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2:30 p.m. – Final updates
We’re an hour away from check-in for the whole field, and that means it’s time to shut down the live blog and leaderboard.
As it stands right now, Zack Birge is our leader, but there’s still a little time left to fish for those pros already in Pool 8. The lock between Pools 7 and 9 has been jammed up by a barge, so hopefully any pros still in Pool 7 are able to make it back in time.
Scott Wiley and his four aquatic passengers are in Pool 8, close enough to takeoff to be able to find a fifth. He’s so close to being in the unofficial lead that you can bet he’ll be checking in with seconds to spare. He needs to fill out his limit to have a solid chance of grabbing the lead from Birge.
The biggest bag of the day (unofficially) goes to David Walker at the moment, who has about 14 1/2 pounds. He’s in third place and unless our estimates have been off, it’s going to be hard for him to move into the top spot given how rare big kickers are on the Mississippi. Still, he’s a virtual lock to make Championship Saturday at this point.
Just over 4 pounds separate first from 10th right now, and 10th and 20th are about 1 1/2 pounds apart. Weigh-in should prove to be a fireworks show.
Be sure to tun in on flwfishing.com in an hour to see how it all plays out. Thanks for following along today.
2:01 p.m. – Wiley gets his fourth
Scott Wiley hasn’t caught many fish today, but he’s sure caught the right ones. He’s up to four fish for nearly 12 pounds and just a pound off the unofficial lead. Should he fill out his limit, he’s going to overtake Zack Birge (assuming the latter doesn’t upgrade before check-in).
FLW Live was there at the right time, too, right before going off the air. The live blog and leaderboard will be updated until 2:30 CT and then the weigh-in show will pick up at 4 o’clock. Stick around flwfishing.com to see which 10 pros will be fishing on Championship Saturday.
1:38 p.m. – FLW Live going off the air at 2 CT
We have about 25 minutes left before FLW Live goes off the air. All anglers check in at 3:30 today with weigh-in starting at 4 o’clock, so there will be a little longer lull between the end of Live and beginning of the weigh-in show than the last couple days.
Zack Birge took the lead at the beginning of the day today and hasn’t given it up. He also hasn’t upgraded much, though, so there’s a chance he doesn’t bring more than 13 pounds to weigh-in. Then again, he still has a couple hours to run into a kicker before he has to be back.
Adrian Avena, on the other hand, has been working his way up the leaderboard throughout the day. Avena sits in 10th with the same day three weight as Birge, but having 10-13 yesterday really put him at a disadvantage for making a top-10 cut today. But as it stands, he’s right on the bubble.
Speaking of making moves, Bailey Boutries spent all morning searching for his first keeper, and in the last hour, he’s filled out a small limit of about 8 1/2 pounds. He has to be feeling good about that considering how much of a struggle today has been for the young pro. If he can keep that momentum going, he’s got plenty of room to upgrade in that bag.
12:56 p.m. – Gaston surging into top 10
We have weights for 45 of the remaining 50 pros, and based on the top portion of the leaderboard, it’s hard to say if the rising water has really hurt the bite for the majority of the field. It seems like anglers have adapted extremely well to the changing conditions and have made the necessary adjustments to find the right fish.
One angler we haven’t mentioned today is David Gaston, who turned in 12-plus-pound bags each of the last two days and is working on another today. He has 11 pounds and has been culling pretty regularly. With a 12-pounds-per-day average, it might be enough to sneak into the back end of the top 10 and be fishing tomorrow.
Just outside the projected cut, Cody Meyer is finding out what one down day can do for hopes of making a top 10. He had 13-7 on day one but a 9-7 bag yesterday is leaving him with some work to do. Still, Meyer has close to 13 pounds again, and if he can improve on that even more, his sub-10-pound day two might not even matter.
12:18 p.m. – Wheeler with a small limit
We’re approaching that early afternoon bite window and a few anglers are already taking advantage. Scott Wiley now has three fish in the box that should put him over 9 pounds. He has two more fish to go to fill out his limit and if they’re good ones, he’s going to be in excellent shape.
We’ve finally gotten an update on Jacob Wheeler, who has a small limit of about 8 1/4 pounds. Wheeler tends to chip away at bigger and bigger limits throughout the day, and that’s been the case this whole event. There’s a good chance that 8 1/4 is closer to 14 or 15 by the time he checks in this afternoon.
