Presented by Yamaha Marine and Warrior Boats
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Published May 23, 2014
FATHER AND SON TEAM DOMINATE FIELD AT OTTER TAIL LAKE
“It was a great tournament with 65 boats,” exclaimed Jim Miller, AIM Weekend Walleye Series (AWWS) Minnesota Tournament Director. “This morning we started off at 44 degrees with light south winds. Later in the morning, the wind kicked up and some clouds rolled in to make things interesting. The change in conditions touched off a good shallow water bite and a lot of fish were caught.”
Blasting across the lake in their Warrior 2090 Tiller, the father and son team of John and Drake Herd put five fish over 20 inches on their AIM scorecard to take 1st place at the “Alumacraft Open” on Otter Tail Lake.
After making four passes over their first spot on the south end of the lake, the team moved a short distance down the breakline and began catching fish in the 19-inch class. They continued to work a quarter mile stretch, which paid off when the wind picked up around 11:00am and the bites began to get bigger. Their final fish, a 23.5 inch kicker came a few minutes before they were due to check-in.
Drake positioned the boat along the breakline in 10 feet of water as he jigged the shallow side, and John rigged minnows in deeper water. Both presentations worked well for the team with the largest fish coming on a jig tipped with a 6” redtail chub.
John commented on the AIM format, “The day before we fished another tournament and caught several fish over 20 inches, but had to make a decision on which ones to keep. This was great! We could just keep catching big fish all day long!”
They crushed the field with a converted weight of 22.41 lbs, winning $5200 and free entry into the AIM’s Oconto Pro Team Challenge ($1200 value) plus $1000 in “Warrior Cash” from Warrior Boats.
Coming in 2nd place were Scott Perala and Steve Whiting. With very little time to prefish, they ended up fishing memories during the tournament. They hit pay dirt on the north side of the lake in a spot that Perala had done well on before in tournaments.
The key to their success was finding large balls of bait and jigging with 1/16oz purple jigs and shiners. The team fished their jigs slowly in 9 to 12 feet of water and carded 14.93 lbs for a $2000 payday.
This was the first time that the father and son team of Brian and Justin Schneider had ever fished Otter Tail, and by early afternoon on tournament day they had only one 13 inch fish on the scorecard. “We switched up and went to a more finesse approach by lengthening the leader on our Lindy Rigs and we took off the bead for a more natural look,” said Justin “We also did some snap jigging with tiny white 1/32oz jigs.”
The change in presentation paid off and the team started catching fish on the south side of the lake backtrolling a break in 12 to 22 feet of water. Working along an inside cup on the breakline using the biggest spottail shiners they could find, the team hammered out 15 fish in the last two hours of the tournament. Their efforts paid off carding 14.72 lbs and 3rd place, earning the team $1700.
“I love the AIM format,” stated Justin. “You don’t have to babysit your fish and you don’t have to worry about a slot. You just go out and fish. This is the format of the future!”
The Otter Tail tournament was the first Minnesota event in AIM’s Weekend Walleye Series which is presented by Yamaha and Warrior Boats. The next AWWS tournament will take place June 8th on Mille Lacs Lake.
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 Marketing Partners: Yamaha Marine, Warrior Boats, Alumacraft Boats, Nitro Boats, Mercury Marine, Navionics, Amsoil, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Team Lodge, Gemini Sport Marketing, National Fleet Graphics, and The City of Oconto.