UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Everything in Play on Mighty Miss

Everything in Play on Mighty Miss
Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is the staple venue of the Great Lakes Division in Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine competition. Come July 18, the division will take its first crack at the Mighty Miss in what could shape up to be a diverse event.

 

Tournament Details

Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Great Lakes Division

Mississippi River

La Crosse, Wis.

July 18, 2020

 

Mississippi River

How the fishery sets up

The Mississippi River is the second-longest river in the US, and certainly first when it comes to fame. While bass can be found throughout the 2,300 miles the Mighty Miss spans, the tournament waters for this competition consist of Pools 7, 8 and 9, with takeoff occurring in Pool 8. These three impoundments of the second-largest drainage system in North America provide an ample amount and variety of cover for bass to reside. Vast swaths of vegetation, wing dams, rock jetties, backwater pools and shallow laydowns can be found throughout the river.

Straddling the border between Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, the river supports healthy populations of largemouth and smallmouth bass. Anglers shouldn’t struggle to catch limits of 2- to 3-pound largemouths. However, it’s the bigger bass in the 5-pound class that cash checks. While smallmouths may not receive as much attention due to the fact that they can be tougher to target than their green cousins, they’re just as much a player and shouldn’t be overlooked.

 

Mike Brueggen and Jacob Harris

What to expect

Summertime on the river is historically prime time for picking up a frog and never putting it down, but things may actually be a little more diverse in this tournament according to local ace Mike Brueggen.

“The river all year has either been rising or falling, and right now the river is at 8.1 (feet) and is supposed to drop to 6.2, which is a hard drop,” Brueggen says. “But the fishing should still be really good. The sky’s the limit for how you want to catch them, because the fish have fully migrated to their summer homes and you can catch them just about anywhere.”

With the ability to fish where you’d like on the river, finding areas that hold kicker largemouths in the 4-pound class will be the name of the game. However, Brueggen believes that the smallmouth bite shouldn’t be overlooked.

“There are just as many 4-pound smallmouths in this river as there are largemouths, and really, you have to target both to do well,” he adds.

Good fishing won’t be limited to one pool of the Mississippi, either.

“Right now, you can win on all three pools and on either species,” Brueggen says. “I think it’ll take around 17 1/2 pounds to win.”

 

All the typical Potomac baits were on Avena’s deck. Small crankbaits, stick worms, swim jigs and about everything else you could think to fish around shallow grass, rock and wood.

Baits and techniques

 According to Brueggen, anglers will be able to pick their poison for how they want to catch either largemouths or smallmouths, so look for river staples to make headlines.

“You can catch largemouths really anywhere right now, from out with the smallmouths or as far back in the weeds as you want to go,” Brueggen explains. “For the smallmouths, sand and current are king.”

Swim jigs, hollow-bodied frogs and vibrating jigs will be the main players on the largemouth front for covering the vast expanses of aquatic vegetation that call the river home. A Texas rig and flipping jig will come in handy for isolated clumps of grass, cut bank or laydowns.

For smallmouths, crankbaits, topwaters and swimbaits will be top picks.

Tags: kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2020-07-18-mississippi-river-la-crosse 

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