Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage - Major League Fishing

Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage

The river is still producing in the cold
Image for Mississippi River Day 2 Coverage
Scott Martin Photo by Andy Hagedon. Angler: Scott Martin.
May 19, 2017 • MLF • Archives

Quick Links

Tournament details

Get to know the Mississippi

Stefan’s leading pattern

Top five patterns from day one

Practice with Matt Stefan

Complete results 


2:10 That’ll do it

Our crew is heading off the water and toward weigh-in and some warmth after a raw day on the Mississippi. Weigh-in should be good – there will be lots of fish and the cut will be decided by ounces, or even tiebreakers. Todd Auten may have separated himself today, but Matt Stefan and Andy Morgan are interesting mysteries – there’s little doubt they rustled some bass up, even if we weren’t watching.

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. CT on days one and two; 4 p.m. CT on days three and four

Weigh-In Location: Veterans Freedom Park all days


2:00 Dudley has 12

David Dudley has picked and popped all day to a decent limit. He’ll make the cut for sure. 


1:55 Adams and Smith

Tracy Adams and Blake Smith are both bucking the trend today. Adams says he’s got about 14 pounds and Smith thinks he has 15 in the ‘well. 


1:35 Hines with 11

Billy Hines has wrangled up a limit of smallmouth worth about 11 pounds now. That’s strong on a tough day, but it won’t be enough for the cut. 


1:18 Lock time

Pool 9 is starting to empty out now. There is a barge on the way up and nobody wants to be locked out. Though 9 was good one day one, it seems to have been a fair bit stingier on day two. 


1:16 In the teens

Carl Jocumsen is looking for a comeback and has 13 pounds in the boat. Scott Ashmore and Shin each are working with 12-pound limits. 


1:14 Canterbury isn’t hammering

Scott “Hammerbury” Canterbury is having a terrible day. He’s flipping trees and brush and has just one small one.


12:49 Not so hot for Murphy

Shawn Murphy made the trek to Pool 9 and only has two in the boat to show for it so far. 


Scott Martin

12:43 Martin picks up a largemouth

Scott Martin just picked a largemouth off a bed and culled out a skimpy little smallmouth. He says he’s got over 13 pounds now and none of them weigh 3 pounds. 


12:38 Four for Rose

Mark Rose has a pretty solid day one, but he’s faltering so far on day two. He’s only got four keepers in the boat at the moment. 


12:34 Arey and Martin

Matt Arey and Scott Martin are both down by Stoddard now hunting for largemouths in the grass. 


12:32 Gags is in good shape

Anthony Gagliardi is on the board solidly on day two. He’s got 14 pounds in the ‘well and stands to move up from his 12+ effort on day one. 


12:20 Nick with a limit

Blake Nick has himself a limit worth about 11 pounds. That seems to be the mark today, whereas 12 pounds was the bar on day one. 


12:10 Latimer limits

Brian Latimer has a limit for about 9 pounds. He just culled a moment ago and is a little off the beaten track in Pool 9. 


11:41 Setzer is down, Neal is too

Braxton Setzer is having a bad day. He’s only got two in the boat and it is nearly noon. Michael “Real Deal” Neal has just one, but Troy Sippl, his co-angler, has 12 pounds. 


11:39 Cortiana has a limit

Kyle Cortiana has a limit, but he says he’ll need a kicker or two to make it to tomorrow. He had 14 and change on day one, so he’s not that far from making the cut. 


Scott Martin

11:36 Another good day for Martin

Scott Martin is still on track. He has a limit and says it’s worth 12 to 13 pounds. 


11:20 Auten culls

Todd Auten just culled up by about a pound. He’s got around 14 pounds in the boat now and is solidly in the lead at this point. That said, we’re off Matt Stefan, so he may be catching and keeping pace. 


11:13 Dudley is catching again

David Dudley just culled up a little. He’s not catching as quickly today, but he says he’s got 11 and change in the boat now. 


Matt Arey

11:09 Arey culls

Matt Arey just caught his sixth fish and culled up. He’s got about 11 pounds now. 


10:35 Frederick, Upshaw

Tim Frederick has a limit for about 8 pounds and is down in 9 flipping and cranking some rip rap. Also in 9, Andrew Upshaw has zero bass. 


