UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Lake Erie

Johnson Jumps Out Front

Johnson Jumps Out Front
Jimmy Johnson claims the early lead with his 20-pound, 4-ounce bag comprised of smallmouth that included these two brutes.

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Fishing high water is no easy task to begin with on the Mississippi River. But when the water has been high and stable for several days and then drops nearly a foot or more overnight it makes for some seriously tough fishing. That’s when putting your time in on the river really shines. Enter Jimmy Johnson of La Crosse, Wis., who cracked 20 pounds, 4 ounces on day one to take a hefty lead in the final event of the year for the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division.

The Mississippi River around La Crosse is loaded with 2- to 2 ½-pound fish. Quality in this neck of the woods means getting on some 3-pounders. To crack 20 pounds with a five-bass limit is quite the feat and left many of the locals shocked to see that kind of weight brought to the scale. While his day one weight was more than he expected, Johnson knew this caliber fish could be found.

Johnson finished second in last week’s BFL on the river. He led after day one with over 17 pounds of smallmouth but they shut down for him on Sunday. He spent his practice looking for either species – largemouth or smallmouth – this week and happened to stumble back on some big bronzebacks.

“It’s really a pattern that I’m fishing,” said Johnson. “I really got clued in on it yesterday. I ran some of the stuff I found yesterday but I also fished my pattern and found some new water today. I have lots of knowledge on this river and that really helped more than anything.”

The forecast for water levels on the river call for another drop of close to a foot by the time takeoff begins on Friday. After many anglers found their best water unfishable today it seems tomorrow could be even tougher.

“With the way things are going right now it’s really playing into the conditions to make the smallmouth bite,” Johnson explained. “The high water really spreads the largemouth out. Hopefully my pattern will hold up but who knows. It’s a crapshoot if my big fish spots replenish. I’m just going to get back out there and see what I can do.”

Johnson wouldn’t expand on how much water he is covering but did note that he has two primary baits that provide a one-two punch for big smallmouth.

2nd place – Mark Tucker – 16 pounds, 2 ounces

Mark Tucker scratched out a 16-2 limit despite falling water conditions to sit in second place.Mark Tucker of Kirkwood, Mo., awoke to find the water had fallen and was concerned he may not be able to make it in his backwaters. Even though he managed a very solid limit of over 16 pounds, the falling water has him unsure if he will be able to get back to his fish.

“I have been up here for six days practicing,” said Tucker. “The water has stayed up every day until today. I’m very nervous I won’t be able to get back to them tomorrow. It’s like the water has fallen so much there isn’t really any cover to hold the fish on and it makes it really difficult.”

Tucker’s bag included both largemouth and smallmouth. He ran to his largemouth spot right away and plucked 10 keepers from there. After that he ran to his smallmouth  area and caught three fish that were over 3 pounds.

“I was really trying to save that smallmouth spot for tomorrow, but I wasn’t sure what I would be able to fish it so I had to try them. I did leave after I caught those good ones and tried to duplicate some of the water I was fishing, but it seems like the fish are so finicky right now I didn’t really get on anything.

“I’m catching them on two different baits and I would really like to try and expand on that some more. The only problem is that the bite window is so short that I can’t afford to try something new right now. Maybe if I make it to Saturday I’ll be able to experiment.”

3rd place – Gary Yamamoto – 16 pounds

Thanks to this smallmouth at the end of the day, Gary Yamamoto sits in third place with his 16-pound catch.With a tough bite it comes as no surprise to find Gary Yamamoto up near the top of the leaderboard. He stuck to Pool 8 to catch his limit of 16 pounds, though, it took almost all day to accomplish.

Yamamoto had a tough morning and decided to call the lockmaster around 10 o’clock to see if he could lock up. After finding out he wouldn’t be able to make the lock he stuck to his area which ultimately worked out for the best.

“I struggled to catch a limit today,” said Yamamoto. “At the very end of the day I caught a largemouth and a smallmouth that were both over 4 pounds. If I would have locked up I probably couldn’t have caught the bag I did so I am thankful I didn’t make the lock.”

Yamamoto says that he is fishing docks and isn’t too bothered by the falling water. His main bait of choice to probe the many docks lining the backwaters is a Neko Rig.

“I may make a change tomorrow and run up to Pool 7 to start my day,” the Palestine, Texas, pro said. “Since my bite doesn’t really get better until later in the day it can’t hurt to try something different.”

