Category Archives: FLW Tour

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.

FLW Big O Picks

All, tournament season is now kicking into full swing, there have been a couple Opens and Everstarts in Florida already and now the FLW Tour kicks of tomorrow on Lake Okeechobee.

Along with the Tours starting, big time Fantasy Fishing is starting as well.  You still got time to set your lineups at to play.  Rosters lock for the Big O at midnight eastern tonight.  Look this for being a flippers shootout with a little sight fishing mixed in and a few small swimbaits.

If you don’t think you can beat me or don’t like free prizes, then don’t sign up.  If you need a little help with your team, here is my lineup. Copy it, steal an angler or two or use it as who to avoid, but this is what I got.

Here is a quick break down on each angler:
John Cox – Florida local, great track record, proven he can win on the tour level.
David Dudley – Stud, catches them every where, reigning AOY.
Chad Grigsby – Northern angler that understands Florida grass fishing
Koby Krieger – Perennial contender in Florida
Scott Martin – You shouldn’t have to ask, its in his blood
Brandon McMillan – Rising star, local, past winner
Brandon Medlock – He will make those Big O Bass eat his Medlock Jig
Jacob Powroznik – Solid track record in Florida, redemption tour after AOY runner up
Randall Tharp – He practically lives on Okeechobee with McMillan, last year’s winner
Barry Wilson – Sneaky dark horse pick, Bass Rankings suggests he is good bet on Big O from his Triple A level tournaments on Okeechobee.

Good Luck all, subscribe or stop back for more picks for BASS & FLW all year long!


2012 Bass Closer & More

I did get out fishing for a few hours on the Minnesota Bass Closer, it was hard to leave the laptop and all the Bassmater Classic coverage, but I decided catching was better then watching.  Air temperatures were tolerable, but the wind was ridiculous.  I did catch 7 smallmouth pretty darn quick on a homemade smallie beaver bait on a 1/8oz shakey head.
Then the bite just died on me, I switched to a jerkbait and only mustered one follow.  Next up was an Ima Square Bill and that produced 3 nice chunky smallmouth to round out the trip.  It is always nice to catch a few open water winter bass to keep the cabin fever at a minimum.  On a positive note, it was 55 degrees and in all likely hood I will be fishing the Mississippi River in March and catching a few bass out of my boat.

I continue to be tuning into Major League Fishing every week, and it continues to be a solid product.  This week in the first Sudden Death Elimination round, 6 anglers fished for two spots, the first two to get to 40lbs moved on, the rest eliminated.  Spoiler Alert: Cream rose to the top, KVD & Ehrler advanced.  KVD DOMINATED!

FLW Hartwell tournament starts on Thursday, still time to lock in a Fantasy Fishing roster or make last minute adjustments.  Below is my roster, soon a Podcast will post here, breaking it all down!

Lake Hartwell



Alabama Rig – Next Big Thing or Pushing the Limits?

As I write this blog, Paul Elias is on the verge of blowing away the field on something called the Alabama Rig and after day 2, the angler in 2nd place, Robert Behrle, is also throwing the same rig.  I had never seen anything like it in bass fishing before watching a live on the water video today from FLW.  I expect much more on the Reel Time Reports from FLW soon.  It was hard to see at a distance the type of swimbaits Elias had on his A-Rig.

So I did a little research to find out more about this rig.  Turns out, there is a website for it,

From what I gather, its almost like the donkey rig (double fluke rig) on steroids.  Similar to an umbrella rig used in saltwater, its painted minnow head with 5 wires protruding out the back with snaps to attach lures, allowing you to fish 5 baits at a time.  It seems the most popular scenario is to fish 5 grubs or swimbaits at a time to mimic a small school of baitfish moving through the water.

The big kicker is that it seems to get quality fish and the potential to catch 2-3 fish at time more frequently then one would with any other lure setup.

There already have been a few mumblings and grumbling about whether this rig should be legal in tournaments.  In some states, like Minnesota, this would not be allowed due to state regulations.  Not sure on all states, but it appears to be legal in Alabama.  Seems as though, if its legal for that state, and everyone has access, then fair is fair!

