Tag Archives: Mississippi River

Mississippi River La Crosse BFL – April 29, 2017 – Bass Fishing Tournament Recap

My first tournament of the year has come and gone, covering what went down in this blog.  This is the first time I have ever fished an April tournament in MN or WI and not really fished this part of the Mississippi River in April.  For those that hate reading, just jump right to my tournament recap video embedded below.

That being said I have fished several tournaments out of La Crosse including several BFLs.  I was able to get two full days of practice the Thursday and Friday before the tournament and 2 hours on Wednesday night.  From the time I launched my boat on Wednesday night to tournament morning, the water temps went from almost touching 60 degrees to 47-48 degrees in the area I started the tournament on.

In practice, I had decent success flipping a black blue tube rigged with a 1/4oz BassTEK Tungsten Flipping Weight as well as a 3/8oz Bladed Swim Jig paired with a Menace grub worked around wood and grass.

Chatterbait Tube
My Best Baits from Tournament & Practice

In the end, I could not find the current based staging fish and as cold as the water got, my slack water banks and flats became trash with the rapidly cooling water and it pushed the fish to people like Cade who smashed them!  Check out his video to learn something about Mississippi River bass fishing.

Basically, during the tournament, my bites ended up being cut in a third from practice.  I ended up 69th place out of 154.  In the end, it was good to get the boat out and fish a derby early.  On the down side, I caught a really nice head cold.

I really believe that the guys coming for the FLW Tour in a couple weeks will really catch them on the Mississippi River.  The cold weather we had, will keep them fish from getting to Post Spawn for them, so they should have a lot of shallow biting fish to catch for their event.  I think the weed flats around Stoddard and “The Box” will look and fish like the “Monkey Box” of Lake Okeechobee, other likely popular areas to fish will be Goose Island, Target Lake, & Lawrence Lake in Pool 8 and then Lake Onalaska in Pool 7, a few guys will likely make the run to fish the upper end of Pool 9 as well.  Should be a very exciting tournament to follow, there will likely be spawning fish as well as a few frog fish starting to bite.  Swim Jigs, Chatterbaits, and flipping techniques should be quite strong as well.

In other news, check out this YouTube Fantasy Fishing Picks web series I started if you are into Fantasy Bass Fishing.

Fall Bass Fishing Collaboration Beat Down with Bass Utopia

Hey all,

Been a long winter, but I am getting the itch big time this spring.  Compared to last year, I am way ahead of the game, I actually got the boat out fishing on the Mississippi River on April 1st, it ran great and we caught some bass, all in all a good start.  Pictured is one of the best fish of they day.

Pre Spawn Largemouth Bass Mississippi River
Pool 2 Spring Largie

Also, I finally got the bug to do some video editing of previously recorded GoPro footage I had some some drives.  Trying out some new video editing software I just added to my new laptop.

Below is a pretty fun couple of hours of early fall bass fishing with Jason Holmer of Bass Utopia boiled down to 10 mins of highlights.  We only weighed the 3 biggest fish, but the best 5 easily topped 25lbs.

All our fish were caught on flipping jigs and vibrating jigs, my jig of choice was a BassTEK 3/8oz Okeechobee Craw with various trailers.  I also caught several fish later in the day on a Black Blue chatterbait style vibrating bladed jig.

My goal is to produce a lot more video content this year, leave a comment on this blog or on video, let me know what  you want to see.  Maybe even subscribe so you don’t miss any new videos!

Tight Lines – Rich
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Mid Summer Update

I know in my last post, I said I was going to blog more, not that great, but here I am.  Work, Business, Family and other stuff has kept me off the water more then I would have chosen.

I have only fished 3 small tournaments thus far, but good news, cashed checks in all of them.  Winning would have been better, but anytime you are cashing and losing less money then most, so that is a good thing!

Two of the tournaments I fished down in La Crosse with my buddy Kevin, we fished some Bass World Sports team tournaments, got big bass in both and got 3rd and 4th places.  They may tournament all are fish fell pray to Bladed Swim Jigs and Tubes, no real surprise for the river.

