Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.






Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122


Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)




AWWS Wisconsin Division Nitro Boats Open: Teams will do battle with each other, the weather, cold water, on April 10


No matter how much you wish it in the upper Midwest, it seems that baseball’s opening day is almost always cold, but the fans come out anyway. And for AIM’s inaugural event in the Weekend Walleye Series this year, a cold opener on Sunday, April 10 also seems to be setting up for the 83 boats that’ll be in the water for AIM’s opening day on Wisconsin’s Fox River and southern Green Bay.


That’s the word from two locals who will be competing on Sunday morning, the first step towards the state championship tournament berth, and a bigger bank account.


John McArdle of Fond Du Lac thinks it’s the river that holds the prize. But, he predicts a tough bite, unless the weather warms a lot, and right now, that isn’t in the forecast.


“Water temperatures are cold right now and guys are struggling,” McArdle said. “We’ve had one front come in after another. The water has been hovering at the 40-degree mark. When the sun comes out and warms things up a bit, the fish will bite.”


So far he said, male fish have been hitting, not the much longer females teams are looking for because they’ll increase chances of going home with a check.


“They’ve only been trickling in because of the weather. So this tournament will probably be won in the river. We’re not going to be looking for post-spawn fish. With the boundaries we’ve got, you will have to search for pre-spawn fish,” he said. Both walleye and saugers will be in play for a spot on team scorecards under AIM’s unique Catch-Record-Release™ format where every fish caught will be released right where they were caught.

That means many in the 83-boat field will be running up to the upstream limit, the dam at De Pere. Downstream limit is the Green Bay latitude line from Longtail Point east to the north side of Point Sable. All of Dead Horse Bay will be open. Longtail’s north side is off-limits.


Fox River anglers, he said, tend to use a lot of plastics, and blade baits like the Ecotail from Vibrations Tackle may be a big factor, and especially with the current dirty water, he said.


“A lot of guys use those. With an Ecotail, you can use them any time in a river because you can make good bottom contact with them, and they put out a lot of vibration in the water that the fish can feel,” McArdle said.


Other standby spring trolling rigs of shad style and straight stick crankbaits will also be go-to baits, he added.


Fellow competitor Rob Korth, who usually sets up his mobile Swampdonkey Bait & Tackle shop at Fox Point Boat Launch during the spring run, thinks teams should be prepared to catch ‘eyes in all phases of spawning, meaning even in Green Bay.


“About 2-1/2-weeks ago the water temps went up, but then it plummeted with the cold night air and north winds. Once the temps rose, we got hit with cold nights again and rain which made the water muddy,” Korth said. Cleaner water, which takes about three days, will make a big difference, he said.


Teams will launch at Green Bay’s Metro Boat Launch, with the first wave off at 7 a.m., with the second leaving at 7:15. Boats will return at 3, and 3:15 p.m. The awards ceremony will start at 5 p.m. at the boat launch.




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


AIM Presenting Sponsors: Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. and Warrior Boats.

AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Navionics, Powrtran, Power-Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Team Lodge, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, 4 Bears Casino North Dakota.

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