Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.


Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


Belated Wedding Gift: Manteuffel, With Nelson Subbing, Wins AIM Otter Tail Minnesota Qualifier And $9,000


Kyle Manteuffel predicted it. And then he went out and won it. He said that The AIM Warrior Boats/Kovash Marine Open on Minnesota’s Otter Tail Lake would churn up the Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Team Of The Year race in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and his win Sunday (July 30) with Sean Nelson subbing for Manteuffel’s wife Grace may have just done it.

“Manteuffel and Nelson won by one of the thinnest margins. Try just .18 of a pound. Maybe equal to the nick of a tail fin that the second-place team found on one of their fish,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “Manteuffel and Nelson took home $9,000, moved up in TOY standings by a boatload, and also potentially changed the makeup of the top 10 standings that will be finally determined at the upcoming Mercury Marine state championship Aug. 18-19 on Lake Winnibigoshish in Bena, MN. And what can you say about the fish that Ottertail gave up Sunday? Some real tanks decided to show up for our 100-boat event. Our teams even caught and released a sturgeon.”

Manteuffel, of Coon Rapids, first with wife Grace, who began feeling a bit under the weather, and who Nelson, from Rosemount, replaced, started pre-fishing in the shallows, but like other teams, eventually moved deeper, and capitalized on what they found with their forward-facing sonar in their Mercury 250 Pro XS-powered boat.

“We found a lot of areas where we figured we could get a couple of big bites and a bag of 20-inch fish,” he said. They felt like the lake would be tough. At first.

“But as practice evolved, we found some deeper fish too, around 18 to 40 feet. It’s pretty common on Ottertail to be able to find depths like that due to the structure. And we found some stuff happening deep and decided to focus on that as well,” Manteuffel said.

They turned to a tried and true tool, Lindy rigging, using big minnows, as in B-I-G, eight inches plus, to coax their fish to hit.

“We would use our forward-facing sonar to find them and pull our bait through them. That’s how we were able to see and find everything we caught. We were going really slow, just making sure our baits were where they needed to be, .3 to .8 mph depending on how the fish were reacting. We also caught some on Jigging Raps and Shiver Minnows,” he added. When they happened on fish, Nelson would also cast a jig and minnow, but the majority came on rigging.

“We bounced around throughout the day Sunday to several spots,” Manteuffel explained. “We started in an area and got a full card but only one fish we ended up keeping.” They headed to some of their other spots after things got crowded, but came back around 11:30 a.m. and stayed. “We ended up upgrading all of our fish except one there,” he said.

“At about 1:30 p.m. our smallest fish was 22 inches. We thought we had a pretty good bag, and we then ended up catching a 29.5-incher to upgrade that. Then about a half-hour later around 2:15 p.m., (Fan Nation, remember, they had to be checked in back at the dock in as little as 45 minutes at that point), we ended up catching a 27-3/4-incher that upgraded a 24-3/4, and that pushed us over 40 pounds,” he said. Heading back to the dock, their fish ranged from 25 to that 29-1/2.  Pretty good, eh? We’ll see.

“We felt okay coming in. I figured we were in the top five just based on seeing other boats as we bounced around. They were bobber fishing and sporadically catching fish. I figured the bite may have been a little better Sunday than it actually was,” he said.

They knew for sure that it was the biggest five fish bag taken out of Ottertail during an AIM Catch-Record-ReleaseÔ or other similar tournament, he said.

“But, based on the competition we weren’t sure if we had won it. We knew we had a good chance,” Manteuffel continued. Back at the dock, time for dock talk, and both their wondering and anticipation was building.

“We heard the Rosemores (eventual second-place team of Evan and father Steven, from North Branch and Cloquet, respectively) had a big bag, so I texted him and asked if he had over 35 pounds, skirting around our actual weight.” They said, maybe.

“I texted back and said, how about over 40?,” he said. Then the phone rang, and it was Evan Rosemore. “He said, ‘I’m not going to tell you exactly, but we are over 40.”

“We didn’t’ know until Denny was announcing at the awards ceremony, and when he announced their first fish, then we knew we had them beat,” Manteuffel said.

How will their win affect their TOY standings? That’ll be announced at AIM’s Facebook site Friday August 4th at 8am, but, he said, he was pretty sure they had fulfilled his prediction of shaking up the standings.

“We’ll for sure be in the top 10. From 10th to fourth place is going to be super tight, within a couple of points of each other,” going into the championship, he said. “Tom Huynh and Nate Wolske (they finished fourth) and Team Rosemore will definitely be duking it out for the number one spot.”

Now, about that second-place team of the Rosemores. Evan is an AIM sponsor, with his name on the rods he uses and used on this one, and he was gracious in acknowledging the win by his friend Manteuffel. And, they also picked up more TOY points, plus $3,500, and the first place side pot of $1,800.

