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

Looking Ahead to the Mississippi River 

Looking Ahead to the Mississippi River 
Mississippi River

With just two events left in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season, it’s time to turn attention to the northern part of the country. Presented by OPTIMA Batteries, the Pro Circuit Super Tournament on the Mississippi River out of Stoddard, Wis., will not only crown a winner with a $125,000 payday but also shape the Angler of the Year race.

 

Tournament Details

Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament

Mississippi River (Pools 7, 8 and 9)

Stoddard, Wis.

July 29 - Aug. 1, 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 a lot of cover for bass to live in. 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.

 

What to expect

Things will look a little different this time around than they did last time the Pro Circuit hit the Mississippi River. Back in May of 2017, torrential rains caused the river to rise substantially throughout the tournament. There were fish on bed, while others were still feeding up to prepare to spawn, but despite tough conditions the river still kicked out plenty of fish.

For this event, the river is finally stabilizing after fluctuating a lot in the spring and the fish are beginning to set up in their summer haunts. So, things will certainly look a lot different for this event, but there will still be no shortage of fish caught.

Pro Circuit pro Matt Stefan, who hails from Junction City, Wis., has spent years fishing the Mississippi and knows how feast or famine it can be and how paying attention to the conditions can make all the difference on the river.

“This tournament is a great equalizer in that yes, you can find a spot and do well, but if conditions change a little bit the anglers are going to have to change with it,” says Stefan. “That’s the thing I really like about the Mississippi.

“There’s this perception that you can go out and catch 100 fish a day on the river, and it can be that way, but it can also be a fishery where if you’re coming from out of town you can be completely lost. It’s not necessarily an easy fishery, but when you find the fish they are pretty willing to bite.”

Water level is always a major factor on a river system, and it won’t be any different for this tournament. As of now, things look like they may stay around summer pool, which could be good for fishing, but not good from a navigational standpoint.

“I say summer pool on the river is about 7 or 6 ½ feet, which is about where we are now and falling, and that’s pretty low,” Stefan notes. “It’s at a level right now where guys are going to get stuck left and right.”

Navigating the miles of backwater channels may be a bit tricky this time around and it can really factor in to how an angler spends their three days of official practice. With three pools to choose from in this tournament, Stefan feels that no single pool is markedly better than the others.

“I think it makes the most sense for an angler to pick a pool and spend their three days there,” Stefan says. “They all fish pretty similar. The top ends are river sections, the middle parts are delta-ish with lots of chutes and the lower end is more wide, flat and lake-like type of fishing and they all have similar caliber fish. Though, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see one pool turn on and several of the top 10 come from it.

“The nice thing about fishing the river in the summer verses in the spring is that you can catch fish almost anywhere. It’s gonna spread guys out because in the summer you can catch fish from the main channel to as far back in the backwaters as you want to go.”

The other decision to make on the river is whether to chase largemouths, smallmouths or both. Stefan feels like a bit of both may be the winning recipe.

“I normally feel like smallmouths will get you the biggest bags on the river, but during the summer their weight isn’t as good as the largemouths,” says Stefan. “So, the smallmouths won’t dominate the event, but they’ll play. Personally, I think the winner of the event will have a mixed bag. I think it’ll be more of a largemouth bag, but if you can work in one big smallmouth a day I think that will really help. I think it’ll take 14 [pounds] or little over that a day to win.”

 

Baits and techniques

The Mississippi River has a reputation for being a frog haven in the summer and that certainly will be the case in this event.

“It’s going to be a power-fishing event,” Stefan says. “Frogs will be a huge factor. If I had to go out on a limb and predict how tournament won, I’d say someone will find a group of weed fish and catch them on a frog. If you look back at other tournament results, that’s a pretty common way to win out there. There’s going to be some good frog action.”

Frogs won’t be the only topwater catching fish though. Buzzbaits, walking topwaters and poppers should also account for some decent fish catches. Other popular offerings are likely to be swim jigs, pitching and flipping Texas rigs and jigs, cranking, swinging football jigs and even a Carolina rig.

