Fitzpatrick Wins Bass Fishing League Tournament at the Wolf River Chain

June 17, 2024
Bass Fishing League (BFL) News

WINNECONNE, Wis. (June 17, 2024) – Boater Brian Fitzpatrick of La Crosse, Wisconsin, caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday to win the MLF Bass Fishing League (BFL) tournament on the Wolf River Chain. The tournament was the third event of the season for the BFL Great Lakes Division. Fitzpatrick earned $4,052 for his victory. After 30 years of fishing the Wolf River Chain, Fitzpatrick knows plenty of spots to get a bite in a summertime tournament.

“It’s not like I had one area I could just stay in, so I just ran a bunch of different spots that are kind of like one- or two-fish spots,” Fitzpatrick said. “Some had fish, some didn’t. I was just fishing fast, mainly throwing a swim jig and buzz bait.

“A (Yamamoto) Senko was big for me,” he added. “A lot of them weren’t hitting the topwater real good, so I’d get a hit and follow up with a Senko. I think I weighed three with a Senko, and all three of them were off a topwater hit first. It was weird. I’d try throwing the Senko first and wouldn’t get any bites. It almost seemed like they needed that topwater first to get going.”

Fitzpatrick said he fished just about every lake and area on the system except for Winnebago. He fished some grass, rock, wood and even clean-bottom areas within grass.

“I maybe caught 10 keepers,” he added. “It wasn’t fast and furious.” 

The top 10 boaters finished the tournament:

1st:          Brian Fitzpatrick, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 16-10, $4,052
2nd:        Jeff Ritter, Prairie du Chien, Wis., five bass, 15-9, $1,921
3rd:         Mike Feldermann, Galena, Ill., five bass, 15-1, $1,201
4th:         Severin Tubbin, Viroqua, Wis., five bass, 14-7, $838
5th:         Parker Kratochvill, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 14-5, $718
6th:         Joseph Johnson, Maquoketa, Iowa, five bass, 14-0, $659
7th:         Brandon Briscoe, McHenry, Ill., five bass, 13-14, $599
8th:         Mike Brueggen, La Crosse, Wis., five bass, 13-11, $539
9th:         Rick Bosshard, Hartland, Wis., five bass, 13-10, $479
10th:       Chris Aswegan, Tiffin, Iowa, five bass, 13-8, $919 (includes $500 Phoenix MLF Contingency Bonus)

Complete results can be found at

Fitzpatrick caught a bass that weighed 4 pounds, 6 ounces, and also earned the Big Bass Boater award of $460. Luka Strepacki of Naperville, Illinois, won the co-angler division and $1,796 Saturday, after bringing five bass to the scale that totaled 12 pounds, 14 ounces.

The top 10 co-anglers finished: 

1st:          Luka Strepacki, Naperville, Ill., five bass, 12-14, $1,796
2nd:        Robert Johnson, Omro, Wis., five bass, 12-4, $898
3rd:        Jason Hull, Belleville, Wis., five bass, 12-2, $598
4th:         Jason Swanson, Waterloo, Iowa, five bass, 12-0, $419
5th:         Matthew Vang, Milwaukee, Wis., five bass, 11-11, $359
6th:         David Ondrla, Elmhurst, Ill., five bass, 11-9, $329
7th:         Chia Xiong, Onalaska, Wis., five bass, 10-15, $299
8th:         Brian Brecka, Alma, Wis., five bass, 10-10, $239
8th:         Dan McAdams, Reedsburg, Wis., five bass, 10-10, $389
8th:         Will Ahnen, Fennimore, Wis., five bass, 10-10, $389

Anthony Gray of Menasha, Wisconsin, earned the Berkley Big Bass co-angler award of $230, catching a bass that weighed in at 4 pounds – the largest co-angler catch of the day.

After three events, Brandon Briscoe of McHenry, Illinois, leads the Fishing Clash Great Lakes Division Angler of the Year (AOY) race with 709 points, while Jason Olson of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, leads the Fishing Clash Great Lakes Division Co-Angler of the Year race with 728 points.

The next event for BFL Great Lakes Division anglers will be held Aug. 17, at the Mississippi River in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.