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La Crosse WI – The last regular Elite event of the season!

img_1591I hadn’t fished the Upper Mississippi out of La Crosse, Wisconsin since 2006, so while I vowed to check out some areas where I’d caught fish then, I went into practice for the final regular season Elite Series tournament of the year with an open mind. I spent the first day of practice in Pool 9, where I’d caught my fish a decade ago, but when that turned out to be just ok, I decided to focus elsewhere and that proved to be a good decision.

On the second day I remained in Pool 8, where we’d be launching during the tournament, and practice went pretty well. In fact, it was good enough that I made the decision not to lock down to Pool 7 at all. The locks are an uncontrollable factor and they worried me. The lockmasters wouldn’t give us a set schedule, so while I was willing to take a gamble if necessary, I wasn’t going to do it otherwise. With that in mind I spent the last day of practice in Pool 8 again, and while it wasn’t an exceptional day, I caught some of my biggest fish and also spent extra time trying to find areas that wouldn’t get harmed by rising water. We were due to get some heavy rain and I knew that would mess up a lot of sections of the river.

On the first day of competition I ran down to the lower end of Pool 8 to fish some ditches that had current and grass. Even though I knew there were quality fish there, as I’d feared it was getting blown out by the additional water coming downstream. It was turning to mud, and the floating eelgrass further contributed to trashing the place.

After three or four hours of trying to make it work, I abandoned my first area and ran to what I’d been saving as a backup. It was a protected area with little current and some big mats, and I expected that it would remain clear. There was lots of pressure around it, but most people were throwing frogs. I picked up my favorite rod – my Lew’s flipping stick – and went to work. They immediately started biting and I culled through 30 or 40 fish to get to my eventual weight of 13-05, which put me in 30th place at the end of the day. read more…

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Content

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  • Sitting tight one more day. -

    I had a last hour flurry and weighed in 12-12 it wasn’t quite good enough to seal the deal on the AOY Championship, so I need to hold tight one more day and see how the top 12 shakes down.

  • Survived to fish another day. -

    Tough day today, totally water soaked with all the weather that rolled in. Fortunately 11-15 was enough to slide into 45 place and move forward to day-3. I need to make up some ground to have a shot at making the AOY Championship. Due in at 2:30.

  • Not a bad start. -

    I had my doubts this morning, but finally scratched out 13-5, currently sitting in 30th. Not much wiggle room in the field, an ounce or two in this derby could cost a guy big time. I think I need at least 12 tomorrow to move on to day 3. Due in at 3:20.

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