Rob Leidholdt of Milton, Wisconsin, caught five bass weighing 17 pounds, 11 ounces, Saturday to win the 2018 T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics. Leidholdt earned $5,046 for his victory.
“I stayed in Pool No. 8 all day, throwing a spinnerbait all day long on a shallow flat near Stoddard,” says Leidholdt, who earned his first career win in FLW competition. “There were around 15 boats fishing the same flat, but I was fishing slower than most of them. I caught around 10 fish all day long.”
“I think only having one day to practice actually really helped me,” Leidholdt says. “The river has had so much water fluctuation in the past few weeks, so even if I would have had time to practice it likely would have been very different come tournament time.
“It’s the first time in a long time that I can remember that I put the jig down and picked up the spinnerbait,” Leidholdt jokes. “I’ve been fishing BFL tournaments for 15 years, so I definitely put my time in to earn the win.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Rob Leidholdt, Milton, Wis., five bass, 17-11, $5,046
2nd: Michael Hanrahan, Pleasant Hill, Iowa, five bass, 16-15, $2,523
2nd: Ryan Lewis, Glasford, Ill., five bass, 16-14, $1,682
4th: Mike Brueggen, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 16-0, $1,177
5th: Ben Potaracke, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 15-15, $1,209
6th: Dan Mohn, Lansing, Iowa, five bass, 15-12, $925
7th: Bob Downey, Hudson, Wis., five bass, 15-8, $841
8th: Nick Trim, Galesville, Wis., five bass, 15-1, $857
9th: Frank Cipra, Prairie du Chien, Wis., five bass, 14-10, $673
10th: Jeff Ritter, Prairie du Chien, Wis., five bass, 14-1, $589
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Tony Seiler of River Falls, Wisconsin, caught a bass weighing 6 pounds, 11 ounces – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $770.
Howard wins co-angler title
David Howard of Farmington, Illinois, won the Co-angler Division and $2,523 Saturday after catching a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 9 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: David Howard, Farmington, Ill., five bass, 16-9, $2,523
2nd: Kory Kreinke, Annandale, Minn., five bass, 14-9, $1,262
3rd: Mike Frazer, DeForest, Wis., five bass, 14-1, $841
4th: Jake Lambrecht, Davenport, Iowa, five bass, 13-14, $589
5th: Alexandru Spiac, Chicago, Ill., five bass, 12-6, $505
6th: Brad Juen, La Crosse, Wis., four bass, 11-6, $663
7th: Jason Wulf, Crown Point, Ind., three bass, 10-2, $471
8th: Chad Schultz, Rockton, Ill., four bass, 9-10, $378
9th: Jason Swanson, Waterloo, Iowa, three bass, 9-5, $336
10th: Chad Smith, Davenport, Iowa, three bass, 8-4, $294
Bill McBride of Rockford, Illinois, caught the largest bass in the Co-angler Division – a 5-pound, 12-ounce fish. The catch earned him the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $385.
The T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River presented by Navionics was hosted by the La Crosse County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
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. 25-27 BFL Regional Championship on Lake of the Ozarks in Osage Beach, Missouri. 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.