Mammoth Sleds On Hair Jigs Bring A Win And $9,150 For Nanna and Bartsch On Sunday’s AIM Green Bay Tourney

Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.


Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


Mammoth Sleds On Hair Jigs Bring A Win And $9,150 For Nanna and Bartsch On Sunday’s AIM Green Bay Tourney


Wait a minute…They used what? Mammoth Hair? Where can we get some? Dunno, and no, it’s not real, but it was close, as kidder Mario Nanna and Chris Bartsch worked homemade ½-ounce hair jigs way north to boat 47.65 pounds and $9,150  at the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Garmin Open Wisconsin Division tournament Sunday (May 16) out of Green Bay.  

“Mario I’m sure had some folks out there in Fan Nation on the hunt for mammoth hair online when he joked on the podium about using it for their jigs during our live show at our Facebook page, but they definitely pulled a mammoth bag that topped the field by 10 pounds, netting them $7,500 for the win and $1,650 in side pot cash,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “They won a tournament the day before in the same area. So for them it was a clean sweep weekend.  When we joked that there was going to be a lot of gas sold in Green Bay the night before, we were right. These guys drove all the way to Michigan waters to win.”  

Nanna and Bartsch pointed their Mercury 350 Verado-power north for an hour and 20 minutes to the sand/rock structure off Michigan’s Cedar River, concentrating on 15 to 21 feet of water casting hair jigs while inching along at .9 mph and using their side imaging to tag which fish they wanted.

“We fished break lines in the bay. The key was working the sand transitions right next to the rocks. We fished there the day before and won, and we marked our waypoints where we thought they would be,” he said. They also relied on areas where boat pressure was lighter, and managed to Catch-Record-Release eight fish total including those five that won it.

“My very first cast I stuck a fish and hooked up and lost another on the very next cast. We boated three and lost two on our first pass,” Nanna said. Their winning combo for the day: a 22, followed by a 28-1/4 incher, a 27-1/4, and going up from there, a 29-1/4 and a 29.

“As soon as we made a turn coming back on the second pass that 29 hit,” he said. “There was a slight green tint to the water, and it was 50.6 degrees, two degrees warmer than the day before when we were only able to get two bites there.”

 They liked a hair jig, an old technique that’s now getting renewed interest among some. That day’s preferred color combo was an off-purple/brown that Bartsch tied. He guides for muskie and walleye from Green Bay.

On the return trip, they made sure they made it back with fuel to spare by stopping at Marinette. They babied their Verado, keeping the RPMs round 4600 rather than running wide open, and made it back to the launch with an hour to spare, using 50.6 gallons of gas.

“It was a tough bite looking at the results of the day before. We knew it was really tough to pull more than 35 or 40 pounds in southern Green Bay, so we were confident we’d be in the money. At least a dozen boats ran north with us. The explosion in the goby population there has been great for getting those fish fat and healthy. There seemed to be fewer fish, but it was great for AIM’s Catch-Record-Release format,” Nanna said.

“A clean sweep weekend was unbelievable, to be honest. It’s really hard to do with the quality of anglers competing. Things just fell our way.”

The second-place team, Father/Son Matt and Rick Wachowiak, both of Muskego, who among other fish, landed a 31-1/4-incher, and may be in line to win Big Fish Thursday (check back for that). They finished with a $2,500 check, for 37.29 pounds. They were among the 10 or so teams who headed north and were within a mile or two of the winners. They also fished a Saturday tournament, and decided to head north.

“We had located a pod of fish that were super shallow and still spawning near the shore, so we knew our fish weren’t going to leave. We made the run and were confident we could get six to eight. The only problem is females are harder to catch then but luckily the males were 24 to 26 inches. We caught our 31-1/4-incher around noon, all on Rippin’ Raps,” Matt said.

We were using our LiveScope and side-imaging but the fish were low in the rocks, so we found the sand to rock transition, put our heads down and ground it out. We caught six and lost two. Our fish, we couldn’t get’em to go on hair jigs (they’re buddies with Nanna and Bartsch). They weren’t super aggressive and had to get them angry,” he said.

They’d arrived a bit south of the winners with 55 percent of their fuel left, and chose to make the run back without refueling, something they may not repeat. “We came in on fumes,” Matt admitted. “In hindsight we should have gotten gas. I figured we were going to be at least in the top eight or 10.” He was underestimating.

Finishing third at Green Bay was the team of Danny Woodke of Gillett and Steve Meyer of Birnamwood. They came in with 30.99 pounds, good for $2,000 and the second-place side pot of $990. Fourth place and $1,700 went to Scott Bleck and Jason Kicherer, both of Weyauwega. They boated 30.87 pounds. Fifth place went to Mark Kumorkiewicz of Pleasant Prairie, and Lynn Niklasch of Oconomowoc with 29.79 pounds. They earned $1,400 and $660 in side pot money.

Ok, Minnesota, wake up, time to rise and shine. It’s your turn. AIM is heading your way for Sunday’s first tournament of the season on Big Stone Lake, half in Minnesota, half in South Dakota, and open to all AIM teams. We’ll have a preview later this week.

North Dakota, it is go time for you on Lake Audubon this week coming Sunday May 23rd. Get signed up by Wednesday the 19th at Midnight. Watch for a preview later this week.

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 


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