Mike Brueggen of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught five bass weighing 14 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division tournament on the Mississippi River. For his efforts, Brueggen took home $6,046.
“We weren’t able to launch until around 9:30 (a.m.) due to a fog delay,” says Brueggen, who earned his fifth career-win on the Mississippi River in BFL competition. “After the delay was lifted, I locked to Pool No. 9 along with three-quarters of the field. I worked through an area that had scattered weeds and sand in about a foot of water. I caught 10 keepers on a 3/8-ounce black buzzbait and ended up weighing two of them.”
Around 1 p.m., Brueggen locked back to Pool No. 10 with approximately 14 pounds of bass in his livewell. He says he used his buzzbait and a white Spro Bronzeye 65 frog to fish another stretch of scattered weeds and finish out his day.
“Both of my areas were near the main river,” says Brueggen. “The fish were pretty spread out and they didn’t want to bite. I had to move the buzzbait fast to get them to strike.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Mike Brueggen, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 14-11, $4,046 + $2,000 Ranger Cup Bonus
2nd: Jeff Ritter, Prairie du Chien, Wis., five bass, 14-10, $1,885
2nd: Curtis Samo, Rochelle, Ill., five bass, 14-10, $1,685
4th: Brian Fitzpatrick, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 14-1, $1,244
5th: Mike Ratz, Hudson, Wis., five bass, 13-13, $775
5th: Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 13-13, $875
7th: Mike Feldermann, Galena, Ill., five bass, 13-12, $951
8th: Kyler Chelminiak, McKenzie, Tenn., five bass, 13-9, $607
9th: Don Vandermeer, Loves Park, Ill., five bass, 13-5, $539
10th: Cade Laufenberg, Winona, Minn., five bass, 12-12, $472
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Mark Tonjum of Sioux City, Iowa, caught a bass weighing 3 pounds, 14 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division. The catch earned him the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $277.
Seller wins co-angler title
Tony Seiler of River Falls, Wisconsin, caught five bass weighing 11 pounds, 14 ounces to win the Co-angler Division and $2,023.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Tony Seiler, River Falls, Wis., five bass, 11-14, $2,023
2nd: Richard Conrad, Burnsville, Minn., five bass, 9-13, $1,011
3rd: Tyler Nelson, Waunakee, Wis., five bass, 9-12, $674
4th: William Felten, Lake Zurich, Ill., four bass, 9-7, $472
5th: Jared Greninger, Byron, Ill., five bass, 9-4, $605
6th: Alexandru Spiac, Chicago, Ill., four bass, 9-0, $371
7th: Rick Poteet, Springbrook, Wis., four bass, 8-1, $337
8th: Greg Oppegard, West Saint Paul, Minn., three bass, 7-14, $580
9th: Steve Esser, Dubuque, Iowa, four bass, 7-13, $270
10th: Josh Mohn, Lansing, Iowa, three bass, 6-14, $236
Oppegard caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a fish weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce – and earned the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $277.
The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five winners in each qualifying event, will be entered in the Oct. 12-14 BFL Regional Championship on the Barren River in Scottsville, Kentucky. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518C with a 200-horsepower Evinrude outboard.