Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.



Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)

Green Bay’s cold, but will it take 40 pounds to win Sunday’s AIM Weekend Walleye Series Nitro Boats Open?

Water temps in the Bay of Green Bay may be only in the high 40s, and predicted air temps are only a bit higher, but, say two veteran bay anglers, including the Team of The Year points leader skipper, a 40-pound bag on cranks might be needed to win on Sunday’s AIM Weekend Walleye Series Nitro Boats Open.

Current Wisconsin Division point’s leader Robert O’Connell of Menasha says that fish are in post-spawn transition and are spreading out from the concentrated pods that anglers found at the last AIM event here on the Fox River April 10.

“Right now, you’re talking fish in 4 to 8 feet of water,” he said. “Last weekend, I tried to hit fish deeper and didn’t find anything. I think a lot of boats will try to hang around the mouth of the Fox, but with the lack of rainfall (rain did arrive earlier in the week, after he was interviewed), the current has slowed down tremendously.”

Then there’s that cold front moving in for the weekend, he said, with overnight temperatures expected in the mid-30s and highs in the low- to mid-50s.

“It’s hard to fish in and on the bay if you get a north wind; that could make things very difficult. There are some really good areas that are on fire, but they’re out of bounds for this event,” O’Connell said.

Tourney boundaries run from the Fox River dam at Depere to the bay from just north of Pensaukee on the west, to just south of Little Sturgeon Bay on the east. Sunday’s launch will be from the Green Bay Metro Boat Launch.

And the expected bait of choice? Cranks. “We haven’t been using crawlers yet,” O’Connell said. “Typically we don’t start until we home in on deeper water.


“Snap jigging also comes into play, and we’ll do that if we can find some concentrated fish,” but O’Connell’s also looking forward to experimenting.

“Every time you go out you always want to learn something new, whether it’s a presentation or a new bait, or a new area. I always try to throw something in the boat I’ve never tried before and use it pre-fishing. Right now, Salmos are working pretty good. Water clarity in the lower bay is starting to get better, so there’s no reason why the South Shore and University Bay couldn’t turn on as well.”

O’Connell, who’s fishing with Travis MacDonald, also of Menasha, feels good about his chances to hang onto the top spot. “I’ve been fishing all my life and in tournaments for 20 years, and Travis’ resume includes when he and his dad were Team of the Year in another tournament series. Right now we feel as though it’s ours to loose, and it’ll be nice in the next two tournaments to score at least in the top five.”

Justin Heider, of Greenville has a lot of bay experience as well in his 24 years, including the last seven as a guide, and says that with water temps at 48 degrees, the cooler air should keep the lake’s temp down, too.

“The ice came off early this year, then it got cold, so it’s never really warmed up,” but he’s looking for some big fish to be on his card come Sunday afternoon.

“I would say the bite is going to be fairly tough, but we’ll definitely see some big bags. Cranks will be the presentation most will go with but there will be room to fish other presentations,” Heider predicts.

We’ve fished both the Fox River contest and in Winneconne this year. The Fox was fun and there was a lot of huge fish, and this time the huge ones will be harder to come by, but I betcha the winning bag will still be close to 40 pounds.”

“We’ve caught some nice fish and I always feel good about fishing there. I also like AIM’s Sunday tournaments. You can take one day off work and you have two full days of pre-fishing,” he said.

He also is a dedicated Catch-Record-­Release™ fan. “I really like it because there are no culling issues. You don’t have to worry about keeping a medium-size fish you caught in the morning, and obviously the conservation aspect is really nice, too.”

Team registration and the rules meeting for this event take place at the D2 Sports Pub in Green Bay on Saturday. The awards will be presented at the Green Bay Metro boat launch at 5pm Sunday.

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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