UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Lake Lanier

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi

Monsoor Moves Ahead at the Mississippi
Tom Monsoor

Anglers came to the Mississippi River expecting two things – to catch a lot of fish and for local legend Tom Monsoor to catch more than most.

The first hasn’t come to fruition. Instead of sore hands from catching dozens of bass a day, the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament presented by OPTIMA Batteries has hurt plenty of egos. More than 80 pros today failed to weigh in a limit, and even the top pros are catching maybe 10 keepers a day at best.

Monsoor says the river is fishing as tough as he’s seen it in a while, but that hasn’t stopped him from making the second expectation a reality. He quietly sat in seventh after yesterday, but today he decided to put himself in the familiar pole position thanks to a 14-pound, 8-ounce bag. That moves the La Crosse, Wis., pro to a total weight of 28-11 after two days.

Complete results

Tom Monsoor

“I can’t believe [the fishing is] as bad as it is,” says Monsoor, who figures the small shad size is a big reason for the tough fishing.  “In two weeks it will be phenomenal [when the shad get a little bigger]. That’s the difference between 15- and 20-pound bags here is three weeks. That’s La Crosse for you.”

If anyone would know it’s Monsoor. The veteran has 27 top 10s and seven victories in various levels of FLW competition on the river to his name. And that level of experience usually benefits a local in a tough tournament like this. But Monsoor says it’s actually hurting him.

“When they’re going nuts, I find them here,” says Monsoor. “I find schools of them. I pull up on a spot and catch 20. That’s fun. This hasn’t been fun. Yesterday I caught 7 keepers (along with losing a 5-pounder), and today I only caught 10.”

It’s been so tough that Monsoor actually admitted he’s thrown something other than his infamous homemade swim jigs; toying with topwaters, footballs jigs and Yamamoto Senkos. Of course, all of his weight has still come on the jig.

And the bulk of his weight has come from one area in Pool 8. Initially, Monsoor started day one in Pool 7, where he had seven schools of fish marked, but from those schools he caught just two fish. That prompted him to move to Pool 8 to finish his limit, and today, he opted to hunker down in Pool 8 for the day.

Tom Monsoor

As for the area, there’s one simple reason he’s there.

“I’m looking for a bigger bite,” says Monsoor, who weighed in a pair of smallmouths today after only largemouths yesterday. “I’m going to areas I’ve caught 3-, 4- and 5-pounders. It ain’t working, but I’m trying.”

As for tomorrow, Monsoor says for anyone watching FLW Live to expect more of the same – him tossing a swim jig and just “going fishing.”

“This is anybody’s tournament,” says Monsoor. “I could get nothing tomorrow, and someone can get a big bag. Things change overnight here.”

 

Scott Wiley

2. Scott Wiley – Bay Minette, Ala. – 27-15 (10)

Slipping out of the lead might disappoint an angler, but Wiley has few complaints right now.

“I’m happy,” says the day-one leader. “Everything is working out just as I planned it, except I just needed one more big bite today.”

Thus far, Wiley has been running a two-pool pattern. He starts down in Pool 9, where he has a specific flipping pattern that allows him to catch a limit – he caught seven keepers doing it this morning. Then he locks back up into Pool 8 to toss around a frog trying for two or three big bites.

It worked perfect yesterday and seemed to be on its way to it again today. After locking up around 11:30 a.m., he quickly caught a 4-pounder on the frog. There was just one problem after.

“I didn’t get another bite after that,” says Wiley. “I stayed in there the rest of the day to catch one more and never did.”

 

Bailey Boutries

3. Bailey Boutries – Daphne, Ala. – 27-14 (10)

Boutries isn’t over complicating things. He’s sticking in Pool 8. He’s putting a BOOYAH Pad Crasher in his hands. And he’s covering water. Rinse. Repeat.

“I just have been getting lucky and gotten some decent bites,” says Boutries. “I had 10 bites today. I’ll go two hours without a bite until I catch a few. So I’m not catching a bunch. I only culled one time. But when I get a bite, it’s a good one.”

