North American Fishing Guides

Monsoor Leads Wal-Mart Tour Stop on Kentucky and Barkley lakes

BENTON, Ky. (May 14, 2003) – Pro Tom Monsoor of La Crosse, Wis., caught five bass weighing 20 pounds, 3 ounces Wednesday to lead opening day of the four-day, $500,000 Wal-Mart FLW Tour event on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. The event, which ranks as the most lucrative bass tournament in state history, features 175 pros vying for a top prize of $100,000 cash and 175 co-anglers in the hunt for a $15,000 top award.

A rainy spring has left Kentucky and Barkley lakes unusually high, as anglers took off from the flooded Kentucky Dam Marina in Gilbertsville to kick off the tournament. The high water did little to hinder the catch, however, as 166 pros and 135 co-anglers caught 986 bass weighing a total of 2,439 pounds, 7 ounces. A repeat of the impressive catch Thursday would rank the tournament as the fifth most productive in FLW Tour history in terms of overall weight. Ninety-seven five-bass limit were caught, and 98 percent of the bass were released alive.

While many competitors targeted bass that have moved into flooded trees and bushes, Monsoor scouted clearwater to catch his bass by Carolina-rigging and throwing jigs.

“I only went to two of my main spots and caught a limit in the first half hour,” said Monsoor, who is also a successful angler in the EverStart Series Northern Division and in the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Great Lakes Division, where he has captured the points title three times. “I caught them all in clear water in practice, but now the water’s muddy and I had to find a few spots that were still clear.”

Monsoor caught 30 fish in one spot alone, but he plans to abandon the location in favor of one of his three other productive spots for Thursday’s competition. Winding conditions could make things tough though. “If it blows (Thursday), I won’t be able to get to my spot,” he said. “If the wind blows out here, you’re done.”

Rounding out the top five pros are Terry Baksay of Monroe, Conn. (five bass, 19 pounds, 9 ounces); Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich. (five bass, 19 pounds, 8 ounces); Tracy Adams of Wilkesboro, N.C. (five bass, 19 pounds, 1 ounce); and Cody Bird of Granbury, Texas (five bass, 18 pounds, 5 ounces).

Bud Goeke of Pinckneyville, Ill., leads the Co-angler Division with five largemouth bass weighing 16 pounds, 7 ounces. He caught the bass Wednesday on a new line of Mizmo tubes in watermelon color with black and purple flakes. He dipped the tubes in chartreuse dye for added attraction and flipped them to bushes in 6 to 8 feet of water while his pro partner, Gerald Swindle of Hayden, Ala., worked a spinner bait to scratch out three bass weighing 10 pounds, 1 ounce.

“My partner for (Thursday) is on fish, so I’ll have a good chance to catch them and make the cut,” said Goeke, a seasoned co-angler who has previously earned three top-10 finishes from the back of the boat. “I only have four tubes left, but I have super glue, and believe me, I’ll use it.”

Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Randall Green of Braselton, Ga. (five bass, 16 pounds, 1 ounce); Elden Cox of Lexington (four bass, 15 pounds, 14 ounces); Steve Simer of Pardeeville, Wis. (five bass, 14 pounds, 11 ounces); and Quint Bourgeois of Knoxville, Tenn. (five bass, 14 pounds, 3 ounces).

Bird earned the Snickers Big Bass Award in the Pro Division with a 6-pound, 10-ounce bass. He won $750 for the catch. Ryan Chandler of Hobart, Ind., won $500 as the co-angler winner of the Snickers Big Bass Award with a 6-pound, 4-ounce bass.

The Kentucky Lake event, presented by Energizer, is the fifth of six tournaments that lead to the $1.5 million Jacobs Cup world championship of bass fishing, which will be held on the James River in Richmond, Va., Sept. 10-13. The top 48 pros and 48 co-anglers based on year-end points standings will advance to the Jacobs Cup, where the winning pro will earn $500,000 — the largest guaranteed cash award in the sport’s history. With a total of $5.76 million on the line this season, the road to Richmond, Va., is paved with gold.

Kentucky Dam Marina hosts daily takeoffs at 6:30 a.m. except for Friday, when takeoff will be at 7:30 a.m. Thursday’s weigh-in will also be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m., and Friday and Saturday’s weigh-ins will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 310 W. Fifth St. in Benton beginning at 5 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

The community is encouraged to attend the Family Fun Zone Friday and Saturday outside the weigh-in tent in the Wal-Mart parking lot. With games, interactive displays and product giveaways, the Family Fun Zone offers enjoyment for fishing fans of all ages. The Family Fun Zone opens Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m.

Coverage of the Kentucky Lake tournament will be featured on the “FLW Outdoors” television show, which is broadcast to 55 million subscribers on the Outdoor Life Network. The program features fishing legends Hank Parker and Larry Nixon alongside hosts Charlie Evans, Carlton Wing and Taylor Carr. Parker’s preview of the Kentucky Lake tournament will air Saturday at 6 p.m. and again Sunday at noon CST. Tournament highlights from Kentucky Lake will air May 24 and 25 followed by a tournament recap featuring Nixon May 31 and June 1.

The FLW Tour features a pro/co-angler format in which the pro supplies the boat, fishes from the front deck against other pros and controls boat movement. Co-anglers fish from the back deck against other co-anglers. After two days the field is cut to the top 10 pros and 10 co-anglers who advance to day one of the final round Friday based on their two-day accumulated weight. Weights are cleared for Friday’s competition, and co-anglers compete for one day to determine the winner. Pros continue competition Saturday, with final positions determined by Friday and Saturday’s combined weight. Every angler who receives weight credit in a tournament earns points, with 200 points awarded to the winner, 199 points for second, 198 for third, and so on. These points determine angler standings.

Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit

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