Jim Moynagh

10:20 A limit for Moynagh

Jim Moynagh just filled out his limit with a nice smallmouth from the reeds. He thinks he’s got about 11 pounds now. 


10:18 Pool 9, Thrift

It’s a mixed report down in Pool 9. Buddy Gross has zero, but Clark Reehm has 10 pounds. It’s still early, but most of the pros down there are probably going to try and give themselves as much time as possible to get back, so time is at least a little limited.

Meanwhile, chilling in Pool 8, Bryan Thrift has about 12 pounds in the livewell and just landed a 3-pounder. He may not like rivers, but he’s not the hottest in the world by accident. 


10:14 Arey limits

Matt Arey just filled his limit out with a 2-pounder of the green variety. He’s going to want to cull a few, but that’s not a bad start at all.  


Jim Moynagh

10:06 No. 4

Jim Moynagh just added a 2-pound green one to his limit. Today seems to be a little bit slower, so just staying consistent will probably be enough to move up the standings. With everyone so close, another 12+ will probably go a long way. 


10:02 It’s raining

The weather was really quite nice on day one, but it’s pretty nasty today. To go with the cold and wind, it is now raining decently in many areas. Through it, Todd Auten made a big move, down nearly to the bottom of Pool 8. 


9:55 Moynagh

Jim Moynagh is back in the same reeds he fished on day one. He’s got two largemouth and one smallmouth and is slinging a wacky rig today. 


9:50 Gosselaar update

Chris Gosselaar has zippo. He’s throwing a spinnerbait and says he lost one trying to boat flip it. 


Justin Atkins

Joshua Weaver

9:30 Gagliardi, Arey, Weaver, Atkins

Anthony Gagliardi has three for about 8 pounds. Justin Atkins and Josh Weaver each have one keeper.

Matt Arey just landed his fourth keeper, but it’s not of any particular size. 


9:05 Lawyer and Arey

Jeremy Lawyer has two keepers in the boat and is fishing down in Pool 9 now. Matt Arey is up to three keepers – no word on the size of the third. 


9:03 Auten limits

Todd Auten just filled out his limit for about 13 pounds. He’s locked in a date with the weekend and might well be in contention for the lead come the end of the day. 


8:59 Four for Auten

Todd Auten just popped his fourth keeper of the morning. Timmy Thompkins is fishing in the same little area with him now. 


8:55 It’s cold

The water temperature down by Stoddard has fallen to 60 degrees. It was 70 degrees or better in practice. Folks are still catching pretty well despite the chill, and these northern bass are hearty, but it’s got to add to the degree of difficulty at least a little. 


Luke Dunkin

8:50 Dunkin and Thompkins

Luke Dunkin has a bagel in the boat so far. Timmy Thompkins has three, but no special size. 


Matt Arey

8:45 Arey with No. 2

Matt Arey just landed his second keeper of the day, a solid 2-pounder. 


8:40 It’s game on in Pool 9

The lock into Pool 9 just opened and a bunch of pros have rolled through. Getting back might not be a sure thing, but you gotta risk it for the biscuit. 


Todd Auten

8:21 Auten again

Todd Auten is smoking today. The Carolina pro just popped a 2+ smallmouth in the boat for his third keeper. 


8:20 Britt, Weisenburger, Tutt, Stefan

Aaron Britt has started off pretty well with a pair of 2-pounders. Kyle Weisenburger has one keeper in the boat as well. Meanwhile, Jim Tutt is still fishless.

As for Matt Stefan, the Wisconsin pro just rolled in to the parking lot at Stoddard. He’s on to his secondary stuff while he kills time waiting for the lock into Pool 9. 


Todd Auten

8:13 Auten with a good one

Todd Auten just added a 3-pounder to his limit. Now he’s got two, with one that will almost certainly make the ride back to weigh-in. 


Matt Arey

8:12 A keeper for Arey

Matt Arey is on the board now with his first keeper. It’s nothing too special. 


David Dudley

8:10 Stoddard, Dudley

On day one dozens and dozens of boats filtered through the horseshoe are down by Stoddard, but today there are only 18 starting there. Most folks must feel that it’s a little played out.

David Dudley is off his pace from day one, and has just one 2-pounder in the boat so far. 