Not sure if this will be hotter then the chatterbait and the Basstrix hollowbelly put together, but I am sure it will make quite the splash and these will be a little hard to find in a short time!  Either way, there will always be a supply of Alabama Rigs on ebay.  What if Kevin VanDam starts throwing 5 Red Eye Shads at a time?  How long before BassPro & Cabela’s have these on the shelf?  Sworming Hornet Lures makes a version called the Sworm.

Here is a good video breaking down some rigging techniques for the Alabama Rig.

Hartwell Fantasy Fishing Picks

If  you haven’t made your picks yet for FLW Tour on Hartwell, better get on it, they start fishing in the morning.  Gonna try pasting my picks from FLW site, see how it works below.  Prizes for Beaver & St. Johns will ship soon, still trying to get a hold of Harris Chain winner….

Lake Hartwell

Listen to the Fantasy Fishing podcast here, special guest this week is Brett Ehrler, he talks about his preference on drop shot setups, his practice & favorite RoboWorm colors…

Anybody of my fellow Minnesotans excited for next week’s Northwest Sportshow?  I think I am actually going there this year with a purpose, camera & video camera in hand, try to do some blog recaps on what is cool & new this year!

Hey – are all you readers subscribers?  If not, why not drop your email in the upper left corner of my blog & click subscribe button, they you can get my blog right in your inbox moments after each entry!

Winter Fishing Rod Maintenance

This post may be a little late for you anglers down south, but there are many of us that have plenty of time to clean up our rods and get them ready for spring fishing.  I was cleaning up a few rods to sell on my Bass

and the rest to clean them up for spring.  Once cork handles get super dirty, then tend to get slippery and lose their grip, which is not a formula for success when fighting big fish in the rain.

So while cleaning my rods, I made a quick video.  Click here if you don’t see it on page.

Hope some of you find it useful and make sure you follow my tip on not using your spouse’s good towels

As long as we are watching videos, here is an extended clip of Kevin VanDam’s post Bassmaster Classic press conference in case you missed streaming live on the internet.  KVD shares some really good nuggets about how he adapted and outfished some of the best anglers in the world. 

Click here for video

Also, congrats to Bryan Thrift for his FLW win on Beaver Lake today.  He is quickly becoming the biggest name on the FLW tour.  Thrift and Ehrler are pretty equivalent of what KvD & Skeet are on the Elite Series.

Stay tuned for Elite Series BASS Fantasy Fishing picks for the Harris Chain early this week!

Another MN Bass Closer Passes

This past weekend the bass fishing season closed in Minnesota and for most inland waters does not open until end of May.  I did not get out on the Bass Closer this year, had too many other things to juggle, but did have a brief bass fishing outing on Lake Bartlett in Arizona earlier in the week, where i caught some of these monsters pictured below…..

As a tribute to the Bass Closer, here is a video of last year’s bass closer and here is a post from 2009 to check out as well.

Finalized my Fantasy Fishing picks for Beaver Lake, working on getting Beaver and Bassmaster Classic prizes out still, trying to get caught up, be patient.  My Picks:
Brent Ehrler
Stetson Blaylock
Greg Bohannon
Randall Tharp
Ray Scheide
Glenn Browne
Bryan Thrift
Andy Morgan
Robbie Dodson
Shin Fukae

Want to hear the breakdown, listen to the podcast coming soon at

Take is easy all!

It’s Fantasy Bass Fishing season again

If you have not played FLW Fantasy Fishing the past few years, I think you are missing the boat.  Check out all the great prizes & cash they are giving out described in this article .  Not too bad, huh?  All that just for picking articles better then your bass buddies!

On top of all the FLW prizes, there are many leagues that you can join to win additional prizes and as per usual I will be having my own league for Bassin Blog readers.  Just head to

FLW League # = 11590 & password : bassin

On top of my normal prizes, if winners are fans of the Bassin Blog on Facebook , they will get extra prizes!