Dustin Connell has been as consistent as they come so far this week. He weighed in 12-12 and 12-5 the first two days, respectively, and he’s working on an 11 1/4 bag at the moment. That’s a great way to sneak into the top 10 if weights hold.
11:22 a.m. – Late-morning lull
As fast as anglers caught their fish this morning, things have slowed down equally as fast. That’s been the case all week, really, and the next bite window has typically been not far behind.
Unfortunately for some anglers, that bite window is going to be smaller with check-in at 3:30 CT for all anglers. That means many pros near the bottom of the top 50 are going to have to work quickly to make some moves. That also means those locking back into Pool 8 need to be careful about how they time up their return trips. As we saw this morning, barge traffic through the locks can mess things up in a hurry.
11:01 a.m. – Walker and Warren making moves
David Walker is doing work right now, He just culled up with one close to 3 pounds and now has about 14 pounds in the box. He jumps unofficially into second place behind Zack Birge. Tom Monsoor is just a couple pounds back, though, and has less than 10 pounds in the livewell right now.
Scott Wiley has been out of service most of the day but he did update that he caught a 4 1/2-pounder. If he keeps at it before returning to Pool 8 later, our next update might be that he’s gunning for first place again.
Chad Warren currently sits in eighth, and he’s quietly having a really solid week. He weighed in just 10-12 on day one but then followed that up with 12-7 yesterday and already has a limit of 11 1/2 today. A couple more quality fish and he might be punching his ticket to Championship Saturday.
Matt Lee is another pro who’s come on strong in the last hour or so. He put three keepers in the box in pretty short order and now has three for 8 pounds. Two more cookie-cutter 2-pounders and he’ll join the 12-pound club, which seems to be the mark many pros need to shoot for to have a chance at fishing tomorrow.
10:30 a.m. – Plenty of limits
Several pros have mentioned that the water has come up since yesterday. Over three days, it’s come up about a foot, including maybe six inches overnight. That might be why we’re seeing fewer anglers throwing frogs and more throwing moving baits looking for where those fish have pulled out to.
That said, the bite is definitely better today across the whole field. We can now account for 10 limits and four more anglers with four in the box. At 10:30, that’s pretty dang solid.
Kyle Hall just made another Cull. He’s frogging and flipping wood near a spillway. That puts the rookie at about 12 pounds and he’s not slowing down.
Tyler Stewart, who has been all over them the first two days, is struggling a bit today. He’s still frogging, but the bite just hasn’t been as hot. He just boated his third keeper for a little over 5 pounds. Likewise, Bailey Boutries is having a pretty rough morning. He’s still without a keeper in the boat.
9:57 a.m. – Leaderboard update
No change at the top of the leaderboard, but there are a bunch of pros knocking at the door.
Birge and Monsoor are unofficially in first and second, respectively, while Dustin Connell has boated more than 11 pounds and sits in third. Kyle Hall is still “putting on a clinic” according to his marshal and has almost 11 pounds as well.
Further down the leaderboard, Cody Meyer is up over the 11-pound mark with a limit. He just made a cull on – no surprise here – a drop-shot. The California hammer is a finesse wizard, and if there are fish to be caught on a spinning rod, he’s going to catch them.
We’re only missing updates from a handful of anglers today. The updates we have gotten suggest pros are doing their fair share of catching decent fish. We count seven limits to this point.
9:22 a.m. – Monsoor has his limit
It’s not a big limit, but Tom Monsoor has one nonetheless. It’ll go about 9 1/2 pounds, which isn’t a bad start considering he’s been fishing for only a couple hours.
Pros have a little extra time to fish today, as weigh-in starts at 4 p.m. CT instead of 3:30 like the last two days. That’ll be helpful for sure for a lot of pros who got middle boat draws the last two days and didn’t have a long day to fish either Wednesday or Thursday.
Zack Birge is still in the unofficial lead, but Monsoor isn’t far behind. And behind those two, Kyle Hall is making a big push with a really solid limit nearing 11 pounds. Hall hasn’t really slowed down at all today. He’s catching them early and he’s catching them often.
Likewise, Dustin Connell is having himself a day. He’s up around the 10-pound mark and culling, thanks in part to a double-up he just pulled over the gunwale. You know you’re having a good derby when you’re going two-for-one on moving day.
