FLW Tour Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event in Alexander City, Ala, on Thursday.
It was enough to put the 17-year FLW Tour pro into the semifinals on Friday with hopes of making the top 10 final on Saturday.
Monsoor caught a five-fish limit weighing 14 pounds, 2 ounces on Thursday to go along with his opening round of 12-7 for a two-day 26-9 total.
Jason Abram of Piney Flats, Tenn., leads the tourney with 29-0 pounds.
"I'm still going to need 13 pounds to make the finals," said the ever so cautious Monsoor.
The current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic pushed Thursday's original first round up to Wednesday with the event finishing on Saturday rather than Sunday. Monsoor said a large crowd is not expected because FLW tournament officials have discouraged spectators other than immediate family members this weekend.
Monsoor caught another bag of all spotted bass on Thursday with one weighing at least 3 pounds while fishing in all new spots.
"I lost one good one, too," he said, adding that he caught three decent fish and two smaller ones by noon.
"I moved and then caught my biggest one," he said, adding that all his fish were caught near shore. "Some places were muddier than other areas."
Monsoor said his patented swim jig came through again for the second straight day.
"Chartreuse and white, that's what they like. I tried a football jig, chatter bait and crank bait, but never got a bite," he said, while yawning from his hotel room Thursday night. "I just gotta go fishing and have fun tomorrow. If I don't feel right, I gotta move."

DNR issues open water regulations to protect Mille Lacs walleye

Walleye angling on Mille Lacs Lake will be catch-and-release only for this year’s open water season, with the exception of the month of July, when walleye fishing will be closed.
Additionally, anglers will not be allowed to use live bait for any species in July, except sucker minnows greater than 8 inches in length for targeting northern pike and muskellunge.
The new walleye rule is among several regulations changes this year. Bass and northern pike also have new regulations.
The restrictive walleye rule for the open water season is due in part to a record ice fishing season on Mille Lacs this winter.
Poor ice conditions on other lakes focused attention on Mille Lacs, resulting in the highest fishing pressure there in 30 years: almost 30,000 pounds of harvest. This leaves only 57,800 pounds available for the state’s open water season under the safe harvest level established for 2020 by the state and the eight Chippewa bands that have treaty fishing rights.
“We know any summer walleye closure is disappointing, but anglers have told us they prefer a planned temporary closure in July to an unplanned one later in the season,” said Brad Parsons, fisheries section manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “The addition of the live bait ban allows for the shortest closure to ensure we remain within the set allocation and support the long-term interest of the walleye fishery.”
Walleye are particularly vulnerable in July because, as water temperature increases, so too does “hooking mortality” - the tendency for fish to die after being caught and released. By implementing fishing restrictions when walleye are most vulnerable, and reducing angler take, anglers could potentially gain two months or more of late-summer and fall fishing.
Walleye season opens on Saturday, May 9, and continues through Monday, Nov. 30.

Other regulations
Mille Lacs also is a destination for quality bass, northern pike, and muskellunge fishing.
During the July live bait ban, anglers targeting northern pike and muskellunge can use sucker minnows greater than 8 inches in length.

New regulations to maintain and improve fishing for bass and northern pike include:
* Immediate release of all smallmouth and largemouth bass greater than 17 inches during the harvest season that begins Saturday, May 23.
* Limit of three largemouth and smallmouth bass.
* Release all northern pike greater than 30 inches.
* Limit of three northern pike from Saturday, May 9, through Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
The DNR heard good support for these bass and pike changes.
“People who come to Mille Lacs for smallmouth and northern pike are hoping to catch a real trophy,” Parsons said.
More information about fishing regulations on Mille Lacs Lake, ongoing DNR management and research, and Mille Lacs-area recreation opportunities is available on the DNR website.

