Original Caption: POOR TASTING: La Crosse pro angler Tom Monsoor holds a bowfin, commonly called a dogfish, he caught at the Dresbach Lock and Dam recently. June 1991, The La Crosse Tribune, Jerry Davis photo

In today’s Throwback Thursday historical photo, a familiar face in a familiar setting, but holding an unfamiliar fish.  Back in 1991, swim jig expert and professional bass angler Tom Monsoor was asked to be a part of a fishing tournament to benefit the American Cancer Society.  The caveat – only “rough fish” count.  Other interesting rules for this special event; there was no entry fee, no money for the winners, and no penalties for bringing in dead fish.  Instead, plaques and door prizes were being handed out to contestants.

Sponsored by Shopko, Kmart, Poe’s, Coleman, Berkley and Zebco, Tom was the perfect representative for the event.  Beyond being a professional bass angler, he was also a commercial fisherman at the time, and after all the rough fish were weighed in, Tom sold them to a fish market and was able to return the extra proceeds to the Cancer Society.  Eligible fish species for the event included bowfin, carp, gar, mooneye, redhorse, and freshwater drum.

For those who might be curious about tactics used in a rough fish tournament, Tom gave this advice; “Take plenty of worms.  I’ll use leaf worms or pieces of nightcrawlers on a No. 4 hook, weighted with two split shot.”