By John Johnson
BassFan Senior Editor

Tom Monsoor will take a crack at breaking a record that he already holds when the Mississippi River FLW Pro Circuit Super Tournament concludes on Saturday in Stoddard, Wis.

The 71-year-old Monsoor, who lives just upstream in La Crosse, is already the oldest competitor to win an event at FLW's top level he achieved that distinction 3 years ago when he triumphed at the Potomac River. Now he has chance to claim another victory a lot closer to home.

The bite on the river is tough, however, and his confidence level isn't extremely high.

"I don't know what I'm going to catch tomorrow," he said. "The Big Guy has really taken care of me this week because I didn't have anything going everything I had was gone the first morning. I never got a bite at my first two spots and I thought there were schools of fish there.

"Ever since then I've just gone fishing. I hope it works out, but we'll see."

His 13-05 stringer pushed his 3-day total to 42-00. He'll start the final round with a 1-01 advantage over Zack Birge, who moved up 2 places in the standings with a 13-02 bag for a 40-15 aggregate.

David Walker rode the biggest sack of the day (15-00) to a 10-place jump from 13th place to 3rd he trails Monsoor by a pound and a half. In 4th is day-1 leader Scott Wiley, whose 12-06, compiled on only four fish, gave him a 40-05 total.

Jacob Wheeler, the No. 1 angler in the BassFan World Rankings who's got two tour-level wins and one triple-A victory this year, rounds out the Top 5 with 39-12 (12-10 on day 3). The lower half of the Top 10 is comprised of Tyler Stewart with 39-09 (12-06), Kyle Hall with 39-00 (13-09), Bailey Boutries with 37-13 (9-15), Clark Reehm with 37-10 (11-03) and Cody Meyer with 37-09 (14-11).

Meyer climbed 37 positions with a bag that was 5 1/2 pounds heavier than the one he weighed on day 2. Angler of the Year points leader Ron Nelson was one of three competitors who exited the Top 10, but his 12th-place finish will give him a lead of nearly 70 points with just one regular-season event remaining.

Monsoor saved his day in the final half-hour when he caught a 3 1/2-pounder and two 2 1/2s. He weighed four largemouth and a smallmouth.



FLW/Jody White
Photo: FLW/Jody White

A 4-pound largemouth highlighted David Walker's day-best 15-01 haul.

"Without those I would've had 10 pounds," he said. "I caught 50 fish, but there was just no size. I'm throwing a couple different types of jig and I even stooped to throwing a Ned rig today.

"I (was able to fish) every spot I wanted to today except for the first one, where some ski boat wanted to chase me off. He rode right over the spot and shut it down. I caught three of the fish I weighed there yesterday, but today I ended up culling the two I caught."

Walker's bag was more than 2 pounds heavier than either that he'd previously weighed. It contained a 4-pounder and a trio of 3s.

"The mystery in fishing is what's different from one day to the next and I really don't know," he said. "I'm still catching them the same way, but I just caught bigger ones today. The water (level is) coming up and the fish are moving where they were, they aren't and where they weren't, they are.

"I'm kind of just bird-dogging it out there I run here and sniff around and then run there and sniff around some more. I'm mostly flipping and frogging because anytime I've ever been here, that's what works. You've got to use the tools that fit the job. The (catch) numbers are way down from what they usually are here and it's more of a grind, but that suits my style, too. I'm pretty stubborn and I'll just stick with it."

Notable

> Day 3 stats 50 anglers, 36 limits, 6 fours, 3 threes, 1 two, 2 ones, 2 zeroes.