Zack Birge

7:56 Birge

Zack Birge has two in the boat, one 2-pounder and a dink. 


Todd Auten

7:54 Auten gets on the board

Todd Auten thinks his area is a little played out, but he just caught one anyhow. His first is a decent keeper largemouth, but not anything huge. 


7:48 Stefan and barges

Matt Stefan says he wants to lock down into Pool 9, but there’s a barge in the lock at the moment. He just went to a spot where he had a 2-pounder on a bed, but she was either gone or uncatchable. He’s got some decisions to make now. On the barge front, there are another two headed up Pool 9 from the bottom, besides the one at the lock. That could turn into a big factor today. 


Scott Martin

7:43 Suggs, Martin

Scott Suggs has one 3-pounder to start his day. Scott Martin just boxed up his third, but it’s a real dink. 


7:30 Robertson, Martin

Darrel Robertson has one keeper in the boat so far today. Fishing near Matt Arey, Scott Martin has two 2-pounders to start. 


Dan Morehead

7:28 Morehead has two

Dan Morehead has a pair of keeper largemouths so far. He’s in Pool 8 and is flipping brush. 


Dylan Hays

7:26 Hays with one

Dylan Hays is on the board with a 3-pound smallie to start.


7:24 Chasing Thrift

On the Angler of the Year side of things, cut day could make for some big moves. On day one, Bryan Thrift caught 12 and chance and is mired in 74th. Other than Andy Morgan (tied for third) and Mark Rose (48th), his other competitors faltered as well. Scott Canterbury, who is in second in the points, is actually behind Thrift, albeit by just a smidge. If Canterbury is going to close the gap on Thrift, he’ll need to do work today. 


Matt Stefan

7:18 Stefan breaks the ice

Matt Stefan has started his day with a scrawny keeper smallmouth. Keepers on the Mississippi must be 14 inches, so it’s decent, but far from massive. 


Billy Hines

7:15 Two for Hines

Billy Hines, who started the day in 151st, is on the board early with a pair of smallmouths and is catching pretty quickly. It’s good to know the fish are biting somewhere. 


Matt Stefan

7:05 Stefan and Arey have started on bedding fish

Both Matt Stefan and Matt Arey have started trying to catch bedding fish. Arey is nearby in a small pocket and Stefan is re-running some smallmouth that rolled on his prop bait in practice. So far neither has had any luck, but it’s likely just a matter of time. 


7:00 There’s a barge

Currently there’s a barge in the lock to Pool 7. Not too many folks actually went to 7 on day one, so it probably won’t have a huge effect, but it’s an inconvenience nonetheless. No word on how long it will take to clear. 


Matt Stefan

6:45 Stefan leads by a smidge

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Evinrude on the Mississippi really wasn’t as bad as advertised. Though the water is higher and muddier than it was, the fishing was still excellent and the weather was actually a pretty moderate. It’s already much colder on day two, and the rain and mud will have had more time to get into or settle out of the system – maintaining consistency is likely to be a challenge.

Matt Stefan and many others targeted spawners on day one, and most of the better bags contained at least a few smallmouths. That trend is likely to continue, but mixing in some largemouths is usually the best path to consistency on the Mississippi, so some pros might be looking to make changes. Regardless, it should be a cutthroat battle for the top 20 cut. Jim Dillard is in 21st with 14 pounds, 10 ounces and Grae Buck is in 55th with 13-1 – it is amazingly tight out there.


Day one GoPro highlights 



Temperature at takeoff: 46 degrees

Forecast high: 56 degrees

Sky: cloudy

Precipitation: 50 percent chance of rain

Wind: NE at 12 mph

Water levels


Tournament details

Format: All pros and co-anglers will compete for two days. The co-angler champion will be crowned on day two, and the field will be cut to the top 20 pros on day three and the top 10 pros on day four. The winners will be determined by total cumulative weight.

Takeoff Time: 6:30 a.m. CT

Takeoff Location: Veterans Freedom Park, 1 Clinton St., La Crosse, Wis.

Weigh-In Time: 3 p.m. CT on days one and two; 4 p.m. CT on days three and four

Weigh-In Location: Veterans Freedom Park all days

FLW Live: Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. CT to 12:30 p.m. CT