Oconto Day 1 Summary
Gary Parsons and Chris Hansen are leading the AIM Oconto event with 55.31lbs for seven fish. After not liking what they saw on the graph at the first spot, they went directly to their second spot without wetting a line. It was a good choice as the action was on with doubles and triples. With stronger winds today it may be a bumpy ride to get there, but they are hoping for another good day. They were pulling a prototype Berkley crankbait, while several boats around them were pulling harnesses.
John Schneider and Nick Schertz are in second place with 52.56lbs, followed by Robert Cardenas and Ben Burtram with 50.66lbs. They had planned on going to Cardenas’s first spot for numbers, but it wasn’t happening. They were about to leave for his big fish spot when a 27 inch fish hit. Knowing they couldn’t consistently get 27’s at the big fish spot, they ground it out on the numbers spot and ended up pulling a good weight. The wind appears to have been a factor, because when that picked up is when the big fish started biting.
In fourth place are Ryan Dempsey and Adam Alder 50.26lbs. While they started off good catching some big ones, they also had some miscues, including losing a nice one that was in the net. They feel that the wind helped by blowing the fish up on structure, where they were pulling spinners at 1.1-1.2mph. At one point the wind was so bad they had to put the drift sock down. They ended up running to several spots, using almost 50 gallons of gas.
Brothers Steve and Dan Bodinger are in 7th place with 46.80lbs. After working one pod of fish for awhile they ended up losing them. They felt that being on the right spot at the right time and a lot of luck was key.
Last years’ winners, Joe and Dave Okada are in 8th with 43.25lbs. It didn’t start off as a sprint, catching one nice one and then several peanuts. They moved to another spot and got into some nice fish, staying there until 1pm. While they had a nice average, they were looking for some tankers, so the moved one more time. There wasn’t enough time left to fish that spot out, but they think it may produce today.
Brothers Robert and Josh Blosser weighed 39.06lbs to put them in 12thplace. It started off slow in the morning, so they went to plan B and it was on. They are on good fish and with the weather coming in expect an even bigger bag for day two.
Sitting in 16th are Ross Grothe and Daman Schroeder with 37.58lbs. They had a lot of fun, only catching seven fish. There are a lot of fish in the area, and even with the weather conditions changing they feel that the fish will stay in the on the spot.
Brett King and Jeff Holtz weighed 31.21lbs, putting them in 26th place. They started off fishing structure for a couple hours looking for big ones, but it didn’t pan out. They made a move and got a 26” and 27”, including a few key doubles. They are fishing in an area where some bigger bags came from and are hoping to bring in more of the 27’s tomorrow.
Justin Schneider and Ken Marklein are in 35th place with 26.96lbs. They left their spot at 11am trying to get bigger bites, but are going to stay there longer on day two hoping to crack the 40lb mark to get them closer to a check.
Tommy Skarlis and Tom Dillon are in 41st place with 24.39lbs. They are going for big fish today after putting some small fish on the score card to get something going. They know that it is possible to get three fish over 28” on the bay and move them right up the standings.
This is the first time Jimmy Bell and Adolph Hamann have fished an AIM tournament and they are enjoying the format. Weighing one fish 5.04lbs, after running around trying to get some going puts them in 59th place. They are looking to make some adjustments today and get the job done.