Boater Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wisconsin, brought a three-day total of 15 bass to the scale weighing 50 pounds, 1 ounce to win the no-entry fee Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship at the Mississippi River. For his victory, Laufenberg earned $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and automatic entry into the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American Championship, June 3-5, at Douglas Lake in Dandridge, Tennessee.
“I spent the entire tournament locking to Pools 7, 8 and 9, all of which were equally important,” says Laufenberg, a former College Fishing standout that has seven career wins in FLW competition. “That’s how I like to fish multi-day tournaments here and knew that’s what it would take to win.”
Laufenberg racked up more than 15 pounds per day consecutively, pulling in 18 pounds, 8 ounces on the final day to finish out his victory run.
“I had a terrible practice on Pool 7, but I knew it had less pressure by the final day and I needed to make an adjustment if I was going to win,” continues Laufenberg. “I locked up to Pool 7 and caught my limit with a combination of smallmouth and largemouth.”
At that point, with a 14-pound-limit, he says he felt he could settle down and fish more strategically.
“I finished out the final day on Pool 8, throwing a Spro McStick and caught over 10 pounds within the last 45 minutes of the tournament.
“You have to weigh brown and green and roll with the changes,” continues Laufenberg. “The wind this week was terrible, which changed what the smallmouth were doing every day. But, those bonus largemouth were more consistent and definitely carried me to victory.”
Laufenberg says the win felt absolutely amazing.
“I’ve strived my entire life for this since I was 12 years old,” says Laufenberg. “ It’s amazing to win a boat that has a warranty on it and I’m looking forward to more big things in 2021.”
The top six boaters that qualified for 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American:
1st: Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wis., 15 bass, 50-1, $60,000
2nd: Wilson Burton of Findlay, Ohio., 15 bass, 49-4, $10,500
3rd: Leslie Brandenbug of Springfield, Mo., 15 bass, 45-12, $5,000
4th: Mike Mertens of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, 15 bass, 45-0, $3,200
5th: Randy Ramsey, Jr., of Chicago, Ill., 15 bass, 45-0, $2,000
6th: Kevin Ruh of Onalaska, Wis., 15 bass, 44-15, $1,800
Rounding out the top 12 boaters:
7th: Kerry Frey of Middlebury, Ind., 15 bass, 44-13, $1,600
8th: Mike Brueggen of La Crosse, Wis., 15 bass, 44-12, $1,400
9th: Jeremy Mull of Pawnee, Ill., 15 bass, 44-3, $1,200
10th: Dick Shaffer of Rockford, Ohio, 15 bass, 43-0, $1,000
11th: Bob Drake of Noblesville, Ind., 14 bass, 42-8, $1,000
12th: Keith Nemcek of St. Charles, Ill., 15 bass, 41-12, $1,000
Complete results can be found at FLWFishing.com.
Burton took home an extra $500 as the highest finishing FLW PHOENIX BONUS member. Boaters are eligible to win up to an extra $7,000 per event in each Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine tournament if all requirements are met. More information on the FLW PHOENIX BONUS contingency program can be found at PhoenixBassBoats.com.
Marginean wins co-angler title
Stefan Marginean of Glenview, Illinois, weighed in 14 bass over three days totaling 40 pounds, 6 ounces to win the top co-angler prize package of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard.
The top six co-anglers that qualified for the 2021 Phoenix Bass Fishing League All-American:
1st: Stefan Marginean of Glenview, Ill., 14 bass, 40-6, $50,000
2nd: Lenny Bays of Dayton, Ky., 15 bass, 39-7, $5,000
3rd: Jon Cordray of House Springs, Mo., 15 bass, 38-9, $2,500
4th: James Jarvis of West Frankfort, Ill., 15 bass, 36-11, $1,500
5th: Andrew Messina of Valley Park, Mo., 14 bass, 36-10, $1,000
6th: Chuck Davis of Farmington, Ill., 15 bass, 36-2, $900
Rounding out the top 12 co-anglers:
7th: Ryan Stagner of Robertsville, Mo., 12 bass, 32-7, $800
8th: David Workman of Harrisburg, Ill., 13 bass, 32-4, $700
9th: Linn Oelker of Floyds Knobs, Ind., 12 bass, 29-14, $850
10th: Jarad Hinson of Cuba, Mo., 10 bass, 23-14, $500
11th: Brian Brecka of Alma, Wis., 11 bass, 23-10, $500
12th: Joseph Sittler of Fort Wayne, Ind., 10 bass, 23-5, $500
The Phoenix Bass Fishing League presented by T-H Marine Regional Championship on the Mississippi River was hosted by Explore La Crosse. It featured the top pros and co-anglers from the Illini (Illinois), Hoosier (Indiana/Kentucky), Ozark (Missouri) and Michigan divisions.