Weather Forecast

> Fri., July 31 Partly Cloudy - 84/61
- Wind: From the N at 6 mph

> Sat., Aug. 1 Mostly Sunny - 84/66
- Wind: From the NNW at 5 mph

Day 3 Standings

1. Tom Monsoor -- La Crosse, Wi -- 14-3 (5) -- 14-8 (5) -- 13-5 (5) -- 42-0 (15)

2. Zack Birge -- Blanchard, Ok -- 11-7 (5) -- 16-6 (5) -- 13-2 (5) -- 40-15 (15)

3. David Walker -- Sevierville, Tn -- 12-10 (5) -- 12-13 (5) -- 15-1 (5) -- 40-8 (15)

4. Scott Wiley -- Bay Minette, Al -- 15-3 (5) -- 12-12 (5) -- 12-6 (4) -- 40-5 (14)

5. Jacob Wheeler -- Harrison, Tn -- 14-14 (5) -- 12-4 (5) -- 12-10 (5) -- 39-12 (15)

6. Tyler Stewart -- West Monroe, La -- 12-3 (5) -- 15-0 (5) -- 12-6 (5) -- 39-9 (15)

7. Kyle Hall -- Granbury, Tx -- 10-15 (5) -- 14-8 (5) -- 13-9 (5) -- 39-0 (15)

8. Bailey Boutries -- Daphne, Al -- 13-12 (5) -- 14-2 (5) -- 9-15 (5) -- 37-13 (15)

9. Clark Reehm -- Elm Grove, La -- 11-6 (5) -- 15-1 (5) -- 11-3 (5) -- 37-10 (15)

10. Cody Meyer -- Auburn, Ca -- 13-7 (5) -- 9-7 (4) -- 14-11 (5) -- 37-9 (14)

The following anglers did not make the cut and will not fish on day 4.

