La Crosse’s Fitzpatrick earns third career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at the Wolf River Chain - Major League Fishing
La Crosse’s Fitzpatrick earns third career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at the Wolf River Chain
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La Crosse’s Fitzpatrick earns third career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at the Wolf River Chain

Illinois’ Strepacki tops Strike King co-angler division
Image for La Crosse’s Fitzpatrick earns third career win at Phoenix Bass Fishing League event at the Wolf River Chain
June 17, 2024 • MLF • Press Releases

WINNECONNE, Wis. – Boater Brian Fitzpatrick of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) Presented by T-H Marine on the Wolf River Chain. The tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Great Lakes Division. Fitzpatrick earned $4,052 for his victory.

After 30 years of fishing the Wolf River Chain, Fitzpatrick knows plenty of spots to get a bite in a summertime tournament.

“It’s not like I had one area I could just stay in, so I just ran a bunch of different spots that are kind of like one- or two-fish spots,” Fitzpatrick said. “Some had fish, some didn’t. I was just fishing fast, mainly throwing a swim jig and buzz bait.

“A (Yamamoto) Senko was big for me,” he added. “A lot of them weren’t hitting the topwater real good, so I’d get a hit and follow up with a Senko. I think I weighed three with a Senko, and all three of them were off a topwater hit first. It was weird. I’d try throwing the Senko first and wouldn’t get any bites. It almost seemed like they needed that topwater first to get going.”

Fitzpatrick said he fished just about every lake and area on the system except for Winnebago. He fished some grass, rock, wood and even clean-bottom areas within grass.

“I maybe caught 10 keepers,” he added. “It wasn’t fast and furious.” 

The Top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:          Brian Fitzpatrick, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 16-10, $4,052
2nd:        Jeff Ritter, Prairie du Chien, Wis., five bass, 15-9, $1,921
3rd:        Mike Feldermann, Galena, Ill., five bass, 15-1, $1,201
4th:         Severin Tubbin, Viroqua, Wis., five bass, 14-7, $838
5th:         Parker Kratochvill, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 14-5, $718
6th:         Joseph Johnson, Maquoketa, Iowa, five bass, 14-0, $659
7th:         Brandon Briscoe, McHenry, Ill., five bass, 13-14, $599
8th:         Mike Brueggen, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 13-11, $539
9th:         Rick Bosshard, Hartland, Wis., five bass, 13-10, $479
10th:      Chris Aswegan, Tiffin, Iowa, five bass, 13-8, $919 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)

Complete results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Fitzpatrick caught a bass that weighed 4 pounds, 6 ounces, and also earned the Berkley Big Bass Boater award of $460.

Luka Strepacki of Naperville, Illinois, won the Strike King co-angler division and $1,796 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 12 pounds, 14 ounces.

The Top 10 Strike King co-anglers finished: 

1st:          Luka Strepacki, Naperville, Ill., five bass, 12-14, $1,796
2nd:        Robert Johnson, Omro, Wis., five bass, 12-4, $898
3rd:        Jason Hull, Belleville, Wis., five bass, 12-2, $598
4th:         Jason Swanson, Waterloo, Iowa, five bass, 12-0, $419
5th:         Matthew Vang, Milwaukee, Wis., five bass, 11-11, $359
6th:         David Ondrla, Elmhurst, Ill., five bass, 11-9, $329
7th:         Chia Xiong, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 10-15, $299
8th:         Brian Brecka, Alma, Wis., five bass, 10-10, $239
8th:         Dan McAdams, Reedsburg, Wis., five bass, 10-10, $389
8th:         Will Ahnen, Fennimore, Wis., five bass, 10-10, $389

Anthony Gray of Menasha, Wisconsin, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $230, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Brandon Briscoe of McHenry, Illinois, leads the Fishing Clash Great Lakes Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 709 points, while Jason Olson of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, leads the Fishing Clash Great Lakes Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 728 points.

The next event for BFL Great Lakes Division anglers will be held Aug. 17, at the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. To register for the event as a boater or a co-angler, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com or call 270-252-1000.

The top 45 boaters and co-anglers in the region based on point standings, along with the five tournament winners of each qualifying event, will qualify for the Oct. 10-12 BFL Regional tournament on Mississippi River Pools 13-17 in Quad Cities, Illinois. Boaters will fish for a top award of $60,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard and $10,000, while co-anglers will compete for a top award of $50,000, including a new Phoenix 819 Pro with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Suzuki outboard.

The 2024 Phoenix BFL Presented by T-H Marine is a 24-division circuit devoted to weekend anglers, with 128 events throughout the season, five qualifying tournaments in each division. The top 45 boaters and Strike King co-anglers from each division, along with the five qualifying event winners, will advance to one of six BFL Regional tournaments where they are competing to finish in the top six, which then qualifies them for one of the longest-running championships in all of competitive bass fishing – the BFL All-American.

Proud sponsors of the 2024 MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League Presented by T-H Marine include: 7Brew, Abu Garcia, B&W Trailer Hitches, Berkley, BUBBA, E3, Epic Baits, Fishing Clash, General Tire, GSM Outdoors, Lew’s, Mercury, Mossy Oak, Onyx, Phoenix, Polaris, Power-Pole, PowerStop Brakes, REDCON1, Strike King, Suzuki, Tackle Warehouse, T-H Marine, Toyota, WIX Filters and YETI.

For complete details and updated tournament information, visit MajorLeagueFishing.com. For regular Bass Fishing League updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow MLF5’s social media outlets at FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.