Bassmaster Anglers Looking to Salvage Their Year at Mississippi River Elite Finale

Bassmaster Anglers Looking to Salvage Their Year at Mississippi River Elite Finale
Bassmaster Anglers Looking to Salvage Their Year at Mississippi River Elite Finale

Bassmaster Elite Series anglers will be putting it all on the line for the final regular-season tournament of 2016 during the Mississippi River event out of La Crosse, Wis., Sept. 8-11

LA CROSSE, Wis. — A very exciting 2016 season will come to a close for many of the anglers at La Crosse, but the Top 50 in Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points will advance to the AOY Championship on Minnesota’s famed Mille Lacs Lake Sept. 15-18.

Elite anglers sitting within several spots either side of 50th place know that making good decisions and catching the right size bass will make or break how and when their season ends. For those anglers looking to move up in the rankings and earn an invitation to the AOY Championship, this is their last chance.

The other race heating up is at the top of the AOY leaderboard. Gerald Swindle of Warrior, Ala., currently holds a 37-point lead on Texas pro Keith Combs. But anything can happen in this sport, and nothing is official until the Angler of the Year is crowned.

Pools 7, 8 and 9 of the Upper Mississippi River are in play and will kick out a good number of fish. In fact, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the entire field weigh a five-fish limit of bass on the first two days of competition.

Regional pro angler and outdoor writer Glenn Walker has been bass fishing this stretch of river for many years, and he said there will be plenty of both largemouth and smallmouth bass caught and weighed at this event.

“The sheer number of 2- and 3-pounders is amazing,” Walker said. “The fishery is in excellent health, and I expect the Elite Series anglers to really put on a show. This is a numbers fishery, but you won’t likely see many fish over 6 pounds. If you do see one, it will likely be a smallmouth.”

Walker explained that it has been a very wet summer, and the river water levels are high when compared to what is normal this time of year.

“The forecast isn’t calling for much rain between now and when the event is scheduled to begin, so the water levels and conditions should stabilize,” the Minn Kota/Humminbird pro explained. “I expect Pool 7 to produce the bigger fish, and Pool 8 to be best for good numbers of keeper bass. Based on my time bass fishing the river, I think it’ll take 18 to 19 pounds per day to win, but I think we’ll see a couple of limits pushing the 20-pound mark.”

The Elite Series pros will also have access to Pool 9, which is the farthest south of the three, and it is known for producing winning limits of bass in the 18- to 20-pound range.

Iowa game warden and local tournament angler Jeremy King has won bass tournaments on Pool 9 before, and he thinks it will be a major player in this week’s event.

“With the water levels being reduced each day, the bass will be easy to pattern and willing to bite,” King said. “Anything adjacent to main channels and back channels that have current will regularly reload with bass, and the anglers who find a multiple locations like that will find a competitive limit of bass — possibly even some big ones.”

King believes that most of the anglers will fish pools 7 and 8, reducing pressure on 9.

“Pool 9 is much like Pool 8 with an abundance of backwaters,” he explained. “The anglers willing to risk a 45-minute to 1-hour run, including locking down and up, will find some very productive fishing. Is it better than 7 or 8? That’s to be determined, but perhaps a reduced amount of fishing pressure will increase the odds of catching more and larger bass.”

Daily takeoffs are scheduled for 6:15 a.m. at Veterans Freedom Park in La Crosse, Wis., and weigh-ins will be held at the same location at 3:15 p.m.

A total purse of $638,000 will be paid to the Top 50 anglers at La Crosse.

Anglers fortunate enough to finish in the Top 50 will head immediately to Mille Lacs Lake for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year championship and potential qualification for the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro.


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat. Guns

MidwayUSA Pro Series Shooting Mat

G&F Staff

Shooters across the U.S. are using this competition shooting mat.

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish. Records

Upon Further Review: 70-Year-Old Catfish Record Voided

G&F Online Staff - May 22, 2019

Experts agree record channel cat caught in 1949 was actually a blue catfish.

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies. Panfish

Find and Fish Bluegill Beds Efficiently

Terry Madewell - May 22, 2019

You can catch bluegill faster with these strategies.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Mustad

Mustad's Inkvader Octopus Live Jig

From big fish to small, just about any saltwater game fish out there will love the new Mustad Inkvader Octopus Live Jig that Mustad's Russ Whisler shows to OSG's Lynn Burkhead.

Simms

Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor Hoody

John Frazier of Simms Fishing Products helps OSG's Lynn Burkhead understand the new features of the new Simms' Solarflex Ultra Cool Armor sun protection hoody.

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

New Abu Garcia Baitcasting Reels

In the booth of one of fishing's all-time great reel makers, Outdoor Sportsman Group writer Lynn Burkhead and Andrew Wheeler of Pure Fishing discuss one of the brand new baitcasting reels from Abu Garcia being released at ICAST 2019.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range Ammo

10 Best Long-Range Cartridges Ever Made

David Hart - January 14, 2015

Want to test the outer limits of your shooting skill? There's more to successful long-range

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the cooler.

By Other Freshwater

6 Tips for Nighttime Crappie

Keith Sutton - June 19, 2017

Fishing for nighttime crappie gets you out of the summer heat and puts more fish in the...

See More Stories

More News

Also, poaching cases being investigated in Arizona, Montana. Records

Angler Drowns, Elk Freed From Hammock, Another Missouri Record

G&F Online Staff - November 08, 2019

Also, poaching cases being investigated in Arizona, Montana.

2019 edition, now available, commemorates ethical sport and productive science. News

IGFA ‘World Record Game Fishes' Celebrates 80 Years

Jack Vitek - July 15, 2019

2019 edition, now available, commemorates ethical sport and productive science.

'Sudden' failure at intake spillway reported Sept. 2. News

Partial Spillway Failure Reported at Popular Pa. Lake

David Johnson - September 05, 2018

'Sudden' failure at intake spillway reported Sept. 2.

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.