Walmart Bass Fishing League - Great Lakes
Mississippi River/LaCrosse (Sept. 11-12, 2004)
LA CROSSE, Wis. — La Crosse resident Tom Monsoor earned $6,669 Sunday as winner of the two-day, season-ending Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division Super Tournament on the Mississippi River. His two-day total of 31 pounds, 6 ounces topped 113 fellow competitors in the Boater Division.
Monsoor caught 16 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to advance to Sunday’s competition, where he caught 14 pounds, 12 ounces to post the heaviest two-day weight and claim the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass swimming a jig in the weeds and grass in Pool 7. Monsoor also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he also earned a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using Garmin electronics exclusively during the event. Monsoor is one of FLW Outdoors’ most formidable competitors, having earned 27 top-10 finishes (including six wins) since 1997. Five of the wins and 18 of his top-10 finishes came in the BFL Great Lakes Division.
Rounding out the top five boaters are Troy Anderson of Galesville (31 pounds, 4 ounces, $3,335); Jim McKie of Alma (29 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,806); Brian Fitzpatrick of La Crosse (28 pounds, 7 ounces, $1,528); and Douglas Stanton of Winona, Minn. (27 pounds, 4 ounces, $1,251).
McKie earned $1,130 as the Boater Division big-bass winner, thanks to a 5-pound bass he caught on a green pumpkin tube.
Matthew Hargarten of Schaumburg, Ill., earned $3,335 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 25 pounds, 7 ounces. He also caught his bass swimming a jig in the weeds and grass in Pool 7. This is Hargarten’s second top-five finish of the season – he finished fifth at the BFL event at La Crosse in May.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Scott Kircher of Osseo (21 pounds, 13 ounces, $1,667); Dave Knutstrom of Stronghurst, Ill. (21 pounds, 10 ounces, $903); Michael Huffman of Fort Madison, Iowa (21 pounds, 7 ounces, $764); and Rob Russow of Brookfield, Ill. (17 pounds, 10 ounces, $625).
Kircher claimed co-angler big-bass honors with a 4-pound, 2 ounce bass he caught on a red and white Scum Frog. He earned $565 for his big bass.
Each of the BFL’s 24 nationwide divisions features four one-day tournaments and one two-day Super Tournament within the regular season. In Super Tournament competition, the entire field competes on day one and the top 20 percent advances to day two, with the winners determined by the heaviest two-day catch weights. More money is awarded at Super Tournaments as well as more points that count toward year-end angler standings. In a Super Tournament, 300 points are awarded for first place, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on.
Chip Hesse of Grandmound, Iowa, earned $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” boater points champion in the Great Lakes Division with 1,013 points for the season. Marvin Miller of Bettendorf, Iowa, earned Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion honors and $500 in the Co-angler Division. He earned 992 points this season.
The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Great Lakes Division will advance to the Kentucky Lake regional presented by Yamaha, which will be held Oct. 12-16 in Gilbertsville, Ky. There they will compete against qualifying anglers from the Choo Choo, Hoosier and Michigan divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. The All-American awards a $100,000 cash prize to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, making it one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive bass fishing.
Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to regional competition are eligible to fish the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American berth. Six nationwide regionals plus the Wild Card will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total field of 84 competitors.
The $6.3 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 24 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired, with boaters supplying the boat and fishing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing from the back deck against other co-anglers. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com’s sponsor page.