Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.






Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122


Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)




Boat control, patience, flexibility, win AIM’s Fox River Wisconsin Nitro Boats Open for Team Bobber


Boat control. It’s crucial to staying on active fish or a good trolling break, and it’s never more so than in a river. That also goes for sticking with a plan, while also being flexible. And, for Bill Bobber and son Matt, boat control, planning, and changing lures when first choices didn’t produce, helped earned them first place and $6,800 in the season-opening AIM Weekend Walleye Series Nitro Boats Open on Wisconsin’s lower Fox River and Green Bay.


Team Bobber, from Appleton, Wisconsin, found fish for a crucial three hours mid-day in cold, windy conditions when others in the 83-boat field didn’t, boating big, spawning females to trump the field with 43.95 pounds and jump into first place in the hunt for the Wisconsin division championship and AIM Angler of The Year.


It didn’t start out that way though, Bill Bobber related. “We partner with another team of John Schneider and John Clumpner, who pre-fished only two days because of the foul weather prior to Sunday’s event.


“Matt and I would have fished Friday and Saturday. Friday’s weather was horrible, but we did fish Saturday. John Schneider had located what we thought would have been winning fish last Tuesday, so I made a pull through the area on Saturday afternoon and caught a 25-incher so we knew the fish were still there,” Bobber said. However, things didn’t go their way at first on Sunday when they went back.


“Fishing was very poor. We didn’t net our first until 10 a.m., so we started switching baits and areas a bit. We basically found a hard bottom and it seemed like the big females were staging there. Matt also started switching colors and sizes of cranks,” he said.

“We no more than set up when it was basically one after the other for the next 45 minutes. We boated five from 24 to 28 ¼ inches, and as fast as they started, they quit. We heard later that most in the tournament had caught their fish early in the day, whereas our experience was just the opposite.


By 2 p.m., they’d filled their card. “We just got lucky and caught the larger fish, but you still have to be in the right place. We just stayed patient,” he added. Bobber was cagey about lure colors and location, because, he said, he’ll be fishing another tournament on the river shortly. “Usually, that’s just not me, but,” he said, he’s hoping for a repeat.


Besides changing lure sizes, Bobber said boat control was a key, especially when you’re buffeted by wind and enduring April cold. “The weather was horrible. It could have been worse, but the winds were up, and it was cold. Controlling our troll was the key for us,” he said.


The Bobbers have been fishing AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ tournaments from the get-go, even winning on Lake Winnebago’s Wolf River chain—site of the AIM Wisconsin Division’s next tournament on April 24—in 2014. So, you might want to be looking for Bobbers on the winner’s platform, too, in two weeks.


Second place went to another father-son team, Tom and Travis Nelson, of Neenah, WI. They took home $2,000 for 40.17 pounds by trolling with more than half the field near the Fort Howard paper mill, using custom-painted Berkley Flicker Minnows and Flicker Shads, upstream in 11 to 14 feet of water.


“We had five fish on the card in the first 45 minutes. Travis put four of them on, and we upgraded after that. We boated somewhere around 30 fish, with four doubles and three triples,” Tom Nelson said. “One thing I’ve got to mention is how nice the other teams were. They gave us plenty of room to fight our fish. We actually took photos of them to meet them on shore to say thanks,” he said.


Look for the Nelsons to be in the running on the Wolf River, too. “I’m in all the AIM tournaments this year. Last year was our first, and I thought it was the best tournament series I’ve ever fished,” said Nelson, who’s been fishing walleye for 25 years, and has a new guide service as of this year. I wish every tournament would go to this format. It’s absolutely fantastic.”


Third place and $1,500 went to Craig Hendzel and Jayme Court of Seymour, WI, with a weight of 39.81 pounds, while the fourth-place team of Justin Heider of Greenville, WI, and Ryan Mereness of Appleton right behind at 39.79 pounds earned $1,300. Fifth-place finishers James Keller of Neenah, and Larry Eaton of Winnecone, WI, received $1,200 for their 38.46-pound effort.


Register to test your skills and enjoy the camaraderie on the Wolf and Winnebago on April 24. Just go to for information.


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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