SOURCE: Minnesota DNR


La Crosse pro bass angler Monsoor in 18th place

ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. - Tom Monsoor is a happy camper. At least for one day.
The 17-year FLW Tour professional bass fisherman is in 18th place after Wednesday's first round of the FLW Tour Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit event in Alexander City, Ala.
Monsoor weighed in a five-fish limit of all spotted bass totaling 12 pounds, 7 ounces below sunny skies and 80-degree temperatures. Barron Adams of Mineral Bluff, Ga., leads the third stop of the FLW Tour regular season schedule with 17-2.
The current COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic pushed Thursday's original first round up one day with the event ending on Saturday rather than Sunday. Monsoor said a large crowd is not expected because FLW tournament officials have discouraged spectators other than immediate family members this weekend.
Monsoor is currently in 116th place in the season standings with 197 points. Ron Nelson, of Berrien Springs, Mich., is atop the standings with 386 points.
"I did better than expected. I told you I was hoping for 12.5 pounds," he said, from his hotel room Wednesday night.
Monsoor said he caught more than 30 fish, including a 3.5-pound spotted bass that salvaged his Wednesday.
"I was basically alone in my spot. I was getting stripers... about 10 in a row," he said. "They quit. I moved 50 feet and caught the spotted 3.5-pounder. It saved my butt. It gave me an extra 1.5 pounds."
While Monsoor was pleased with his first-day weight, he realizes the second day is more important to advance to Friday's semifinal round reserved for the top 30 anglers. Only the top 10 anglers move on to Saturday's championship round.
"I'm going to need 12 pounds anyway," he said, about Thursday's focus. "So far, the fish like my chartreuse and white swim jig. The spotted bass really like chartreuse. I just have to find some big ones."

New Mississippi River regulations take effect April 1

New fishing regulations for the Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters of the Mississippi River will go into effect on April 1, 2020.
The Wisconsin and Minnesota Departments of Natural Resources worked cooperatively to develop identical regulations for Pools 3 to 9 of the Mississippi River, down to the Minnesota border with Iowa. In Wisconsin-Iowa boundary waters, only walleye and sauger regulations will change. Anglers should also note that on the Minnesota side of the river, the regulations went into effect on March 1, 2020.

WALLEYE
In Pools 3 to 8, the daily bag limit for walleye and sauger will be four in total, with a 15-inch minimum length limit for walleye and none for sauger, and only one walleye or sauger over 20 inches allowed for harvest.
In Pools 9 to 12, in Wisconsin waters and Wisconsin-Minnesota boundary waters, the daily bag limit for walleye and sauger will be six in total, with a 15-inch minimum length limit for walleye and none for sauger, a protected slot limit of 20 to 27 inches for walleye and only one walleye over 27 inches allowed for harvest. Anglers should be aware that Iowa boundary water regulations may differ from those in Wisconsin. Please consult the Iowa fishing regulations if you plan to fish in Iowa waters of the Mississippi River.

Wisconsin/Minnesota Boundary Waters Only, Pools 3-9
* For panfish in Pools 3 to 9, the daily bag limit for white and yellow bass will be reduced to 10 in total with no size limit, while the daily bag limit for sunfish, crappies and yellow perch will be reduced to 15 of each with no size limit.
Panfish are one of the most harvested fish in Wisconsin. Large wintertime concentrations of panfish can be easily targeted and exploited, and reduced bag limits will protect the quality of the fishery.
* White bass are an important component of the overall harvest with high catch rates, but data shows that they are in decline and experience variable reproduction and recruitment.
* The daily bag limit for shovelnose sturgeon in Pools 3 to 9 has been reduced to three, with no size limit. Shovelnose sturgeon population status is uncertain, but the demand for roe and the similarity to small lake sturgeon, which are managed under restrictive regulations, could lead to overharvesting of both sturgeon species.
* The regulation for northern pike in Pools 3 to 9 will be a daily bag limit of three pike with only one over 30 inches. Although pike size structure is good, pike can be susceptible to loss of habitat and may concentrate in thermal refuges during summer and winter. Therefore, localized harvest pressure can reduce pike numbers, and a reduced bag limit is appropriate.
* For channel and flathead catfish in Pools 3 to 9, the daily bag limit will be 10 combined with only one catfish over 30 inches. The addition of one over the 30-inch size limit will provide additional protection to trophy-sized fish, particularly flathead catfish, and it may distribute the highly desired "large and trophy-sized fish" among a larger number of anglers.
These Mississippi River fishing regulations have not been updated for several decades. Although the Mississippi River is home to diverse fisheries that have proven to be resilient to channel alterations, pollution, watershed inputs and intense fishing pressure, some fish populations have exhibited signs of stress.
"These regulation changes will proactively protect fish in light of changing conditions on the Mississippi while providing the types of fishing opportunities that anglers want to see," said Jordan Weeks, DNR Mississippi River fisheries team supervisor.
To learn more about the new Wisconsin fishing regulations, visit the DNR website.

SOURCE: Wisconsin DNR