Fishermen bring large crowds and cash to La Crosse - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Fishermen bring large crowds and cash to La Crosse


LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—This is the second year La Crosse has hosted the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament. 

Last year it brought about $1 million into the local economy.

Dave Clements, Executive Director, La Crosse Convention and Visitors Bureau said only 20-percent of the money they're spending is on lodging, everything else is at local stores and restaurants.

La Crosse hopes the extra marketing they did this year brings in a bigger crowd.

Flying down the open water is one thing angler's love about fishing La Crosse.

"There are some lakes they go to they call it fishing small where all the guys end up fishing in the same pool area," John Stewart, tournament director said.

In La Crosse, the 99 elite anglers can fish three different pools.

"You can have an area all by yourself for three days that's what they love about coming to an area like this," Stewart said.

La Crosse loves showing off our natural resources.

"This is one of the greatest fisheries in the country," Clements said. "To expose people from all over the country to what we have to offer can do nothing but enhance our tourism and our use of this facility, this river."

During the weigh in, it's evident the catches of the day are different from warmer parts of the country because of the winter we have a shorter growing season.

"Certainly they're not going to catch ten and 12 pound bass like they would in Falcon Lake in South Texas but they will catch a lot of four and five pound bass here which is nice big fish for this part of the country," Stewart said.

When people see, on national television, what fishermen are catching here in La Crosse they can't help but wonder what they could catch.

"You want to go fish where the pros fish," Clements said. "People are going to come here and fish and when they come they spend money, have an economic impact, and they help create jobs."

Bassmaster isn't sure if the Elite Series will be back again next year, they said they'd love to come back but its based on a bidding process that hasn't happened yet.


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