TEAM OKADA TAKES OVER LEAD AT PRO TEAM CHALLENGE
They have done it before and are hoping that with one more day of the right bites that David and Joe Okada can pull off another AIM Pro Team Challenge in Oconto, WI. With a great comeback on day two, the father and son team put 53.18lbs on the card for a two day total of 71.37lbs.
After heading to their first spot and determining that it wasn't going to go, they hit an alternate area and made hay while the sun was shining. Once the bite died they expanded their zone without any luck.
"It's hard to fish the bay right now," said Yamaha pro Joe. "It is really hard on the mind. You have to forget what you did the day before and start over each day."
John Schneider and Nick Schertz also rallied to make a big comeback, shooting up the standings with 56.81lbs on day two for 69.58lbs. There is an old saying about luck an preparation meeting, which is exactly what happened for this Wisconsin team.
When they arrived to the area they planned to fish, they made a swing in so they could turn around and set up for their first pass. As they did this, they marked a lot of fish on their screen. They punched it in and continued with their plan.
When their deep pass didn't pan out, Schertz suggested moving back to where they had made the 90 degree turn in shallow water, marking fish. The move paid off, as they caught four fish on each of the first two passes before slowing down.
Luck was still on their side, because even though they weren't getting numbers, the fish were getting bigger, including a 29.75" walleye as they were packing up. Color was important, as it changed from morning to afternoon.
Holding strong and moving up to third place are Rob Nickels and Buck Gehm. By going to one spot and staying there all day long, they were able to put 35.68lbs on the card for 66.27lbs. With solid four foot waves, "the only bad thing about the day was the boat ride," they laughed. They believe their spot can hold on one more day with color and speed being very important in their presentation.
With only 19.78lbs on their card, day one leaders Lynn Niklasch and Mark Kumorkiewicz fell to fourth place, followed by Richard Lowe and Phil Smith. With nothing going early in the morning, Lowe and Smith made a slight move to get on good fish at 11:30am. After they found them, the bite was steady. There were several factors involved in their bite, but nothing in particular that seemed to really make a difference in reeling in 42.88lbs to total 62.75lbs after two days.
Brett King feels this tournament is going to "end up being a shoot-out at the OK Corral," and he and son Lucas are doing their best to keep the revolvers smoking! With a good triple to start off the day, they then had to do some moving around in the waves. "It was a great day to have the 203 DC Warrior. We were the only guys out there not wearing raingear!" They had to change up their presentation from the day before due to the increase in wind. Their 27.39lbs gave them a total of 60.05lbs, putting them in 6th place.
Brothers Robert and Josh Blosser did some running and found one area that worked well trolling cranks, while spinners had been hot the day before. "While most guys are on the mud, we try to stay out of it because it can be unpredictable. We are trying to put together three consistent days," said Robert.
Gary Parsons and Chris Hansen brought in 36.75lbs to bring their two day total to 59.09lbs. They started at the same spot they ended in the day before, only to find that the fish had moved a half mile away. Using Berkley Flicker Minnows, the fish were easy to catch once they got on them.
Rounding out the top ten is Steve and Russ Wagner who didn't get on fish until 2pm. They had to move around a lot just to find a school of small fish, which was a struggle with the wind blowing. Their 18.46lbs gave them a two day total of 57.19lbs.
Jeff Nuechterlein and Ryan Foster are very confident that their program will hold for one more day. Once again, they hit their numbers spot to put seven fish on the card for day two before moving out over the mud to try to find a big fish. The bite was hottest later in the day, when they made three upgrades in the last hour. Color was important, but speed was the critical factor for putting 31.75lbs on the card, bringing their total to 55.69lbs. They are in 12th place.
Pete Petta and Dave Cooper found another 24.94lbs of fish on day two, bringing their total to 38.86lbs. They started putting fish on the card in their first two passes, only to blank on the next three passes. The made a move and marked some fish, but couldn't get them to go on either cranks or spinners. They then went back to their first spot and ground it out for three more. Hungry perch were a nuisance to the team who is currently in 28th place.
It was an unlucky day for Chase Parsons and Mike Vorderstrasse who lost two fish right away by trolling cranks over structure. They started deep without luck. The water was colder and the marks just weren't there. They then lost two good ones and made a few more passes without much happening. Late in the day they saw the most marks, but only brought one fish in the boat. They added 6.55lbs to their weight, bringing the two day total to 34.11lbs, leaving them in 32nd place.
It was a better day for team Andersen, as Dave and Kent put 21.86lbs on the card for 31.66lbs after two days. They are pulling spinners in the mud and intend to keep grinding it out to hold on and hopefully move up from their current 36th place.
Not far behind are Keith and Mike Kavajecz who used jigs and crawlers in 3-4 feet of water to get five quick bites. They then went to the mud for five hours looking for bigger bites. They ended up with 16.82lbs on their card for a total of 29.83lbs.
Justin Schneider and Ken Marklien put seven small fish on the scorecard for 25.84lbs and then scrambled for a big one. They ended up with a two day total of 28.17lbs and 39th place. They plan on doing the same plan on day three.
In 42nd place, Robert Cardenas and Ben Bertram went out to their mud spots looking for big fish. At noon they packed up to get six small fish on the scorecard by working less than 5 feet of water. They plan on filling the card first on day three and then going for big fish to increase their 24.74lb two day total and move them up.
Jake LaPine and Ross Grothe put 10.20lbs on the card to bring their two day total to 11.59lbs. "It's just not happening," said LaPine.
Jimmy Bell and Adolph Hamann also continued to struggle. They caught two fish right away and then went for bigger bites that never came. They are in 59th with 7.29lbs.
RJ Harwood and Dave Kolb were also glad to get on the board by jigging up a 4.22lb fish that puts them in 61st place.
The final weigh-in will start between 5 and 5:15pm on aimfishing.com
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