Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2016
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Consistency, a little luck, pay off: Schneider/Clumpner take AWWS Wisconsin Division Yamaha Team of The Year honors
From battling foul weather at the season opener at Green Bay in April to battling heat and a tough bite on Lake Winnebago last Friday and Saturday, it took consistency, hard work and luck for John Schneider and John Clumpner to pull it out and clinch the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Wisconsin Division Yamaha Team of the Year honors by only 8 points.
After a “horrible” first day of the AWWS Nitro Boats Wisconsin Division Championship presented by Yamaha Motor Corp. USA and Warrior Boats, Schneider, from Shawano, and Clumpner, from Little Suamico, climbed back on the horse and tried old waypoints on the lake to boat enough fish to keep them in the lead and win a new Yamaha T9.9 kicker motor for their efforts.
“I feel we really actually got lucky, and we really, really worked hard on Winnebago,” Schneider said. “We kept on trying different areas for a few bites here and there, and we lost a fish that we stupidly tried to hoist into the boat, and learned a valuable lesson there: No matter how good you think a fish is hooked, net it.”
After Day One, the team had only 3.47 pounds to their name. They knew that Day Two of the championship was going to be crucial to hang onto to their lead, he said. “We knew we had to get a couple of good bites by the end of the day, and we started doing that. We started running crankbaits and we got an 18-1/2 at 11:45, our first fish, then at 2:10 we got our 23-3/4, on cranks.”
During pre-fishing they found walleye, and quickly left ’em alone so they wouldn’t burn their chances, but when they went back on the tournament’s first day, Schneider said, “they were just gone. They were structure fish, and they were gone. I couldn’t believe it.”
They then had to scramble to find fish, steering his Ranger 621 to come up with their winning weight in areas they hadn’t “way-pointed,” but knew from experience might hold fish.
Schneider credited the Wisconsin Division championship winners, Josh Wiesner, from Fond du Lac, and Brad Schrauth, of Campbellsport, for knowing where the big fish were in the lake in mid-summer, when usually ‘bago is very reluctant to give them up. They won the championship by nearly 20 pounds.
“Those guys had it completely dialed in. My hat goes off to them. We had just under 11 (10.94, to be exact) pounds for two days. We knew we needed to come in with 7 pounds or so to even stand a chance” at TOY honors.
Schneider said he felt “really good” about securing a berth in next year’s AIM National Championship event, location to be determined. They actually had a berth this year, but two other tournaments got in the way. That won’t happen again, he said. The top five finishers in Team of The Year standings, in fact, earned guaranteed spots.
“Team of the Year honors is an accumulation of all the tournaments we entered,” he said. “It’s an honor that very few anglers get. A lot larger percentage win tournaments, so this is really cool. Winning a championship is also huge, so now that John and I can scratch this one off the list, we can concentrate on the other. Either one is fantastic. Any time you can compete in the field we fish against, this is huge.
“It speaks volumes on the preparation involved, and a little bit of luck too. We’d like to be the first AIM team to win Team of the Year back-to-back.”
The remaining top four Team of the Year places: Brett Wiersma, Seymour, WI, and Nick Wenninger, Hartford, WI, who finished second; in third, Jason Wanty and David Parker, Waupaca, WI; and fourth and fifth place went to Bill and Matt Bobber of Appleton, WI, and Chad Wiskow of Neenah, WI, and Joe Mans of Peshtigo, respectively.
Next up, AIM returns to North Dakota’s Lake Sakakawea for the Mercury Marine North Dakota Division Championship on Aug. 5-6, and then turns north and east for the Yamaha Motor Corp Minnesota Division Championship on Aug. 26-27.
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 www.aimfishing.com.
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.