The man deemed the "Godfather of the Mississippi River" finally got it done at home. La Crosse's own 71-year-old Yamamoto Baits pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win $125,000 at the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit at the Mississippi River presented by OPTIMA Batteries with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 54-10.
The limit gave him the win by a narrow 1-pound, 12-ounce margin over the No. 1 ranked angler in the world, pro Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tennessee, who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 52-14 and earned $35,000.
"I can't believe it. Winning at home is the neatest thing in the world. I'm going to remember this moment forever," said Monsoor, who broke his own record as the oldest angler to ever win an FLW pro-level event. "This tournament had 50 of the best guys from MLF, and the top guys from FLW – it doesn't get any harder than that. I am the luckiest guy in the world to be able to do what I love. To win at home – I can't believe it."
Monsoor caught the majority of his fish this week doing exactly what the Mississippi River legend is known for – throwing a swim jig. His jig of choice this week was a white Humdinger Tom Monsoor swim jig with a 3½-inch Yamamoto Swim Senko (pearl with silver flake). Monsoor also mixed in a homemade football-head jig with a Yamamoto Cowboy trailer and a homemade Bitsy Bug-type jig with a Fat Baby Craw to put together his winning limits.
"I caught two or three fish this week on the Bitsy Bug, but other than that everything came on the football jig and the swimming jig," Monsoor said. "Gravel bars and drops with weeds seemed to be the two key areas this week."
Now that the 71-year-old pro has finally earned the big win at home that had seemed to elude him for most of his career, he plans to spend a relaxing Sunday right where you'd expect to see him – back out on the water.
"I can't wait to go out there tomorrow and see if those two schools of largemouth that I had found in practice are still there," Monsoor went on to say. "I'm going to sleep in until 9 a.m. or so and recuperate, then I'm getting back out there."
The top 10 pros on the Mississippi River finished:
1st: Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., 20 bass, 54-10, $125,000
2nd: Jacob Wheeler of Harrison, Tenn., 20 bass, 52-14, $35,000
3rd: David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., 20 bass, 52-5, $30,000
4th: Zack Birge of Blanchard, Okla., 20 bass, 50-15, $25,000
5th: Tyler Stewart of West Monroe, La., 20 bass, 50-7, $22,000
6th: Cody Meyer of Auburn, Calif., 19 bass, 48-12, $21,000
7th: Bailey Boutries of Daphne, Ala., 20 bass, 48-11, $19,000
8th: Clark Reehm of Elm Grove, La., 20 bass, 48-9, $18,000
9th: Kyle Hall of Granbury, Texas, 20 bass, 48-7, $17,000
10th: Scott Wiley of Bay Minette, Ala., 15 bass, 42-6, $16,000
Complete results for the entire field can be found at FLWFishing.com.