11. Clayton Batts -- Butler, Ga -- 12-3 (5) -- 13-14 (5) -- 11-2 (5) -- 37-3 (15) -- $14,000

12. Ron Nelson -- Berrien Springs, Mi -- 14-4 (5) -- 13-0 (5) -- 9-14 (5) -- 37-2 (15) -- $14,000

13. Mark Davis -- Mount Ida, Ar -- 8-4 (5) -- 15-12 (5) -- 13-2 (5) -- 37-2 (15) -- $14,000

14. Adrian Avena -- Vineland, NJ -- 13-0 (5) -- 10-13 (5) -- 13-4 (5) -- 37-1 (15) -- $14,000

15. David Gaston -- Sylacauga, Al -- 12-6 (5) -- 12-9 (5) -- 12-0 (5) -- 36-15 (15) -- $14,000

16. Bradford Beavers -- Summerville, SC -- 14-2 (5) -- 13-7 (5) -- 9-5 (4) -- 36-14 (14) -- $14,000

17. Casey Ashley -- Donalds, SC -- 12-5 (5) -- 12-8 (5) -- 12-1 (5) -- 36-14 (15) -- $14,000

18. Paul Elias -- Laurel, Ms -- 12-3 (5) -- 12-7 (5) -- 12-3 (5) -- 36-13 (15) -- $14,000

19. Bobby Lane -- Lakeland, Fl -- 11-3 (5) -- 13-1 (5) -- 12-9 (5) -- 36-13 (15) -- $14,000

20. Matt Lee -- Bremen, Al -- 13-15 (5) -- 11-8 (5) -- 11-3 (5) -- 36-10 (15) -- $14,000

21. Dustin Connell -- Clanton, Al -- 12-12 (5) -- 12-5 (5) -- 11-8 (5) -- 36-9 (15) -- $11,000

22. Jacob Wall -- New Hope, Al -- 10-10 (5) -- 12-8 (5) -- 13-1 (5) -- 36-3 (15) -- $11,000

23. Kurt Mitchell -- Milford, De -- 11-2 (5) -- 13-10 (5) -- 11-3 (5) -- 35-15 (15) -- $11,000

24. Alton Jones Jr -- Lorena, Tx -- 12-2 (5) -- 10-4 (5) -- 13-4 (5) -- 35-10 (15) -- $11,000

25. Chad Warren -- Sand Springs, Ok -- 10-12 (5) -- 12-7 (5) -- 12-5 (5) -- 35-8 (15) -- $11,000

26. Jon Englund -- Farwell, Mn -- 13-1 (5) -- 12-0 (5) -- 10-4 (5) -- 35-5 (15) -- $11,000

27. Matthew Stefan -- Junction City, Wi -- 12-11 (5) -- 11-14 (5) -- 10-11 (5) -- 35-4 (15) -- $11,000

28. Darrell Davis -- Dover, Fl -- 11-2 (5) -- 12-9 (5) -- 11-7 (5) -- 35-2 (15) -- $11,000

29. Justin Lucas -- Guntersville, Al -- 11-1 (5) -- 11-14 (5) -- 11-15 (5) -- 34-14 (15) -- $11,000

30. Brent Ehrler -- Redlands, Ca -- 11-10 (5) -- 12-0 (5) -- 10-4 (5) -- 33-14 (15) -- $11,000

31. Jeremy Lawyer -- Sarcoxie, Mo -- 12-0 (5) -- 11-5 (5) -- 10-9 (5) -- 33-14 (15) -- $10,000

32. Josh Bertrand -- San Tan Valley, Az -- 11-8 (5) -- 12-0 (5) -- 10-3 (5) -- 33-11 (15) -- $10,000

33. Rusty Salewske -- Alpine, Ca -- 11-2 (5) -- 11-6 (5) -- 11-3 (5) -- 33-11 (15) -- $10,000

34. Cole Floyd -- Leesburg, Oh -- 9-9 (4) -- 13-14 (5) -- 10-1 (5) -- 33-8 (14) -- $10,000

35. Evan Barnes -- Hot Springs, Ar -- 11-2 (5) -- 12-13 (5) -- 9-8 (5) -- 33-7 (15) -- $10,000

36. John Voyles -- Petersburg, In -- 12-2 (5) -- 11-12 (5) -- 9-2 (4) -- 33-0 (14) -- $10,000

37. Mark Daniels Jr -- Tuskegee, Al -- 11-5 (5) -- 11-3 (5) -- 10-5 (5) -- 32-13 (15) -- $10,000

38. Braxton Setzer -- Wetumpka, Al -- 12-10 (5) -- 11-0 (5) -- 9-2 (5) -- 32-12 (15) -- $10,000

39. Scott Dobson -- Clarkston, Mi -- 12-10 (5) -- 10-9 (5) -- 9-4 (5) -- 32-7 (15) -- $10,000

40. Dean Rojas -- Lake Havasu City, Az -- 11-3 (5) -- 12-11 (5) -- 7-13 (4) -- 31-11 (14) -- $10,000

41. Mike McClelland -- Blue Eye, Mo -- 12-13 (5) -- 12-7 (5) -- 5-14 (3) -- 31-2 (13) -- $10,000

42. Justin Atkins -- Florence, Al -- 9-7 (5) -- 13-15 (5) -- 7-3 (4) -- 30-9 (14) -- $10,000

43. Edwin Evers -- Talala, Ok -- 12-1 (5) -- 11-6 (5) -- 6-13 (4) -- 30-4 (14) -- $10,000

44. Mitch Crane -- Columbus, Ms -- 13-15 (5) -- 9-9 (4) -- 6-0 (3) -- 29-8 (12) -- $10,000

45. John Hunter -- Simpsonville, Ky -- 11-5 (5) -- 12-1 (5) -- 5-7 (3) -- 28-13 (13) -- $10,000

46. Jonathon Vandam -- Kalamazoo, Mi -- 10-10 (5) -- 12-9 (5) -- 3-15 (2) -- 27-2 (12) -- $10,000

47. Timmy Horton -- Muscle Shoals, Al -- 12-5 (5) -- 12-2 (5) -- 1-12 (1) -- 26-3 (11) -- $10,000

48. Jim Tutt -- Longview, Tx -- 8-12 (5) -- 14-5 (5) -- 2-7 (1) -- 25-8 (11) -- $10,500

49. Jesse Wiggins -- Logan, Al -- 14-5 (5) -- 10-6 (5) -- 0-0 (0) -- 24-11 (10) -- $10,000

50. Dylan Hays -- Hot Springs, Ar -- 10-3 (5) -- 13-7 (5) -- 0-0 (0) -- 23-10 (10) -- $10,000