Rich Lindgren & Kevin Ruh
15lb Pool 7 Bag from May

The early June tournament, we got most of our fish flipping 3/8oz Black and Blue BassTEK Tungsten jigs on various types of cover for a nice mixed bag of fish.

Kevin Ruh & Rich Lindgren
Grinding to 14lbs & 3rd Place on Pool 8

The other event was a Bass Pursuit event on O’Dowd on June7th, it was a tough bite, but we scratched out a few 2-3lbrs on Dropshot and 3/8oz BassTEK Jigs in Magic Craw on deeper weed edges bordering hard bottom areas.  The weights were so low, we didn’t even both to snap a picture of the fish.

Quick Pic of some Magic Craw Goodness!
Quick Pic of some Magic Craw Goodness!

Next up this week is the annual Pan-O-Prog event on Lake Marion which is close to home.  It always seems to be a grind, but it’s nice to fish a few events close to home.

To close, here is a recent video on a local pond to my house.  I don’t always have a ton of time to get out in the boat, but I sneak a little fishing in when I can, not bad eh?

If you can see the video, click here!

Thanks all & Tight Lines,
Rich

La Crosse BFL – July 25, 2014

Better late then never for this blog….

I am always excited to get back to La Crosse and fish a tournament, it is just a really fun place to fish most of the time.  Not always easy, but usually a good time.  I went down with the plan to power fish the grass and slop as that is often the deal in July even though recent high waters would likely have trashed some of the usually good areas on Pool 8. I was able to get down after work on Wednesday evening and get out in the Goose Island area for a few hours before dark, bass fishing was actually pretty easy that night, lots of fish willing to eat my Evolve Nervous Walker Frog, but not much over 2lbs.

Because of special Wisconsin DNR regs for summer tournaments, this was only a 3 fish limit, so normal quality 2.5lb tourney fish wouldn’t be good enough for a check this week.

2lb practice fish caught on Evolve Nervous Walker Frog
2lb practice fish caught on Evolve Nervous Walker Frog

That being said, my game plan was to set the hook on everything until I found 3lb plus fish, because I knew that is what was needed to hang in this event.

Frog_2.1lbs
Bass Fishing is often just as awesome as the scenery in La Crosse!

Through the next two days of practice, no shortage of bites running all over the bottom half of Pool 8, but 3lb fish were rare and spread out for me.  I found plenty of fish that would be decent in a regular tourney, so I was going to basically going to have to get a lucky bite in this tournament. At this point, I don’t remember my take off number or flight.  I started on some banks in the Goose Island area, caught a quick keeper on a buzzbait and another competitor started opposite bank from me and caught 3 good fish, bummer deal, that was my next stop.  Decision making and timing are such huge deals in tournament fishing.

After that I went to flip grass edges with deeper drops, that place dried up from previous days.  Quick stop to fill my limit on a smallie spot that produced small keepers and then back to frogging and flipping.  The following video shows my 3 best keepers from the next area and the 3 fish that I weighed.  Caught on Nervous Walker Frogs and Evolve Kompak Craw punched in grass mats.

Tried a handful of other areas during the day, but I ended up with exactly what I had in practice, 3 fish for 7.5lbs and a slightly better then average finish but no check.

Next tourney BASS Nation Northern Divisionals on Monroe Lake in Bloomington, IN.

What I really needed in this event was a bite like this one in the below video from Lake Waconia

BFL Mississippi River La Crosse – May 17, 2014

After doing well in this first BFL spring event last year, I
was really looking forward to fishing it again, but with a busy hectic spring, I found myself scrambling the Wednesday night before getting my boat and tackle ready for this event.  Thursday May 15th,
was actually the first day I got my boat out all year, which has to be some kind of record for me.  Not a good record to break at all.  Also, some home obligations didn’t allow me to get down to La Crosse and on the water until 11am.  The Mississippi River near La Crosse is a vast sprawling body of to begin with, but to complicate matters more the water was over flood stage and rising for my practice and through the tournament.  I had actually never been on this pool with the water this high.

