Cade Laufenberg of Goodview, Minnesota, won Saturday’s T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Great Lakes Division opener on the Mississippi River at La Crosse presented by Navionics with five bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. For his day on the water, Laufenberg pocketed $4,355.
“I started by running down and fishing the north end of Pool No. 9, and ended up catching a 15½-pound limit,” says Laufenberg, who earned his fourth career win as a boater in FLW competition – second on the Mississippi River. “I had a little point with some current on it where largemouth were staging and getting ready to spawn. I caught a couple of good ones on a 1/8-ounce weedless Ned rig, and another two, including my heaviest of the day, on a jig.”
Laufenberg used a green-pumpkin and purple-colored Z-Man Big TRD on his Ned rig, and a 3/8-ounce, Alabama Craw-colored Dirty Jigs Matt Herren Flippin' Jig with a green-pumpkin Big Bite Baits College Craw trailer.
Laufenberg then ran up to Pool No. 8 to catch some spawning fish, but couldn’t get anything going. Still looking to upgrade, he says he went with a backup plan.
“I worked on the south end of Pool No. 8 and caught a 3½-pound spawning smallmouth on a regular 1/16-ounce Ned rig (green-pumpkin) Finesse TRD,” said Laufenberg. “With 15 minutes to go, I caught another in a spawning bay near takeoff on the north end using the Ned rig, and that was my winning fish.”
The top 10 boaters:
1st: Cade Laufenberg, Goodview, Minn., five bass, 16-7, $4,355
2nd: Mike Gabel, Saint Charles, Ill., five bass, 16-6, $2,178
3rd: Brad Wessling, Elkhorn, Wis., five bass, 15-13, $1,383
4th: Jared Mataczynski, Wausau, Wis., five bass, 15-12, $970
5th: Kevin Ruh, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 15-5, $831
6th: Tim Brogan, Arpin, Wis., five bass, 15-4, $762
7th: Brian Fitzpatrick, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 15-2, $693
8th: A.J. Menssen, Bloomington, Ill., five bass, 15-1, $623
9th: Steven Johnson, Lake Villa, Ill., five bass, 14-12, $554
10th: Clayton Reitz, Morton, Ill., five bass, 14-8, $460
10th: Nick Trim, Galesville, Wis., five bass, 14-8, $710
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Mark Balbinot of Canton, Illinois, caught a 4-pound, 14-ounce bass – the heaviest of the event in the Boater Division – and earned the day’s Boater Big Bass award of $570.
Mohn wins co-angler title
Josh Mohn of Lansing, Iowa, won the Co-angler Division and $2,078 Saturday after catching five bass weighing 15 pounds, 12 ounces.
The top 10 co-anglers:
1st: Josh Mohn, Lansing, Iowa, five bass, 15-12, $2,078
2nd: Mike Cottrell, Hartland, Wis., five bass, 14-3, $1,039
3rd: Colby Wolff, Shawano, Wis., five bass, 13-8, $691
4th: Robert Shufelt, Clintonville, Wis., five bass, 13-6, $427
4th: Mark Persson, Otsego, Minn., five bass, 13-6, $527
4th: Mongshoua Xiong, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 13-6, $427
7th: Alan Bernicky, Joliet, Ill., five bass, 13-5, $396
8th: Brad Ballard, Winona, Minn., five bass, 13-3, $312
9th: Nicholas Oates, Union, Ill., five bass, 12-15, $259
9th: Rene Luis, Chicago, Ill., five bass, 12-15, $259
Zuteus Sevenants of Holmen, Wisconsin, and Joe Rockey of Schaumburg, Illinois, both caught bass weighing in at 4 pounds, 1 ounce – the largest of the day in the Co-angler Division – and split the day’s Co-angler Big Bass award of $142.
The tournament 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. 17-19 BFL Regional Championship on Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Buchanan, Tennessee, presented by Evinrude. Boaters will compete for a top award of a Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard and $20,000, while co-anglers will fish for a new Ranger Z518L with a 200-horsepower outboard.