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2:29 p.m. – Shutting it down
We don’t mean to leave anyone in suspense, but there’s really no way around it today. This tournament is turning out to be so tight at the top of the leaderboard that almost anything can happen in the next hour when pros are required to check in.
Jacob Wheeler is still unofficially in the lead, but Tom Monsoor is about a pound off, and weights for both those limits are just estimates. Pair that with the fact that Zack Birge has been culling and Tyler Stewart is still in good shape right below him and we could be looking at a four- or five-horse race when the dust settles.
For as slow as the fishing was today, there certainly hasn’t been any lack of intrigue and excitement when it comes to figuring out the outcome.
Thanks for following along today and throughout the tournament. Coverage will pick back up at 4 CT with the live weigh-in show, during which a champion of the second Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament will be crowned.
2:00 p.m. – Monsoor surging
Tom Monsoor just made things incredibly interesting. He culled up in a big way and increased his limit to about 9 pounds – just a pound off the lead. Meanwhile, Jacob Wheeler is stuck in Pool 7 to fish a little longer after missing the lock.
If Monsoor manages to cull again and Wheeler doesn’t, this thing could come down to ounces. The same could be said for Tyler Stewart and Zack Birge, who are just a couple pounds back.
There’s still so much room in some of these anglers’ bags to make moves, but time is dwindling. Pros now have about 90 minutes to get back to check-in.
FLW Live is going off the air. Video coverage will pick back up at 4 CT for weigh-in. We’ll continue to update the live blog and leaderboard for the next 30 minutes.
1:30 p.m. – FLW Live going off the air in 30
FLW Live will shut down at 2:00 CT as pros finish off their days before 3:30 check-in. Weigh-in will start at 4:00 on flwfishing.com. In the meantime, we’ll be keeping the live blog and leaderboard rolling up until 2:30 to keep you up to date on all the action.
Jacob Wheeler’s still in the lead, but we’ve got some movement further down the leaderboard. Kyle Hall now has a 9-pound limit and is about 4 pounds back of Wheeler. That’s a couple kicker bites away as long as Wheeler doesn’t extend the lead.
David Walker is also chipping away. He has two keepers now as he continues to flip everything that looks fishy. Cody Meyer is headed back to Pool 8 after spending all day in Pool 9. He’ll likely poke around in 8 for a bit trying to improve on his 9-pound stringer.
Walker, Scott Wiley and Bailey Boutries are the only anglers in the top 10 without a limit. None of them have more than two keepers, which should tell you just how tough the fishing has been today.
12:57 p.m. – Stacked weights at the top
Not much has changed at the top of the leaderboard. Jacob Wheeler is still in command and well on his way to a second Pro Circuit Super Tournament win in as many tries. He has more than a 2-pound cushion on the rest of the field and he’s locking back down to Pool 8 to finish out his day. Wheeler wanted to make sure he got back before a barge made its way into the lock.
Tom Monsoor is unofficially just an ounce behind Tyler Stewart (who hasn’t upgraded at all) after filling out his limit. It’s a small limit – about 7 3/4 pounds – but it’s small enough that a couple kickers can really make a huge difference. He found them yesterday and might have a window opening up this afternoon before 3:30 CT check-in.
Weights have been really down today all across the board. Those 13- and 14-pound bags just haven’t happened yet, and most of the top 10 is stuck on single digits or with less than a limit altogether. In a tough derby, it’s only fitting that Championship Saturday is the toughest day of them all.
12:15 p.m. – Wheeler in command
Jacob Wheeler is back in the lead. The No. 1 bass angler on the planet found his fifth and then a 4-ounce cull to move up to about 12 1/2 pounds for the day. That’s been the magic number for Wheeler so far this week having weighed in 12-plus-pound bags each of the last two days. If Wheeler holds on, he’ll be in the midst of one of the most impressive tournament runs in FLW history after winning the Toyota Series event at Pickwick a couple months ago and the Pro Circuit Super Tournament on Chickamauga last month.