Need some help picking your team?  Listen to a podcast of Greg Huff and I breaking down the first tournament on Lake Okeechobee.  Sorry for the short notice, you only have about 3 hours to get your Big O picks in, but you can still join my league for the rest of the season.

Here is a run down of my anglers, listen to podcast above for details on why.
Chris Lane – Winner
Terry Scroggins
John Cox
Greg Pugh
Scott Martin
Jimmy McMillan
Bryan Thrift
Brent Erhler
Randall Tharp
Glenn Browne

Bassmaster Classic is right around the corner, will post league details and picks for that soon enough.

Crazy Happenings in Bass Fishing

I was all prepared and inspired to document all the things happening in bass fishing right now, but then the guys at Wired2Fish did such a damn good job , I am going to give you a link there , do a little summary and get to bed early!  So read W2F’s blog and see my editorials below:

Triton, Stratos & Ranger boats all under same roof and ownership, good or bad, too ealry to tell.  I see it can go 2 ways, either they use their clout and huge market share to control the price and make bass boats even more expensive for all of us or they use their economies of scale and give us all better products for a better price.  Also, interesting to see what changes they make to Pro-Staff and tournament circuits they sponsor.

KVD is a beast, but I cannot yet dieceide if I like the Post-Seaon format or not, what do you think?  Leave a comment, I think I kind of feel for Skeet.

I think McKInnis leading BASS forward will be a pretty good thing for all bass anglers, it will be great to have the right passion and knowledge leading the organization going forward.

I look for Bryan Thrift or Brent Ehrler to put the crown jewel on one of their awesome seasons!

Good night and see you on Tonka this weekend!

FLW Announces 2011 Tour Schedule

Just a few days after the Bassmaster Elite Series released their schedule, FLW has released theirs.  Kudos to them for some creative marketing, making it look like they are expanding to 10 tourneys, when all they really did is rename the Eastern Series to the Opens and called Tour events Majors.

The 2011 FLW Tour season is listed below and can be viewed

2011 FLW Tour Schedule
Date Fishery Location Tournament
Feb. 2-5 Lake Okeechobee Clewiston, FL – FLW Tour Open
March 2-5 Falcon Lake Zapata,TX – FLW Tour Major
March 23-26 Lake Hartwell Greenville, SC – FLW Tour Major
April 13-16 Lake Chickamauga Chattanooga,TN – FLW Tour Major
May 4-7 Table Rock Lake Branson, MO -.FLW Tour Major
May 18-21 Red River Shreveport, LA – FLW Tour Major
June 1-4 Potomac River National Harbor, MD – FLW Tour Open
June 15-18 Kentucky Lake Murray, KY – FLW Tour Major
Aug. 11-14 Lake Ouachita Hot Springs,AR – Forrest Wood Cup
Sept. 14-17 Lake Champlain Plattsburgh,NY – FLW Tour Open
Oct. 19-22 Lake Guntersville Guntersville, AL – FLW Tour Open

The prestigious Angler of the Year title for 2011 will be determined over the 10 events. The top 30 pros and co-anglers from the FLW Tour Majors will qualify for the 2011 Forrest Wood Cup, which will consist of 58 pros and co-anglers. In 2012, the top 35 pros and co-anglers from the FLW Tour Majors, along with the top five from the 2011 FLW Tour Opens, will qualify for the 2012 Forrest Wood Cup.

The full field will compete the first two days of each FLW Tour event.On day three, the top 75 pros and co-anglers will compete with the co-angler winner being crowned based on cumulative weight from all 3 days. Day four will feature the top five pro anglers with the winner determined by cumulative weight from all four days.

Pro anglers will compete for up to $125,000 and co-anglers will be vying for up to $25,000 in each tournament. With a full field, the paybacks will be $10,000 through 50th place on the pro side and $1,000 on the co-angler side.

Once again in 2011, there are 3 conflicts between BASS & FLW at the Tour level, so no 2 tour pros in 2011!