Laufenberg Wins at Bass Fishing League Tournament at the Mississippi River at La Crosse

May 22, 2023
BFL News Archive

LA CROSSE, Wis. (May 22, 2023) – Boater Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 20 pounds, 2 ounces, Saturday to win the MLF Phoenix Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on the Mississippi River at La Crosse. The tournament was the first event of the season for the BFL Great Lakes Division. Laufenberg earned $13,298, including the $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus, for his victory.

“In practice I clued in on the smallmouth that had finished spawning and were starting to pull out,” said Laufenberg. “They were really finicky, so I had to fish super slow and a little deeper than what most people were fishing. I committed to fishing for those smallmouth.”

Laufenberg said he fished 10- to 20-yard stretches for a half an hour to 45 minutes each with a light Texas rig for a quality bite. The stretches consisted of mostly sand bottom with a little bit of wood. To entice wary smallmouth, Laufenberg said he used a 1/8-ounce weight with a green pumpkin Strike King Rage Bug. His approach paid off with 15 keepers during the course of the day.

“This is my 10th win with Major League Fishing, and it feels really good,” Laufenberg said. “I’m really happy to have that milestone. The Phoenix Contingency money has been amazing to me.

“And to add another top-10 finish to my resume and to be leading the points … I couldn’t be happier,” Laufenberg added.

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:          Cade Laufenberg, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 20-2, $13,298 (includes $7,000 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)
2nd:        Kevin Ruh, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 18-3, $2,309
3rd:        Justin Drljaca, Cape Coral, Fla., five bass, 17-14, $1,539
4th:         Clayton Reitz, Morton, Ill., five bass, 16-13, $1,078
5th:         Dan Mohn, Lansing, Iowa, five bass, 16-4, $1,644
6th:         Nick Trim, Galesville, Wis., five bass, 16-3, $847
7th:         Josh Fitzgerald, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 15-9, $770
8th:         Brandon Gann, Sparta, Wis., five bass, 15-6, $693
9th:         Austin Brimeyer, Dubuque, Iowa, five bass, 15-2, $616
10th:      Curtis Samo, Rochelle, Ill., five bass, 15-0, $762
10th:      Mike Brueggen, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 15-0, $512

Laufenberg also caught a bass weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces to earn the Big Bass Boater award of $680. Richard Conrad of Arcadia, Wisconsin, won the co-angler division and a total of $3,055 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 14 pounds, 13 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished:

1st:          Richard Conrad, Arcadia, Wis., five bass, 14-13, $3,055
2nd:        Nick Kramersmeier, Johnston, Iowa, five bass, 13-2, $1,152
3rd:        Thad Vettrus, Chippewa Falls, Wis., five bass, 12-6, $768
4th:         Thad Krippendorf, Stockton, Ill., five bass, 12-4, $538
5th:         Hertz Skaer, Holmen, Wis., five bass, 12-2, $461
6th:         C.J. Reitz, Morton, Ill., five bass, 12-1, $758
7th:         Justin Oppegard, Eagan, Minn., five bass, 11-13, $365
7th:         Matthew Tinsman, Peoria, Ill., five bass, 11-13, $365
9th:         Timothy Wittren, Ontario, Wis., five bass, 11-10, $307
10th:      Ron Mairet, Columbus Junction, Iowa, five bass, 11-7, $269

C.J. Reitz of Morton, Illinois, earned the Big Bass co-angler award of $335, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds, 15 ounces – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After the first event, Cade Laufenberg of Onalaska, Wisconsin, leads the BFL Great Lakes Division Boater Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 250 points, while Richard Conrad of Arcadia, Wisconsin, leads the Co-Angler Division AOY race with 250 points.