The pace really seems to have picked up today as compared to Wednesday and Thursday. We’re seeing some different baits, which may be part of it – as prior days were predicated on frogging – but stable weather conditions really have to have played a big role to this point in the tournament. It’ll be interesting to see if that early afternoon bite window is still going to play today.
8:35 a.m. – Tune in to FLW Live
FLW Live is on the air with six hours of live coverage, including 10 on-the-water cameras covering the final 50 anglers. Be sure to tune in at flwfishing.com.
Zack Birge has his limit now, and it's a pretty good one, especially for having only fished an hour and a half. He's sitting with 11 pounds in the livewell and the unofficial lead.
At least 12 pros have caught multipe keepers so far, but not a lot of them seem to be on a frog today. We've seen a lot of "other" baits being used, primarily of the finesse and dragging variety. We'll see if the frogs start to do the heavy lifting, as they did the last two days, as things start to warm up a bit.
8:03 a.m. – Pool 9 now in play
The lock to Pool 9 is now clear and pros are starting to make their way through. Dustin Connell is among the anglers working that way today, and John Voyles likely won't be far behind after boxing a small keeper while waiting to get in.
Tyler Stewart is back at it again this morning. He already has two in the box for about 4 pounds, and Mike McClelland has the same. Casey Ashley has three keepers for 5 1/2 pounds.
7:40 a.m. – Birge doing work, Monsoor with a pair
Zack Birge just landed another keeper, this time of the 3-pound variety. He's been mixing it up between a frog, crankbait, shaky head and Ned rig so far and he's back to the crankbait now. That puts the Oklahoma pro around 9 1/4 pounds with four fish and in great position to keep making big moves today.
Leader Tom Monsoor hasn't found that same quality yet, but he does have two keepers in the livewell (3 pounds). Thirteen other anglers have already reported fish catches as well, including Tyler Stewart, Bradford Beavers and Ron Nelson.
7:30 a.m. – Lock-jam
Already anglers are running into issues at the locks. John Voyles was the first to arrive at the lock into Pool 9 only to find a barge there, and it sounds like it'll be at least half an hour before pros can potentially get through. We'll see how accurate that estimate is, but today might be a good day for backup-plan water near the locks on each side.
Scott Dobson has already had an eventful morning. He managed to land his first fish of the day with a little elbow grease, hand-lining a small keeper when his line got wrapped on his rod tip. That's one way to get the adrenaline flowing on moving day.
Zack Birge, who weighed in the biggest bag of the tournament on day two, is off to a great start. He already has three fish in the box for 6 pounds – not a ton of weight, but filling a limit early is so crucial in a tough derby such as this. Elsewhere, Kurt Mitchell has a pair of keepers for about 4 1/2 pounds.
7:00 a.m. – It’s moving day on the Mississippi
The top 50 pros in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament on the Mississippi River have taken off from Stoddard Park for day three of what has proven to be a tough derby to this point. In tournaments that feature tougher-than-usual fishing, it’s often the local and more experienced anglers who find the right stuff to make big things happen.
Tom Monsoor is both, and he’s got the lead as day three fires up. The Mississippi River veteran has been doing this a long time, and he worked some magic on day two to pull ahead of the rest of the stacked field on his home waters.
The big question today is if Monsoor can keep up the consistency to maintain the lead. Consistency is so important in a tournament with weights as stacked as they are in this event. Anglers who can consistently fish clean and fill out an early limit before hunting for kickers are the ones who have done well so far.
Be sure to stick around here all day for coverage of the tournament and tune in to FLW Live at 8 a.m. CT. FLW Live will run through 2 p.m. CT and pick back up at 4 p.m. for weigh-in.
Temperature at takeoff: 60 degrees
Forecast high: 81 degrees
Sky: Mix of sun and clouds
Precipitation: 10 percent
Wind: N 5 mph
Hosted by Explore La Crosse
Takeoff: 7 a.m. CT at Stoddard Park, 502 Forest Lane, Stoddard, Wisc.
Weigh-in Days 3 & 4: 4 p.m. CT at Stoddard Park
FLW Live studio and on-the-water show: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. CT all four days
FLW Live weigh-in show: 3:30 p.m. CT to end of weigh-in