4th place – Mike Brueggen – 15 pounds, 15 ounces

Local Mike Brueggen found some decent largemouth to give him a 15-15 limit.Another local stick that is showing his stuff this week is Mike Brueggen of La Crosse, Wis., who hauled 15 pounds, 15 ounces worth of bass to that stage to hold down fourth place after day one.

After winning the BFL last week with all largemouth he knew he would have to locate some smallies in order to compete this week. He located some good spots in practice and began his day by locking down to Pool 9.

“I ran down to my smallmouth spot and started catching largemouth,” laughed Brueggen. “I caught a some good fish from that spot and then just kept a swim jig in my hand and went fishing.

“I’m very pleased with how my day went. A 3-pounder on this river is a great fish and I had four of them today.”

The only problem with the areas Brueggen is fishing is that they are fairly shallow. If more water falls off them the fish will scatter and could be hard to relocate.

“I’m pretty sure I’ll have to fish some new water tomorrow,” Brueggen went on to say. “If that’s the case, I’ll just burn some water with a Lethal Weapon Swim Jig.”

5th place – Terry Fitzpatrick – 15 pounds, 13 ounces

Terry Fitzpatrick rounds out the top places with his 15-13 catch of smallies.Terry Fitzpatrick of Waukon, Iowa, rounds out the top five with a 15-pound, 13-ounce limit comprised entirely of smallmouth. Fitzpatrick has a lot of experience on this part of the river which helped him out given the tough conditions.

“I caught all smallmouth today but I do have a secondary largemouth pattern,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m kind of fishing a milk run of spots. I catch one here and there throughout the day. I should be able to catch some more fish even with the conditions the way they are.”

Even with his vast experience on the Mighty Miss, Fitzpatrick only managed to catch seven fish all day. He is using a variety of baits to catch his fish, but for obvious reasons is remaining tight-lipped about his offerings.

Rest of the best

6th place (tie) – Peter Cherkas – 14-10

6th place (tie) – Casey Gallagher – 14-10

8th place – Doug Stanton – 13-15

9th place – Corey Smith – 13-14

10th place – David Ryan – 13-11

Big Bass Award

Jimmy Johnson – 4 pounds, 9 ounces – $126

Terry Fitzpatrick – 4 pounds, 9 ounces – $126

For complete results click here.

Holsapple takes co-angler lead

Co-angler Terry Holsapple displays his two best from his 13-4 bag.Terry Holsapple of Greenup, Ill., caught 13 pounds, 4 ounces to take a 1-pound lead over Richard Conrad. He caught his limit by 11 o’clock after a slow start. The key was figuring out a specific bait the bass wanted which actually led him to out fish his pro until the pro made a change.

Richard Conrad of Burnsville, Minn., put himself in contention with his 12 pound, 4 ounce limit on day one to sit in second place.

Ronnie Shepard Jr. of Oak Hill, Ohio, wrangled 11 pounds, 4 ounces worth of fish to settle in third place.

Charles Hardin of Evansville, Ind., caught a respectable limit to the tune of 10 pounds, 15 ounces to hold him in fourth.

Carl Gillespie of Old Hickory, Tenn., rounds out the top five for the Co-angler Division on day one with a 10-pound, 8-ounce limit.

Rest of the best

6th place – Alan Bernicky – 10-6

7th place – Nick Cline – 9-15

8th place – Lajos Draviczki – 9-13

9th place – Garry Kincaid – 9-9

10th place – Dylan Fisher – 9-6

Big Bass Award

Lajos Draviczki – 4 pounds – $168

Complete co-angler results can be found here.

 Anglers will take off from Clinton Street Landing West located at Clinton Street Bridge in La Crosse, Wis., at 7 a.m. each day. Weigh-ins will be held daily at the landing beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: kyle-wood  headline-story  2014-09-18-mississippi-river-la-crosse 

A Dream Come True

A Dream Come True

On June 27, 16-year-old Noah Crogan’s big wish came to fruition at the Apple Island Marina on Lake Champlain when he became the owner of a brand-new Tracker aluminum bass boat. Thanks to Make-A-Wish Vermont, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and local anglers – including Phoenix Bass Fishing League and Toyota Series angler Cole Harris – Crogan was surprised at the marina with the boat, along with plenty of rods and tackle to get him on the water. READ MORE »

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Pirowski Flips for Potomac Title

Boater Alex Pirowski of Occoquan, Virginia, brought a five-bass limit to the scale Saturday weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at the Potomac River in Marbury, Maryland. For his victory, Pirowski earned a total of $5,337. READ MORE »

