LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – It looks like a great weekend of weather ahead, just in time for the Bass Fishing League Tournament.
Also known as the “BFL” competition, it is the first of three tournaments in the Great Lakes Division which La Crosse will host during the year. Anywhere from 150 to 200 Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois residents will compete on Saturday.
“The BFL is the grassroots of our company. This is for the weekend anglers and the working man,” BFL Tournament Director Robert Evans said.
Each angler, or fisherman, will reel in as many fish as possible within the 6 a.m.-2 p.m. window. Competitors are allowed to fish from any location, but with water levels reaching 12 feet, the deadline could create some problems.
“It’s a no wake zone anywhere there is a developed shoreline so the main problem is transportation for the competitors leaving the takeoff area for their fishing locations. They’re going to have to allow for more travel time because of this,” Evans said.
If a competitor arrives at the docks anytime past the 2 p.m. deadline, for each minute they are late, their final weigh-in will result in a one pound penalty.
Angler and Minnesota resident Rich Lindgren said with the high water levels, transportation isn’t the only issue. “It just gives the fish a lot more places to hide. They can get further back in the back waters in places that normally they wouldn’t go, but now they can get there so there is a lot more places for us to check,” Lindgren said.
Lindgren finished 6th in last year’s spring tournament, and despite the non-favorable water conditions, he said he enjoys what the competition provides.
“For somebody who played sports growing up, you know not everyone can play professional football—but anyone can come out and compete in the tournament angling. When getting out and getting away out in the water, it’s just kind of peaceful,” Lindgren said.
Lindgren has competed in hundreds of regional tournaments, but said La Crosse is one of his favorite places to compete—oddly enough because he enjoys how the river is always changing.
The entry fee for Saturday’s tournament is $200. The top 40 finishers will earn their money back, and boaters could win up to $8,000.
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