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 and final day of competition as the No. 1 seed in the Super Tournament that features 200 of the world’s best bass-fishing anglers from FLW and Major League Fishing (MLF) competing for a piece of the $1.3 million prize pool.
Monsoor has crossed the stage with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 42 pounds even, which gives him a slim 1-pound, 1-ounce lead over second-place pro MLF angler Zack Birge of Blanchard, Oklahoma, who caught five bass today weighing 13 pounds, 2 ounces. Birge has weighed in 15 bass totaling 40 pounds, 15 ounces in his three days of competition.
“It was pretty tough, today. At noon I only had 7½ pounds, and I went through around 50 fish to even get that,” said Monsoor, who has one prior win – on the Potomac River in 2017 – in Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit competition. “Right at the end of the day I pulled up to a weed bed and caught my biggest fish of the day, and two other nice ones. You just have to keep plugging away and never give up out there.
“I caught more fish today than I had on the first two days combined, but I just couldn’t find the big ones,” Monsoor said.
Monsoor spent his morning on two offshore spots in Pool 8, near the Black River. His first spot was producing until an altercation with a local water ski boat in the same area shut it down.
“That kind of wrecked my morning,” said Monsoor. “I’ve been here all my life, and I’ve never had anybody do that before. They ski there all the time. I fish there all the time. There’s never been a problem. That took the edge off right away. I was having fun until that. I was going to catch some fish there, too. But he shut it down.”
Monsoor managed to catch around 10 pounds off of his second area before running into his three bigger fish later in the day.
With numerous top-10 finishes and six career victories on the Mississippi River in various levels of FLW competition, a victory on the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit is the only trophy that has eluded Monsoor here in La Crosse. With one day left, Monsoor said all he can do is fish as hard as he can.
“The big FLW events are my worst tournaments,” Monsoor went on to say. “The worst! I couldn’t do any worse. And I’ve had the best practices before these events. This is the first one it hasn’t screwed me on. So, I want this one really bad. All you can do is fish as hard as you can, and nobody fishes harder than me. I know that. I don’t stop.”
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on the Mississippi River are:
1st: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., 15 bass, 42-0
2nd: Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., 15 bass, 40-15
3rd: David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., 15 bass, 40-8
4th: Scott Wiley of Bay Minette, Ala., 14 bass, 40-5
5th: Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., 15 bass, 39-12
6th: Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., 15 bass, 39-9
7th: Kyle Hall of Granbury, Texas, 15 bass, 39-0
8th: Bailey Boutries of Daphne, Ala., 15 bass, 37-13
9th: Clark Reehm of Elm Grove, La., 15 bass, 37-10
10th: Cody Meyer of Auburn, Calif., 14 bass, 37-9
Finishing in 11th through 30th are:
11th: Clayton Batts of Butler, Ga., 15 bass, 37-3, $14,000
12th: Ron Nelson of Berrien Springs, Mich., 15 bass, 37-2, $14,000
13th: Mark Davis of Mount Ida, Ark., 15 bass, 37-2, $14,000
14th: Adrian Avena of Vineland, N.J., 15 bass, 37-1, $14,000
15th: David Gaston of Sylacauga, Ala., 15 bass, 36-15, $14,000
16th: Bradford Beavers of Summerville, S.C., 14 bass, 36-14, $14,000
17th: Casey Ashley of Donalds, S.C., 15 bass, 36-14, $14,000
18th: Paul Elias of Laurel, Miss., 15 bass, 36-13, $14,000
19th: Bobby Lane of Lakeland, Fla., 15 bass, 36-13, $14,000
20th: Matt Lee of Bremen, Ala., 15 bass, 36-10, $14,000
21st: Dustin Connell of Clanton, Ala., 15 bass, 36-9, $11,000
22nd: Jacob Wall of New Hope, Ala., 15 bass, 36-3, $11,000
23rd: Kurt Mitchell of Milford, Del., 15 bass, 35-15, $11,000
24th: Alton Jones Jr. of Lorena, Texas, 15 bass, 35-10, $11,000
25th: Chad Warren of Sand Springs, Okla., 15 bass, 35-8, $11,000
26th: Jon Englund of Farwell, Minn., 15 bass, 35-5, $11,000
27th: Matthew Stefan of Junction City, Minn., 15 bass, 35-4, $11,000
28th: Darrell Davis of Dover, Fla., 15 bass, 35-2, $11,000
29th: Justin Lucas of Guntersville, Ala., 15 bass, 34-14, $11,000
30th: Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calif., 15 bass, 33-14, $11,000
Full results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Overall there were 217 bass weighing 497 pounds, 6 ounces caught by 48 pros Friday. The catch included 36 five-bass limits.
The Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries is hosted by Explore La Crosse.
In Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super-Tournament competition, the full field of 200 pro anglers competed in the two-day opening round on Wednesday and Thursday. The top 50 pros based on their two-day accumulated weight advanced to Friday. Now only the top 10 pros will continue competition on Championship Saturday, with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from the four days of competition.
FLW anglers are vying for valuable points in hopes of qualifying for the Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota, the Pro Circuit championship. The 2020 Tackle Warehouse FLW TITLE presented by Toyota will be held on Lake Michigan in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, Aug. 24-29.