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Richmond Wins on Ouachita

Boater Russell Richmond of Sheridan, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale Saturday totaling 11 pounds, 5 ounces to win the 2020 Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine event at Lake Ouachita in Mount Ida, Arkansas. Richmond topped his nearest competitor, Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Arkansas, by 1-pound, 1-ounce and earned $4,394 for his victory. READ MORE »

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

McClain, Drake Take Hoosier Double-Header

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Bloomington with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on Lake Monroe events presented by Fish-Intel. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

Okie Double-Header on Arkansas River

It was a double-header for bass anglers this past weekend in Muskogee with the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine on the Arkansas River events. FLW, the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, rescheduled the events after the coronavirus pandemic forced the organization to pause competition in mid-March. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

Losee, Tweite Close out High School Championship

The Riceville (Iowa) High School team of Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite won the 2020 Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis., with a three-day (three bass per day) total weight of 30 pounds, 4 ounces. Losee and Tweite topped 194 of the top high school teams in the country. READ MORE »

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

It’s All Wheeler on Chickamauga

You’re not going to find a bass angler on a hotter streak right now than Tennessee’s Jacob Wheeler. Prior to this week, the 29-year-old pro had won five multiple-day tournaments since the start of the 2019 season. Today, the No. 1 ranked angler in the world added a sixth victory to his impressive run by dominating the first-ever Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. Wheeler’s four-day total of 93 pounds, 12 ounces earned him the win by a margin of more than 11 pounds. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Losee, Tweite Take Over High School Lead

Lawson Losee and Kooper Tweite of Riceville High School in Riceville, Iowa, have the lead going into the final day of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wis. Their two-day total of 19 pounds, 2 ounces (three-fish limit per day) has Losee and Tweite 1 pound, 1 ounce ahead of the second-place team. The top 10 teams compete tomorrow for the title.  READ MORE »

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Wheeler Crushes 25-12 to Retake Lead

Day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament was another banner day on Chickamauga, but it was a really stupendous day for Jacob Wheeler. Weighing 25-12 with a 10-pounder for a 72-6 total, Wheeler cruised back into the lead with no problem. Heading into the final day, Wheeler has a 4-13 edge over Jason Reyes, who weighed 17-11 and dropped to second with a 62-3 total. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Mains, Chapman Lead High School Championship

Legacy Christian Academy (Lenexa, Kan.) anglers Ryder Mains and Mason Chapman have the early lead at the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on the Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis. With a three-fish limit worth 11 pounds, 11 ounces, Mains and Chapman lead the second-place team by 1 pound, 9 ounces.  READ MORE »

Reyes Surges Ahead

Reyes Surges Ahead

The big fish bit on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga. While the first day featured plenty of good fishing, both Jason Reyes and Cole Floyd caught bags that crossed the 25-pound mark on day two. Weighing 27 pounds, 4 ounces, Reyes surged into the lead with a 49-14 total. READ MORE »

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

High School Championship Under Way at La Crosse

La Crosse, Wis., has been inundated with bass boats this past week as young anglers pre-fished and boat drivers got them into casting position on the mighty Mississippi for the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite National Championship. This three-day lure-slinging event, June 24-26, 2020, is likely to showcase this area’s amazing bass fishery, as well the diversity of techniques that can be used to catch them in early summer.  READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Wheeler leads with 24-9 on Chick

Day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Chickamauga featured good fishing with a lot of pressure put on the offshore fish. Making the most of his local knowledge, Jacob Wheeler weighed 24 pounds, 9 ounces to take the lead on day one. Behind him, John Cox weighed in 23-6 for second place. READ MORE »

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Lake Chickamauga Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at Lake Chickamauga June 23-26, 2020. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Chickamauga

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fourth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at Lake Martin. READ MORE »

Checking Shallow and Deep with Hays

Checking Shallow and Deep with Hays

Dylan Hays has been fairly consistent throughout his four years as a pro on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, and he’s currently on pace to have his best season to date. He made the last two top-30 cuts and finished 31st at Rayburn to start the year, and because of his consistency, the Arkansas pro currently finds himself fifth in the Angler of the Year race. READ MORE »

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Dixon, Houchin Win on Dardanelle

Boater Wayne Dixon of Morrilton, Arkansas, brought three bass to the scale totaling 10 pounds, 11 ounces to win Saturday’s event and earn $5,127, but Mabelvale’s Quincy Houchin was the big winner on the weekend. Houchin finished second Saturday – good for $3,139 – then backed it up with a win on Sunday, which earned him the top prize of $12,309, including the lucrative $7,000 FLW PHOENIX Bonus contingency award. READ MORE »