Tyler Stewart can still catch Wheeler, though. He’s only about 2 pounds behind and hasn’t done much (if any) culling today. He still has some babies in his bag that he can replace pretty quick if he finds the right stuff.
The same goes for Zack Birge, who only has about 7 1/2 pounds in his five-fish limit. That’s a ton of room to upgrade as the day goes on, and he’s only about 3 1/2 pounds back of Wheeler.
For Wheeler, it just comes down to continually applying the pressure to the pros behind him. With 12 1/2 in his livewell, one more kicker might just seal the deal.
11:40 a.m. – Stewart takes lead with a flipping stick
Tyler Stewart picked up a flipping stick after frogging for the entire tournament to this point. Two flips later and he added two fish to fill out his limit and move into the lead. Jacob Wheeler still only has four, so we can reclaim the lead with one decent fish, but Stewart is applying the pressure. He’s going to stick with the flipping rod for now in the hopes of sticking a big kicker.
Speaking of changeups, Cody Meyer decided to switch to the frog rod in lieu of his typical finesse approach. He hasn’t had much luck yet, but he needs to find a big bite somehow. He’s currently in fifth place with a 9-pound limit in the box.
At the bottom of the top-10 leaderboard, not much has changed. Fishing has been especially slow today, likely due in part to rising water scattering some fish anglers previously were relying on. This has also been the slowest part of the day each of the last three days. The bite should pick up in an hour or so, giving those bottom five anglers a chance to fill out a limit and make some moves.
11:13 a.m. – Boutries on the board as Stewart chips away
Jacob Wheeler is finally to his spot in Pool 7 after locking through earlier. Getting on-the-water media folks to him isn’t easy. That spot is so skinny it’s a wonder Wheeler made it back there as quickly as he did. That’s a spot Wheeler has found some quality fish so far this week, and he’s swinging for the fences before trying to get back into Pool 8 ahead of a barge that’s going to be locking through.
Tom Monsoor is still searching for his limit. It’s got to be frustrating for the Mississippi River vet to be missing the quality he’s found the last three days. Typically, the Black River is good to Monsoor, but it’s been stingy so far today. Still, he has plenty of time to fill out his limit (he has four at the moment) and maybe catch a kicker or two as well.
Tyler Stewart is only a few pounds back with only three fish in his livewell. So he’s got the wiggle room to make some moves here heading into the afternoon. A couple 2-pounders puts him in great shape. He’s sitting with three fish for 6 1/4 pounds.
Bailey Boutries struggles mightily most of the day yesterday before taking advantage of a flurry later in the afternoon to catch his limit. That’s been the case again today, though he did just boat a 2 1/2-pound smallie. He becomes the last angler in the top 10 to get on the board. Boutries still has some work to do, but he’s had a heck of a week in any case.
10:25 a.m. – Tracking down Meyer, Wiley on the board
Cody Meyer is about as far down on Pool 9 as you can possibly go. He’s fishing a weedless Ned rig on some rock, which is essentially what he did yesterday, though he did mix in a tube as well.
Scott Wiley finally has his first keeper in the boat. “Well, at least we ain’t gonna zero.” That’s one way to put it. Wiley still has a ton of time to fish and with the week he’s had, it’s a safe bet the day one leader isn’t coming in with four fish again today.
Jacob Wheeler is talking to the lockmaster into Pool 7. If he makes the jump, you can bet he’s going in there swinging. Wheeler isn’t locking into Pool 7 just to find small limit fish.
10:05 a.m. – Wheeler extends his lead
Only two pros have yet to catch a keeper today. Kyle Hall and David Walker are the most recent to join the party. They each have one small one in the box.
Jacob Wheeler has added to his bag with a small keeper to bring him one short of a limit. He has 9 3/4 pounds with a 3-pound lead over Cody Meyer, who has the first limit of the day for about 9 pounds.
Scott Wiley, who’s one of the two anglers without a keeper so far, has moved deep into the thick stuff in search of something to get his day going. He’s really picking his area apart, knowing he only need five good bites today. He came up one short of that mark yesterday.
