Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 21, 2016
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Heat, tons of forage, may make AWWS Lake Winnebago Wisconsin championship a challenge and a half
Air temps in the 90s or a degree or two away. Lake temps in the high 70s. A lake teeming with natural food. And cloudy, turbid, downright grubby water at the start of pre-fishing means, in the eyes of the two top boats in the Yamaha Motor Corp USA Team of the Year standings, a tough go Friday and Saturday for the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Nitro Boats Wisconsin Division Championship.
Yamaha Team of the Year leaders John Schneider, of Shawano, WI, and his partner John Clumpner, of Litle Suamico spent 16 fairly discouraging hours on ‘Bago their first day of pre-fishing, and came off with four small fish, hence their prediction.
“I think it’s going to be a tough fight,” Schneider said. “A lot of teams are going to struggle, and I’m thinking a limit of 15-inch fish will be huge.”
Why? “There is so much fry out there. The fish have got so much feed. And, typically on Winnebago from the beginning of July on, it’s tough anyway. So we’ll see what happens,” he added. “If someone was to give me a limit of 18-inchers two days in a row, I’d take it in a heartbeat.”
Whoever puts it all together on Friday and Saturday has a shot at the $8,000 for first-place prize. In all, 51 boats will be fishing for a piece of the $23,000.00 purse
Schneider’s betting most of the teams will be “in the mud,” localese for raking the middle lake with everything from crank baits to crawlers to coax fish not stuffed yet with shad, shiners, young-of-the-year walleyes and other food to slash at a passing offering. “I think a lot will be pulling crank baits, some crawler harnesses, and others will be fishing the river pulling flies (multi-hook rigs used by locals),” he said.
“The big ones have got a lot of feed. In the (Wolf) river, you can see huge schools of fry minnows and it’s pretty tough to compete with that.
“We typically don’t do good in the mud, but that’s where we’re going to pre-fish tomorrow. Because of all the high winds and rain we’ve been getting the water also is very dirty, so hopefully in the next few days, things are going to start cleaning up a bit,” he said.
But it’s the heat that also heading Wisconsin way. “It’s supposed to be 94 here tomorrow (Tuesday), and get worse on Thursday and Friday, so we’re not looking forward to it.”
Lurking just seven points behind Schneider and Clumpner are Waupaca, WI anglers Jason Wanty and David Parker. Wanty also used similar words in describing what’s ahead for the field Friday and Saturday.
“The phrase that always pops up about Winnebago is that the only consistent thing about it is inconsistency. The algae overall has been down this year, but the water quality has plummeted with the big winds. It’s very dirty compared to Winnebago’s usual mid-summer form,” Wanty said.
“Fishing overall is tough. Most of the tournaments have been won this year ‘in the mud,’ the main lake, trolling spinners and crank baits. But, you might get five big ones out there and zero the next day, so definitely luck is involved,” he said.
It will take some of that precious consistency to pass Schneider and Clumpner. “With us in second, we’re looking for consistency in fish. The river can produce big fish but it’s also been very inconsistent. We are going to focus on getting five, and we think we’ve got a pretty good game plan going into the mud.”
“The typical midsummer presentations are still going to be used,” Wanty predicted. “But we’ve noticed that fish are starting to go into a late-summer, early fall pattern, congregating in a little different areas.”
However, Wanty said, he’s not been on the lake yet. And with all those factors, and ‘Bago’s penchant for inconsistency, he’s also hedging on what Friday and Saturday will bring.
“Going into a Winnebago tournament thinking you’re going to win is just silly because conditions dictate everything out there. The fish are very well fed this year and they’re about a pound to 1-1/2 pounds heavier for their size than last year, and that makes them tough to catch,” he said.
“We’re seeing very big clouds of what we believe are emerald shiners, and there’s also the shad. It’s been tough to get ’em to go with conventional ways. We think we need to target reactionary strikes. That might just be the key to winning.”
Come Saturday, we’ll all see if it is.
The team rules meeting takes place at Blanck’s Lake Aire Supper Club tonight. The field launches from Menominee Park in Oshkosh at 7 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and the awards ceremony takes place at the park starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
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.