Now, it may sound like random luck, but Boutries is keyed on something a little different with his frog. 

“The whole river looks amazing,” says Boutries. “I think most people are focusing on the big grass mats, and it’s easy to get sucked into that. There’s just so much of it. So I’ve been focusing on something a little different, and it’s paying off.”

 

Zack Birge

4. Zack Birge – Blanchard, Okla. – 27-13 (10)

He may call the Sooner State home, but La Crosse is Birge’s “favorite place in the whole country.”

“I grew up fishing on the Arkansas River,” says Birge. “It’s a little different, but there’s a lot of things that carry over from there to here. I feel at home when I’m fishing here. I just enjoy it. I catch a ton of fish. That’s what I enjoy most.”

Now, typically, “a ton of fish” for Birge is 50 fish a day, but he’s still catching 15 to 20 a day even with how tough it is thanks to two different deals.

He has an area in Pool 8 he starts in that he can quickly catch a limit flipping and frogging. From there, he switches to a pattern that he can run throughout the river. He’s done the two-pronged approach both days, catching a 50-50 mix of largemouth and smallmouth. But today, he got bigger bites to help him bring in the largest bag of the event, 16-6.

“I pulled into my first spot and caught 4-pounder on my tenth cast,” says Birge. “Then I caught two more good ones right after that. Just everything went right today.”

 

Bradford Beavers

5. Bradford Beavers – Summerville, S.C. – 27-9 (10)

Up until 2:15 p.m., Beavers’ day was less than stellar.

Sure, he caught a 3-pounder within the first 20 minutes of today while fishing in Pool 8, but with less than an hour in his day he only had four keepers.

“I was trying to run new water and wasn’t having any luck,” says Beavers. “I kind of ran out of places to go. So I said ‘the heck with it.’ I decided to go back to one area where I knew some live, and I ended up catching three there.”

Beavers is certainly having to work for his fish, and he’s not catching many – only seven fish each day, with a 50-50 split of both species. Yesterday he weighed in two smallmouths and three today, but no fish over 4 pounds.

As for the areas he’s fishing, he says he has one key stretch with a good population of fish. Otherwise, it’s just been “whatever looks good without tearing my boat up.”

 

Top 10 pros

1. Tom Monsoor – La Crosse, Wis. – 28-11 (10)

2. Scott Wiley – Bay Minette, Ala. – 27-15 (10)

3. Bailey Boutries – Daphne, Ala. – 27-14 (10

4. Zack Birge – Blanchard, Okla. – 27-13 (10)

5. Bradford Beavers – Summerville, S.C. – 27-9 (10)

6. Ron Nelson – Berrien Springs, Mich. – 27-4 (10)

7. Tyler Stewart – West Monroe, La. – 27-3 (10)

8. Jacob Wheeler – Harrison, Tenn. – 27-2 (10)

9. Clark Reehm – Elm Grove, La. – 26-7 (10)

10. Clayton Batts – Butler, Ga. – 26-1 (10)

Complete results

Tags: sean-ostruszka  headline-story  2020-07-29-mississippi-river-super-tournament 

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Johnson Wins on Sam Rayburn

Going into the final day, Blake Schroeder was just 3 ounces ahead of Aaron Johnson in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Tight to the end, both anglers brought more than 18 pounds to the scale, but Johnson’s 18-14 bag boosted his total to 54-14 and earned him the win. For the victory, Johnson takes home $31,751 and the second FLW win of his career. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 2

Through two days of competition, it’s looking like the shallow grass bite is the deal in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn. Leading the way, Blake Schroeder had tallied a pair of 18-pound bags from shallow grass, and the pros behind him aren’t slacking on the grass game either. Heading into the final day, it’s going to be a true shootout for the win, with a Texas-sized kicker a bite away for everyone in the field. READ MORE »

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Schroeder Slides Ahead on Rayburn

Climbing from fourth to first, Blake Schroeder took over the lead in the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn with his second-consecutive 18-pound bag. Weighing 18-3 on day one, the Texas pro put an even 18 pounds on the scale on day two for a 36-3 total. Behind him, the weights are stacked, and five other pros are within 5 pounds going into the final day on the big Texas lake. READ MORE »