As I continually have short practices for most of my tournaments, I have kind of learned to try to find an area or section of water that I feel good about and try to find some fish and then continually expand that area.  Running all over the river can kill you in practice and in the tournament. To start my practice I launched at the Stoddard ramp.  My practice started fishing some drops off
well known grass flats with a lipless crankbait that results in a few bites and a handful of chunky northern pike, time to move on.

From there I tried some steeper banks with current breaks
figuring that with fluctuating water the fish could easily adapt, only produced more northerns and a few short largies.  My next stop was the closing dam that produced most of my fish last year.  My first few casts with produced nothing, but I didn’t feel like I was getting bit, so I up-sized my mojo weight to a 1/4oz tungsten weight and instantly caught a chunky prespawn smallmouth.  I got bit on the next few casts, which included 3.5lb class fish.  I then picked up a DT6 to see if they would hit a reaction bait, my first cast over the sweet spot yielded a double.  It was another big smallies with a keeper hanging on for dear life until shaking loose next to the boat.  This was actually my first every double for bass.  Rather than cast anymore there, it was time to find more fish and more water areas in the same section of the river.

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One of the good fish from the school in practice

I spent the rest of the day going back and forth trying to
duplicate this smallsmouth spot and checking for largemouth getting ready to move up.  I ended up catching two more keeper largemouth on a MJ rig or Power Spinner rig, depending on what you call them.  The 2nd fish was a good quality fish and was at the mouth of a likely spawning pocket that had what looked to be the makings of a good area if the weather warmed at all.


My take on the MJ Rig, bulked up a bit…

Day 2 of practice was a complete grind; I worked all kinds
of water new and old to scratch out 3 measly keepers, 2 on a jerkbait and on the MJ rig.  I called my practice a little early to get up to La Crosse for an interview with the local NBC news affiliate, embedded below was the result.  My feeling going into the tournament is that if that school of smallies held up I could have another Top 10 finish, if they didn’t, I knew it would be a grind just to get a limit.

WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

I ended up drawing boat 110 out of 152, which made me a
little nervous about getting on my fish, but also the late check-in time could be well worth it with the sunny warm day that was forecasted.  My co-angler was a local, who agreed that fishing had been pretty tough for him as well.  Take off and getting down to my fish went as smooth as one could hope.  It only took a few casts with my mojo rig to connect with a keeper smallie.  Not the fish I was hoping for, but showed me fish were here and in the past this spot has mixed sizes of fish.   By 8am I had my limit of smallies, but most of them small and my co-angler had 3 smallies, but he got two bites in the 3lb class.
We both missed and lost what felt like good fish early.  It kind of felt like some fish had left this spot, so I tried bouncing around the area to fish areas where I thought they were headed and then I would return to this area hoping they would get a rest and be ready to bite again.  It worked once for a nice cull, but it just wasn’t producing enough bites or the size.

A little before noon, I headed down to the area where I caught one good largemouth in practice.  Working my way in we quickly connected with several short fish, but this felt like a good sign of activity for fish moving into this area.  I missed a few bites, my co-angler got 2 keeper largemouth on bladed jig, and I got one good bite flipping to get rid of another sub-standard smallmouth.  With
one hour of fishing time left, I decided to go back to the current area.  Honestly, I think I could have gotten another bite or two in the largemouth area, but I felt my best chance for a big bag was to go back to see if that school had reposition or fired up.  Since I am not fishing all the BFLs this year, points didn’t really matter and I wanted to shoot for a good payday.  I ended up catching a short, a catfish and a walleye in the last hour.

Rich Lindgren BFL
Photo via Coulee Region Adventures

Final result was 10lbs – 15oz which was good enough for 31st,
one spot out of the money by 2oz.  Kudos to my co-angler Josh, catching those two nice smallies propelled his limit to 11lbs and a 4th place finish on the non-boater side.  Honestly I think I had a decent game plan, if I had gotten the right bites I could have had a nice check, but maybe I overestimated the quality of the school or not recognized they were leaving and put too much time into it during the tournament, but that is fishing and it’s all about decisions.

For those that don’t like to read, feel to watch the video summary below and I also have some GoPro fish catches from practice and tournament morning.

Rich