The Rosemores eventually concentrated on the lake’s northeast end, fishing the humps there, running and gunning to multiple spots to find multiple individual fish with their Garmin LiveScope.

“Just .18 of a pound. Which means that if any one of our fish could have gotten to cross the next quarter-inch line on the bump board, we would have had it. But Kyle got his first win just like we did at on the Mississippi (the immediate past qualifier July 9 at Hager City, WI).

“We didn’t get a whole lot of practice before,” Evan Rosemore said. “I grabbed the boat Wednesday and left and noticed on my phone (from Steven) showing a couple of different waypoints of 26 and 29-inch fish, both in 29 to 35 feet of water, fishing glide baits and finding fish on our Garmin LiveScope, so he had a few areas nailed down by the time I got there. We went out Friday and explored a few more areas that were similar. We had a good practice. We were thinking from previous years that we had a shot at it with upper 20s to low 30-pound range.”

But, Ottertail had improved a bit from previous years, and showed off with some big fish.

“We went out Saturday and tried to expand on a different end of the lake and caught 40 fish but only four or five were over 10 inches,” he said. That means that Ottertail has a great class of small fish coming online and that means big future fish. But, they were fishing for now, not the future.

“We knew that if we put our heads down and ground it out Sunday on the spots we did well on, we’d do good, and that’s what we did,” he said.

“We found fish on LiveScope and we casted and looked at their reactions, and if they didn’t, we reeled back up and moved on to the next fish. Ninety percent were not interested, meaning they were sturgeon or suckers or walleyes in a negative mood.

“When we did get fish to react, we threw the kitchen sink, glide baits, Puppet Minnows, Shiver Minnows. We caught fish on a drop shot and crawler, on redtails, big minnows.

“We probably casted at 300 fish all day. We put nine on the card and caught another nine or so. We started the morning and caught three or four around that 20-inch range, ran to another spot and caught a 26-3/4 incher and a 28. Then a 22-incher, and we drove around more and caught a few others,” he said.

“We hit two, three or four more spots that didn’t pan out and came back to that first spot and caught a 28 and a 28-3/4-incher,” he said. Now it was time for him to do some figurin.’

“At the last two AIM tournaments here, 2016 was won with 23.9 pounds, and the one in 2018 was 25 or 26, and another catch-release tournament was won with 33 pounds, but that was a six-fish tournament,” he said, so coming in with about 40, they were confident. And that was when that texting convo between Manteuffel and Rosemore began.

“Both of us were thinking we’d won until we found about each other’s bags, and we were sweating right up until the awards,” Rosemore said.

“It was meant to be for Kyle. We had one fish that had a scar on its tail. If it wouldn’t have had a damaged tail, we might have gotten that extra quarter-inch. I’m super happy for him. Nobody deserves it more,” Rosemore said.

Rosemore admitted that it’s still an extremely tight race for the TOY title. They’re still in the lead, but by a frog hair.

“So it’s still a lead but not a comfortable one. We’ve got to stay on the gas and do well at the championship if we’re going to make it happen,” he said.

In third place, finishing with 34.88 pounds and earning $2,800 plus the second place side pot of $1,080 were Hunter Nitti and Charles Mcgivern of Rosemount. Fourth place was taken by you-know-who, Tom Huynh of Wolverton and Nate Wolske of Boy River. They carded 33.97 pounds for $1,400 and third-place side pot cash of $720. In fifth, winning $1,300, were Randy Topper of Cohasset and Chuck Hasse of Walker.

Fan Nation, hang on. What a finish this is shaping up to be, and it will only be decided in a few weeks at Winnibigoshish. We’ve got multiple teams who can win it all during that two-day topper for the AIM Minnesota Division in 2023, that will also determine who from here gets to launch at the National Championship Shootout in 2024.

Then Wisconsin is in the spotlight for the Garmin/Navionics State Championship and Yamaha Motor Corp USA Team Of The Year (TOY) award Aug. 25-26 at Oconto on the Bay of Green Bay.

North Dakota, get ready, because it’s your turn Sept. 8-9 for the Yamaha Motor Corp. USA North Dakota State Championship and TOY award on Lake Sakakawea at Beulah.

Then, AIM travels to the Mississippi at Clinton Iowa for the next Rivers Division qualifier Sept. 10, and then Oct. 1 in Dubuque, IA, with that division championship Oct. 21-22 on that river at Prairie du Chien, WI, for the first time enabling 10 more boats to qualify for next year’s Shootout.

Get ready to rock nearly to November. We started in cold weather, so why not end this season in some, too? We’ll have updates prior to all events coming up. Stay tuned for the fun.

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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 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 fish house rentals, Island Bar and Grill, Bait Box on the Rock, Oconto County WI, Odyssey Battery.

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