Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 5, 2023
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
A Titanic Win For Dorow, Wollak, Dodging Icebergs To
Take AWWS 10th Anniversary Season Opener By 9-1/2 Lbs
They dodged ice floes and even huge icebergs. They went where this annual spring boat ride on the Fox River and Green Bay was never won before, if memory serves. And Matthew Dorow and partner Tim Wollak did it trolling the just-opened water of Green Bay to take the 2023 AIM Weekend Walleye Series Navionics Open Wisconsin Division qualifier on the Fox River at Green Bay, and with it $9,000, leading off AIM’s 10th anniversary season, Sunday April 2.
“This pair and more than a few other teams showed some cojones by heading to the bay when the Fox River went chocolate with runoff. They stuffed a V into the books with 40.75 pounds,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “It was a last-minute, early morning decision and it netted all that cash and first blood in the Yamaha Motor Corp. Team Of The Year points race for Wisconsin. And have they got a story to tell.”
The pair, Dorow from Green Bay and Wollak from Peshtigo—it was only Wallak’s second AIM tourney—decided to head for that clean but 38-degree Green Bay water seconds before Denny Fox gave them the “go” in the second wave of the 100-boat field. Turning right rather than into the river definitely paid off. They pulled Smithwick Perfect 10 stick baits to bring home the win, in typical Green Bay opener weather: Nasty.
“The weather was definitely something,” Dorow said. “The conditions were really tough. The river was completely dirty and there was still ice on the bay with wind shifting it around. It made it pretty interesting.”
And they did it without dipping a lure into the water Saturday.
“I didn’t even go out. The river was dirt. And conditions were too harsh to learn anything. Sunday we decided to take a risk and go for it while we were waiting in line,” he continued. Turns out, some 30 or more boats also took that risk rather than plow the river mud.
“I knew they hold out there and if the water’s clean that’s where you want to be, I feel. We dodged ice getting out there,” Dorow said. “We started the day casting and caught a sheephead. We gave up on that after about an hour. We noticed on our fish finder that the fish weren’t really reacting, so we decided to keep our lines in the water as long as possible and go trolling.
They and other teams found two huge icebergs and pushed their way through to fish on the east shore. Yup, through icebergs. Now do you get the Titanic reference?
They concentrated on shallow water, eight or nine feet, about 100 or so yards offshore. The Smithwick 10 indicates how deep it dives.
“We found some water out there that was a little warm water seam of 38 degrees, and if you got on that the side scan was lit up with fish. Everything outside of that, 36 – 35 degrees, he said, nothing. Get in that 38-degree water and you steadily caught walleye.
“It was pretty consistent throughout the day. There were a few lulls when we got away from that water. We scored 13 on the card and probably let go 9 or 10 others. We had a handful that didn’t stay on. We had a fish every 20 minutes or half-hour and we had a couple of triples.
“We started out with everything under 23, and then we got that 28. Then we had another 20, and after that it was 26, 25, 25, 26…. We started figuring out that warmer water when we started getting the bigger ones,” he added.
“That 28-incher almost got off. I had a complication with my net and it had tangled up three other lines, and I went for it because the fish was on top of the water, and it rolled out of the net. My heart dropped for a second, and I made another attempt and breathed a sigh of relief, I’ll tell you that,” Dorow said.
So what’s it feel like to win this, and know that they could be in the running for a 2024 National Championship Shootout spot? Pretty cool, is one.
“I’m still trying to figure it out. It hasn’t sunk in. I’m really excited but I also don’t believe it,” he said. Now the other question: Will they be a factor the rest of the season?
“We fished next to a lot of really good teams on Sunday. All of the top five were out there. I like to fish this because I know the river. I’m starting to learn the Wolf at Winneconne and we’re definitely considering it. And my partner just literally texted me We’ve got to consult the women in our lives first.”
Well, Matthew, $9,000 will go a long way to convince their wives to continue the adventure.
As Dorow said, the second place team of Slawomir Wiater of Franklin Park, Illinois, and Kamil Kania of Chicago also nailed down their 31.22 pounds-o-walleye in the bay’s clean water, and added another $2,350 in side pot cash for a total of $5,850. It was their first AIM event.
The pair also dodged the ice, and also didn’t pre-fish Saturday. “We just drove the car around the area to find some open water,” Wiater said. And when the wind blew out more ice, they also trolled. The first pass, they had two small ones.
“And the wind started pushing more ice. And we decided to troll a little slower. Finally we got the nice ones, a 28-1/2 and a 27-3/4-incher. We lost like maybe 10 nice fish but it may have been my mistake. We went with No. 9 and 11 Cabin Fever Customs baits,” he said. They started in about 10 feet and went a little deeper, around 12, to secure their second-place.
They too have a similar issue with deciding whether to go for it and fish the rest of Wisconsin AIM. They’re in the running for a Championship Shootout berth in their first AIM attempt.
“We will see. Maybe we’ll fish them all,” Wiater said. Help’em out a bit, Fan Nation. What would you do out there with a potential to win a package worth more than 100K? Yup, good decision.
Rounding out the top are the third-place team of Rick and Matt Wachowiak of Muskego, who boated 30.97 pounds and $2,800. In fourth with 30.63 pounds, good for $1,400 plus a side pot of $1,410 that more than doubled their money were Jacob Spiegel of Sherwood and Kyle Christensen of Kaukauna.
Fifth place was filled by the 30.59 pounds boated by Jake and David Becker of Genoa City. That earned them $1,300. And in sixth with an honorable mention of 29.71 pounds, earning them $1,200 and a third-place of $940 in the side pot were Scot Hausauer of Algoma, and Joe Mans of Peshtigo.
So, you hear that, Fan Nation and other teams in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota and The River? A win in his second AIM event. A second place in their first AIM event. It’s like we tell you. Anyone can win this. Anyone with the knowledge and confidence, and that drive to get to the podium.
There are still plenty of slots open in all four divisions. Challenge yourself and your partner. But most of all, come to have fun. Enter. To learn more about how you can, go to the AIM website, aimfishing.com, for details on how you can register to get in on AIM’s four divisions. Watch for the latest at AIM’s Facebook site.
You know you want to. You know you can.
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™) is a unique tournament organization created and owned by many of the most accomplished and recognizable professional walleye anglers, along with others who share the mission of advancing competitive walleye fishing and making it sustainable into the future.
AIM is committed to marketing excellence on behalf of its tournament competitors, the tournament host communities, and the brands that partner with it. AIM is also committed to maintaining healthy fisheries across the nation by the development of the exclusive AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format which is integral to its dynamic events and unparalleled consumer engagement. For more information about AIM™, AIM Pro Walleye Series™, AIM Weekend Walleye Series, AIM sponsors and AIM anglers, visit www.aimfishing.com.
AIM Presenting Sponsors: Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. and Warrior Boats inc.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Gemini Sport Marketing, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, McQuoids Inn, Rosemore Outdoor Gear, Outdoor Authority MN, Island Bar and Grill, Bait Box on the Rock, Oconto County WI.