Tags: kyle-wood  pre-tournament  2020-07-29-mississippi-river-super-tournament 

TITLE Bubble Watch

TITLE Bubble Watch

There’s a lot at state in the final Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Lake Erie. Aside from someone taking home the $125,000 top prize, Angler of the Year and Polaris Rookie of the Year will be crowned. But there is another important thing to be settled on Erie: finalizing the field for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Toyota on Sturgeon Bay. The top 50 anglers in the points will qualify, and while some are already just about locked in, others will need to fish down to the wire. READ MORE »

Pro Circuit Heads to Sandusky

Pro Circuit Heads to Sandusky

The season finale of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit will take place on Lake Erie, out of Sandusky, Ohio, on August 11-14. The third of three special Super Tournaments, over 200 pros from FLW and Major League Fishing (MLF) will fish in the event. The winner will take home $125,000 and the event will decide who wins the Angler of the Year title, the Polaris Rookie of the Year title and which Pro Circuit anglers qualify for the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit TITLE presented by Toyota on Sturgeon Bay. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from the Mississippi River

Top 10 Patterns from the Mississippi River

Instead of limits coming in bunches, the top pros were often scrambling to get five keeper bites a day at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries event. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from the Mississippi River

Top 10 Baits from the Mississippi River

The top pros in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River ended up using fairly similar tactics to attack the river, but with slight variations throughout. Tom Monsoor won with a variety of unique jigs, but many of the other top finishers used more standard fare. READ MORE »

Monsoor Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries

Monsoor Wins Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries

LA CROSSE, Wis. – The man deemed the “Godfather of the Mississippi River” finally got it done at home. La Crosse’s own 71-year-old Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win $125,000 at the Tackle Warehouse Pro... READ MORE »

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Monsoor Clinches Win on the Mississippi

Weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces on the final day, Tom Monsoor totaled 54-10 to win the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River. Leading the final three days, the win is Monsoor’s second at the top level and earned him $125,000.   READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor Holds Lead Heading into Final Day at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries

Monsoor Holds Lead Heading into Final Day at Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wisconsin, brought a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 5 ounces, to the scale Friday to retain his lead after day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries. Monsoor now enters the fourth... READ MORE »

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

Monsoor stays ahead on the Mississippi

After day three of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are stacked as tightly as they were on the first two days. With the lead, Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., weighed 13 pounds, 5 ounces to stay in the lead with an even 42 pounds. Behind him, Zack Birge, David Walker and Scott Wiley have all crossed the 40-pound mark and are hot on his heels. READ MORE »

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Wheeler Lake Midday Update - Day 2

Fishing creek ends continued to be the theme on day two of the Toyota Series Southeastern Division event on Wheeler Lake. Although the current was not running as much in the creeks as yesterday, the cooler shadier waters in the back of creeks were still producing for top anglers once again.  READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Monsoor Vaults into Lead on Day Two of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries

Monsoor Vaults into Lead on Day Two of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Local pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 14 pounds, 8 ounces, to vault to the top of the leaderboard on day two of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries in La Crosse. Monsoor’s two-day total of... READ MORE »

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

After two days of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries on the Mississippi River the weights are as tight as can be. Moving into the lead on day two is Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., who weighed a second 14-pound bag for a 28-11 total. In second, Scott Wiley is one of seven anglers with 27 pounds and some ounces in the top 10, making the tournament anyone’s game in the final two days. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Wiley Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries

Wiley Leads Day One of Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries

LA CROSSE, Wis. – Wiley, Alabama’s Scott Wiley brought a five-bass limit to the scale Wednesday totaling 15 pounds, 3 ounces, to take the early lead on day one of the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Wiley will bring a slim 5... READ MORE »

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

Wiley Leads on the Mississippi

As expected on the river, the weights are bunched together after the first day of fishing in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries. More than a quarter of the field are in the 11-12-pound range, and 10 pounds marked the exact halfway point of the field. That means leader Scott Wiley only has a 5-pound, 3-ounce lead over half the field after weighing in 15-3. READ MORE »

Live Leaderboard - Mississippi River

Live Leaderboard - Mississippi River

FLW marshals and media staff provide unofficial weight estimates for the fifth stop of the 2020 Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Day 1 Coverage

Mississippi River Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage from the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament at the Mississippi River July 29-August 1, 2020. READ MORE »

Mississippi River Practice with Buck

Mississippi River Practice with Buck

In his fourth year on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Grae Buck has really come into his own. A standout collegiate angler at Penn State, he’s now in the thick of the Angler of the Year race and cruising toward qualification for the Tackle Warehouse TITLE presented by Toyota. READ MORE »

FLW Live Schedule for the Mississippi River

FLW Live Schedule for the Mississippi River

With just two events left in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit season, it’s time to turn attention to the northern part of the country. Presented by OPTIMA Batteries, the Pro Circuit Super Tournament on the Mississippi River out of Stoddard, Wis., will not only crown a winner with a $125,000 payday but also shape the Angler of the Year race. READ MORE »