Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
MISS RIVER / LACROSSE (Sept. 8-9, 2001)
LA CROSSE, Wis. — Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., topped more than 100 competitors on the Mississippi River this weekend with five bass weighing 14 pounds, 10 ounces to win $6,289 and 400 points on the boater side of the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division season finale.
After qualifying for the final round of the two-day Super Tournament in fifth place with an opening day catch of five bass weighing 13 pounds, 4 ounces, Monsoor out fished runner up Jim Kowal of Onalaska, Wis., by 8 ounces to take the win. Monsoor, who also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program and another $1,000 from GARMIN for using one of the company's fixed-mount sonar products, caught his bass on homemade jigs in pools 7, 8 and 9.
Kowal qualified for the final round in third place with five bass weighing 13 pounds, 15 ounces and finished up with a 14-pound, 2-ounce catch to win $3,144.
Clayton Reitz of Morton, Ill., took third place and collected $1,572 with 12 pounds, 13 ounces. Richie Eaves of Nauvoo, Ill., placed fourth and earned $1,363 with 12 pounds, 4 ounces, while Chris Aswegan of Solon, Iowa, placed fifth and earned $1,258 with 11 pounds, 4 ounces.
Curtis Samo of Creston, Ill., won the boater Big Bass Award and collected $920 with a 4-pound, 12-ounce bass that he caught on shad-colored crankbait.
First place in the Co-Angler Division and $3,013 went to Rudy Wozney of Arcadia, Wis., who topped more than 100 competitors with a final round catch of five bass weighing 12 pounds, 7 ounces. Wozney also won the co-angler Big Bass Award of $430 with a 4-pound, 2-ounce bass that he caught on a green lizard while fishing sandy points.
Second place in the division and $1,506 went to Ken Haslam of Mukwonago, Wis., with 10 pounds, 6 ounces, while Dustin Avenarius of Yorkville, Ill., took third place and $753 with 10 pounds, 3 ounces.
Monsoor landed the Divisional Points Championship and $1,000 with 1140 points won during five regular season tournaments. Wozney landed the Co-Angler Points Championship and $500 with 1161 points.
The top 30 boaters and top 30 co-anglers in the Great Lakes Division will advance to regional competition Oct. 16-20 on the Ohio River near Paducah, Ky., where they will go up against top competitors from the LBL, Plains and Hoosier divisions for a shot at qualifying for the BFL All-American, which features an estimated purse of $345,000 and ranks as one of the most lucrative post-season tournaments in competitive angling. The top two boaters and co-anglers may also qualify for the Ranger M1 tournament in Mobile, Ala., Feb. 27-March 2, 2002, where they can win up to $1 million in the world's richest freshwater tournament.
Awards for the 2001 BFL season could reach $5.7 million based on full fields at each tournament.
Sponsors of the 2001 Wal-Mart BFL are ALPO Pet Foods, BC Powder, BFGoodrich Tires, Black & Decker, Chevy Trucks, CITGO, Coleman, Conseco, Energizer, EverStart Batteries, Frito-Lay, FujiFilm, Garmin, Kellogg's, Land O'Lakes, Mercury Marine, Minn Kota, Pepsi, Poulan, Pure Fishing, Ranger Boats, Snickers Cruncher Bar, Stren, Shop-Vac, Timex, US Bank, Visa, Weed Eater, Wrangler and Yamaha Outboards. ACDelco is an associate sponsor of the Wal-Mart BFL.