9:28 a.m. – Wheeler, Meyer making moves
Jacob Wheeler is chasing down back-to-back wins in his first two Pro Circuit Super Tournaments, and he’s unofficially in the lead at the moment with three keepers for 8 pounds. He’ll likely need about double that to have a chance at maintaining that lead, but it’s early and he’s Jacob Wheeler.
Cody Meyer is also having a great morning and has moved into second with a full limit for 9 pounds. He’s about a pound back of Wheeler at the moment.
Again our on-the-water reporters have heard anglers talking about the increase in current with the rising water. It seems to have the fish more scattered, or at least not where they were yesterday or the two days before. It may take some pros a while to track down anything substantial.
Zack Birge is still sitting with four small ones in the box and Tom Monsoor has two dinks. He plans on staying in his area to fill out his limit before making a more concerted effort to chase the bigs later on.
8:56 a.m. – Hall, Wylie and Walker making big adjustments
The high water – or something else – has really hurt Kyle Hall’s bite so far today. He was on an absolute tear most of the day yesterday, but he’s struggling this morning. He’s catching some shorts and no keepers.
David Walker is having some bad luck of his own today. He’s flipping wood and seeing fish blow up behind pretty much every laydown he targets after he’s moved away. Walker is still searching for his first keeper.
Like Walker, Scott Wiley is targeting wood, filliping around while running and gunning. And also like Walker, he’s without a keeper so far.
8:41 a.m. – Reehm boats a pair
Clark Reehm has a pair of keepers for about 3 1/2 pounds. So far this week at weigh-in he’s gone 11-6, 15-1 and 11-3. Maybe he’s working an every-other-day big bag pattern. Whatever the case, he’s got a long way to go and also a long time to get there.
While the fishing hasn’t exactly been on fire the last few days, it definitely feels even slower today. Of course, we’re down to 10 anglers, so there’s fewer pros to be getting fish catch reports from, but the guys who are out there just haven’t gotten on them in the first hour and 40 minutes of the day.
8:23 a.m. – Birge adds another, Monsoor on the board
Zack Birge has his fourth boxed up – another small one, but he’ll take it. Cody Meyer has caught two more for a total of 5 pounds (three fish). Tom Monsoor has also joined the party with his first keeper of the day.
One thing to keep an eye on today is the current and how pros are able to adapt and adjust as needed. The water is up even higher than it was yesterday and the current seems to have picked up as well. David Walker says he’s noticed just that in his primary spot this morning.
7:45 a.m. – Early flurry for Birge
Like yesterday, Zack Birge is off to a strong start. He already has three fish in his livewell for about 3 1/2 pounds. It's not much weight, but filling an early limit can go a long way in boosting an angler's confidence, and Birge should be feeling pretty good. He's got two to go for his limit and all day to upgrade it.
Jacob Wheeler also has about 3 1/2 or 3 3/4 pounds, but his is all on one fish. That's really bad news for the rest of the field. Wheeler is so red-hot right now that it's unlikely anyone would even bat an eye if he ended up going back-to-back in Super Tournament wins with a victory today. The guy's just ridiculously good.
Elsewhere, Tyler Stewart and Cody Meyer have each boxed one small keeper apiece.
7:00 a.m. – And then there were 10
We're down to the final 10 in the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Super Tournament field. In nine hours, we'll find out which one stands above the rest.
Tournament leader Tom Monsoor has nine wins with FLW, but only one of those is a Pro Circuit win in 17 years fishing at the highest levels of competition. For the 71-year-old to add his second on his home waters would be pretty special. Can he find the right fish again today? And can he deal with the pressure of knowing he's five good bites away?
We'll find that out and a lot more throughout the day, so be sure to stick around and follow the live blog. FLW Live will be on the air starting at 8 a.m. CT.
Temperature at takeoff: 62 degrees
Forecast high: 83 degrees
Sky: Mix of sun and clouds
Precipitation: 10 percent
Wind: N 4 mph
Hosted by Explore La Crosse
Takeoff: 7 a.m. CT at Stoddard Park, 502 Forest Lane, Stoddard, Wisc.
Weigh-in: 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