Van Hook Provides for Team Schneider Sunday As North Dakota Now Heads Into State Championship

Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.


Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


Van Hook Provides for Team Schneider Sunday As North Dakota Now Heads Into State Championship


Van Hook Arm on Lake Sakakawea didn’t quite provide the bags that were predicted, but what it did give up gave a win to Bismarck’s Daren and Heide Schneider, who boated 27.38 pounds to win $4,000 in Sunday’s (July 11) Warrior Boats Pure Powersports Open.

“Van Hook Arm’s islands, both sunken and otherwise, proved the place to be including for our first- and second-place finishers, at New Town,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “It got a little sporty out there towards the end of the day but the Schneiders, using their Garmin Panoptix, won the day by a fin more than two-thirds of a pound. Now, let’s see who’s ahead in state Team Of The Year standings heading into July 30 and 31st. We’ll present that later this week.”

Daren Schneider, who rotates captain duties with Heide in their Mercury 350 Verado-powered and Garmin-equipped boat, thinks they just might be the leaders after Sunday. They won it with a combination of Shiver Minnow fishing a spot they were familiar with, and trolling.

“We started pre-fishing Wednesday and around noon we drove by the spot about three miles and then decided to turn around. We’ve fished it before. We fished for a half-hour and got a 21, a 24-1/2- and a 25, so we knew they were there. We drove around the area the rest of the week but never went back in,” Daren said.

“Come Sunday we decided to head right to the south end of a longer island for our first hour, and we never saw a fish. We proceeded to the north end and with our Livescope, found a little sandstone outcropping, and they were on top of it in about 11 to 14 feet of water, swimming all over. We dropped some bait and started casting on them and began picking them off,” he said.

That’s when the “fun” began. When two weekend fun fishermen, who realized they knew where fish were began tailing them, that is.

“He locked right on top of them, and we watched the fish swim down and bury themselves into the bottom. We were super nice to them and we went down a ways, and they followed us, about 50 yards behind our boat for about an hour,” he said, exchanging best wishes and remaining polite, since they had the same right to be there as the Schneiders. The Schneiders, however, outlasted them.

The wind began light and breezy, and the fun fishermen left, and they returned to that spot and pulled a 22, a 19-3/4 and a 21-incher. Pretty much on Moonshine Shiver Minnows. The fish were back up feeling less twitchy, and definitely more active. The wind began picking up however, and the fish disappeared.

“They went wherever they went. So Heide pulled the boards out and we began pulling cranks about noon. Our first run, we picked up a 23 and Heide said, ‘we’re putting the rest of the shivers away, we’ll stick with trolling. We got around to the south side where the wind was blowing and about 12:30 got our first 26, and we knew that maybe sealed the deal for us. We got another 19, a 20 and a 16.

Then came one great example of how things can change in an instant on the water. This time, for the good. With the increasing wind and waves on their minds, they knew they had to make it 38 miles back to the dock at New Town, and decided they had to be up on plane at 2:30. They continued to troll and decided to pull everything at 2:26.

“At 2:25 p.m., the board tipped up. We said this is a big fish, and the panic started. We had boards out on one side and decided to slowly work that fish in. It was a 26,” he said. They recorded and released, and jetted on plane battling the waves, and made it in. With about three or four minutes to spare.

“By that time everybody had left the river and we were thinking, ‘did we figure something wrong with the time?’ It was a really exciting day for sure,” he said.

The Schneiders also fish other tournaments, but what do they like about fishing AIM?

“For us it’s a matter of not having to catch fish in the right order. It’s who will catch the biggest fish of the day will win. The team that did the best for that day. AIM is loaded with great people and friendly and great competition,” he said. “That and the fact that you don’t have to worry about having your limit at 10 a.m. You can fish all day long. The Catch-Record-Release is a huge benefit. Everybody needs to eventually go that way. We’ll get there.”

They’ll also be going to Devils Lake to get everything in order for a run at the championship, like everyone else.

“We’re probably going to be in the lead (for TOY) going into Devils, but not by very much over who was in first. That’s a little stressful,” he said. But being in the championship will be for everyone. 

Right behind the Schneiders in second place were Lonnie Jacobs of Douglas, ND, and Mitch Lang of Turtle Lake. For them, it was a case of “if only,” Jacobs said. If only they’d hit one more spot to get one more 20-incher aboard their 350 Verado-powered boat. That just might have clinched it for them. Shoulda, woulda, coulda in other words.

They caught them all along Shell Village, a long, sunken island in Van Hook, where they also pre-fished.

“To tell you the truth we literally only caught five fish, and it so happened four were carders, and that smaller one was 17-1/2. We were fishing dead smack in the middle of some trees on the bottom. I’m not kidding, we tore off 58 Lindy rigs on them,” he said. It was a matter of casting, opening the bail and letting’em suck it in between breaking off on the trees. They were well equipped, with maybe 100 more Lindys aboard, however.  

“We didn’t expect a lot of bites but we figured the ones we got would be good ones. We had seven bites and caught five, a 25-3/4-inch was the biggest. Three came on big minnows, one on a leech and one on a crawler.

“We figured we’d be right up there but honestly we also figured we needed to upgrade that 17-1/2, and if we had known we only needed one 19-1/4 to win…we thought we still needed a big one so we stayed right in the trees. Van Hook usually takes a lot of weight to win, but the weights weren’t that big this time,” Jacobs said.

They’ll also be headed to Devils in a few weeks. “We were in ninth before Sunday, and I think we’ll move up substantially. And by only losing by .63 of a pound, I’m thinking we’ll be in the top five, but we’ll find that out.”

Finishing in third place and $1,600 to the good were Tyler Heringer and Derek Buroughs of Minot, who boated 25.47 pounds. Fourth place and $1,300 went to Kyle Hertz of Bismarck and Jason Franzen of Mandan, with 17.58 pounds. Grant Miller and Jayden Peters of Dickinson finished fifth with 17.41 pounds, good for $1,000.

Stay tuned for the next AIM qualifiers, the Berkley Open this Sunday on the wide expanse of the Bay of Green Bay, and the Warrior Boats Open in Duluth, MN, on the first weekend of August. We’ll have previews of both.

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