LA CROSSE, Wis. – The mighty Mississippi River in La Crosse, Wis., will be the next stop of the EverStart Series bass fishing tournament July 26-28. As many as 300 pros and co-anglers will take to the water for the third of four stops in the Central Division.
Although the water has dropped by 2 feet in the past couple of weeks and is predicted to continue dropping, it is still about a foot above normal. Add to that the three-bass limit — normally anglers are accustomed to bringing five bass to the scale each day — and you’ve got the recipe for what could be a real shootout on the old river in Wisconsin.
“The water is dropping like a brick,” said FLW Tour pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., who won the EverStart Series when it visited the Mississippi in La Crosse in 2001. “It should continue to drop, so that by the time the tournament starts water levels should be about normal. Unless it rains; if it rains, the water will muddy and it will be a whole different ball game. Weather could play a big role in this tournament. Anglers are going to have to be ready to change along with Mother Nature.
“One thing is for sure, and that is that a lot of fish will be caught,” Monsoor continued. “The great thing about the river is that you can fish your favorite technique and still catch fish. If you want to go deep, you can go deep; if you want to fish wing dams, you can fish wing dams. If you want to flip mats, that works as well. The fish are biting everything.
“The three-bass limit is really going to change the game as well. Anglers are going to have to fish for three solid fish; 2 ½-pounders rounding out a bag won’t cut it for this tournament. The guy that can bring in 3 ½- to 4-pounders consistently for three days is going to be the guy that wins. The frog bite is going to be key in this tournament. That’s how guys are going to get the bigger fish. There are some big smallmouths in the wing dams that if someone can key in on might do well too.
“I have found a lot of 2 ½-pounders so far, but I haven’t been able to find the big ones yet,” Monsoor added. “But it’s going to be a fun tournament.”
Anglers will take off from Clinton Street Landing West located at Clinton Street Bridge in La Crosse, Wis., at 5:30 a.m. daily. Weigh-ins will be at the marina on Thursday and Friday beginning at 1:30 p.m. and final weigh-in on Saturday will begin at 2 p.m. Takeoff and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
Pros will fish for a top award of $35,000 plus a Ranger Z518 with a 200-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard if Ranger Cup guidelines are met. Co-anglers will cast for a top award consisting of a Ranger 177TR with 90-horsepower Evinrude or Mercury outboard and $5,000 if Ranger Cup guidelines are met.
The EverStart Series consists of five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western. Each division consists of four tournaments and competitors will be vying for valuable points in each division that could earn them the Strike King Angler of the Year title along with $5,000 for the pro and $2,000 for the co-angler. The top 40 pros and co-anglers from each respective division will qualify for the EverStart Series Championship that will be held on the Ouachita River in Monroe, La., Nov. 1-4.
The next and final stop of the EverStart Series Central Division will take place on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Mo., Sept. 13-15.
For complete details and updated information visit FLWOutdoors.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the EverStart Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.
FLW is the industry’s premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport’s richest payday and most coveted championship trophy – the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the “Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water,” through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world’s richest fantasy sports game – FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit FLWOutdoors.com or FantasyFishing.com and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.