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Sam Rayburn Top 5 Patterns – Day 1

Day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn offered pretty good fishing and a lot of options. Anglers in the top 10 fished deep, shallow and in between to catch their fish, and no one pattern dominated the leaderboard. READ MORE »

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Moore Sacks 21 on Rayburn

Taking the lead on day one of the Toyota Series Southwestern Division event on Sam Rayburn, Cole Moore weighed an even 21 pounds to kick things off. Though the fishing was not really up to the massive heights it can reach on Rayburn, it was far from bad, and plenty of pros put together limits in the teens both shallow and deep. READ MORE »

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Morrow Keeps Rolling

Boater Troy Morrow of Eastanollee, Georgia, brought a two-day total of 10 bass to the scale weighing 32 pounds even, to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Savannah River Division Super-Tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Fish-Intel. For his victory, Morrow earned $6,415. READ MORE »

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boggs Takes Regional on Chickamauga

Boater Drew Boggs of Lebanon, Tennessee, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 40 pounds, 11 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at Lake Chickamauga. For his victory, Boggs earned $61,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Daves Wins James River Regional

Daves Wins James River Regional

Pro Chris Daves of Spring Grove, Virginia, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounces to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on the James River. For his victory, Daves earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Baits from Lake of the Ozarks

Jigs and topwaters – that’s pretty much all you need when it comes to fall in the Ozarks. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Top 10 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks

Five straight years of Lake of the Ozarks hosting a Toyota Series Plains Division event in October usually takes the guesswork out of what to expect. Anglers pretty much did what they’ve come to know as tried-and-true patterns on the historic fishery. READ MORE »

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

Cook Goes Wire-To-Wire

He put his name on the map as one to watch on day one. Today, Corey Cook put his name on the hardware as one of the best on Lake of the Ozarks right now. READ MORE »

Krekovich Finally Gets Co-angler Victory

Krekovich Finally Gets Co-angler Victory

After being the only co-angler to bring in a limit the first two days of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks, the co-angler from Granite City, Ill., only managed to bring in two today worth 4 pounds, 3 ounces. Fortunately, no other co-angler brought in more than three, and his 27-12 total held up. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lady Luck shines on us all sometimes, but sometimes she doesn’t. For this morning, at least, she sure wasn’t shining on Corey Cook READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Scrapping plans and making long runs can be a scary deal, but the risk can be worth the reward. READ MORE »

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Still Leads on Lake of the Ozarks

Corey Cook stumbled a bit on day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks. Bringing in 15 pounds, 4 ounces, Cook weighed an average bag and boosted his total of 38-13, which is still more than 4 pounds ahead of second place. Behind Cook, Andy Newcomb is in second with 34-6, and Shane Long is in third with 31-9. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Day two of the Toyota Series Plains Division on Lake of the Ozarks has started out pretty much like yesterday – pretty weather but pretty short on fish. READ MORE »

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Cook Blasts 23-9 on Lake of the Ozarks

Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks was pretty tough by the standards of the fishery, with just one angler cracking the 20-pound barrier. Blowing the doors off the competition, at least on day one, Corey Cook hammered out 23 pounds, 9 ounces to take more than a 6-pound lead over second place. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 1

When the fish are on the move, it can make life miserable for anglers. Day one of the Toyota Series Plains Division event on Lake of the Ozarks showcased that pretty well. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 1

The Toyota Series visited Lake of the Ozarks this exact same week in 2019, and it launched under torrential rains, gusting winds and a strobe light's worth of lightning that delayed the takeoff until 8:15 a.m. A year later, the weather couldn’t be more beautiful for the second stop of the Plains Division. READ MORE »

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Wes Monroe Wins on the Ouachita River

Louisiana’s West Monroe High School duo of Jay Cash and Jackson Lemoine caught four fish Saturday weighing 9 pounds, 11 ounces to win the FLW High School Fishing presented by Favorite Fishing Ouachita River Open event in Monroe, Louisiana. READ MORE »