For Immediate Release, June 24, 2015
Make That Two For Team Grothe In Emotional Father’s Day Win
At AWWS Minnesota Division ‘Warrior Boats Open’
Eight-year-old Reid Grothe will have a lot to talk about at show and tell when school re-opens in the fall.
Setting lines and reeling in all the fish while dad Ross steered the boat and manned the electronics on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, team Grothe of Northfield, MN, did it again, winning their second AIM Weekend Walleye Series Minnesota Division Warrior Boats Open Qualifier, this time at Lac Qui Parle Lake near Montevideo MN, and $3,500.
The pair are getting pretty used to doing well on the lake despite changing conditions dramatically after May’s Warrior Boats/Yamaha Marine Championship Shootout, when they finished fourth. But, as Ross said, this time, it was all about having fun with his son and remembering when he would fish with his own late father, starting Ross on the tournament road.
All it took was a look in the tackle box, and a ‘hey, let’s try this’ attitude after a less-than-epic pre-fishing period.
“Pre-fishing was really tough. When we were here 3 weeks earlier for the Shootout we finished fourth. The water was up about four feet then. When we came back for the qualifier the water had dropped about four feet, and visibility was less than six inches,” Ross said.
I pre-fished for two days and caught only four small walleyes in the 13-inch range, so we just opted to put some cranks on and cover a lot of water Sunday. We were running some long lines out the back and began trolling some rock areas that had produced before. I figured those fish weren’t going to leave so we’d just grind it out and stick with what I knew,” he continued.
“I looked at my son and said ‘Reid, what should we do?’ He said, dad, let’s try Shad Raps, so we did. We tried Number 5 and 7 Raps and finally tried a green Number 5 UV Firetiger. I put that on and made it about 130 yards, looked over my shoulder and that rod was doubled over, and that first fish was 17 and ¾-inches. We looked around the tackle and came up with another,” he said. “We went another 40 yards and had a 20 and ¾-incher on.”
Since Minnesota rules allow one rod per person, that’s all it took, along with, as Ross said, the stars aligning, thoughts of being out fishing with his son on Father’s Day, and memories of other Father’s Day fishing trips with his own late dad, to take the pressure off and create the win.
They reached their limit between 9 and 10 a.m. and continued to upgrade. Ross knew he needed a “kicker fish” to be in contention. “Then about 2 p.m., boom, the rod goes again. Reid handled the rod and I netted the fish and it was 24 and ¾-inches, which was about six pounds. It was hot, flat and dead calm over six feet of water. I told him wow, I bet we’re in the top three, so we went in,” Ross said.
It wasn’t until he began talking with his fellow competitors waiting to retrieve his boat that he realized they had a real shot.
“We had 17.96 pounds for five fish, but we had a lot of local competition,” he continued.
But when the dust settled, they were in the winner’s circle again, and memories of fishing with his father flooded back. “I lost my father nine years ago and he was my mentor and took the time to spend fishing and hunting with me, so it was a very emotional day for me,” he said.
“Driving out, Reid and I were reminiscing about how we were going fishing, not going to win the tournament, and that it’s all about having fun and not worrying about beating anyone else. But the stars aligned and we’re doing well. Being an 8-year-old, he may think we’re just going to put the boat in the water and wail on fish, but the first day of pre-fishing we never caught a walleye.
“I always go into these with a good attitude, especially with Reid. It’s easy to give up when pre-fishing was that bad. With an 8-year-old, you’re going to have trials and tribulations in fishing, and I can’t get frustrated. It’s part of having fun with your family and raising kids. And it’s not just about beating the competition. It’s about time spent together on the water and enjoying a sport we can do for the rest of our lives and that he can carry on with his family.”
“Reid handled all the rods, put out lines an set them and I controlled the boat and net. People say I can’t believe you let him, but this is a team. We’re a team. If we lose a fish, that’s part of fishing. We lost a nice one at the boat and I told him we’re not going to think about that one, we’re going to think about the ones we’re going to catch.”
And it looks like they’ll be catching them together for quite a few more AIM tournaments.
The top five, their weights, and purses, rounded out this way:
Second Place: Phillip Bauerly, Walker, MN, and Jimmy Kiley, Sartell, MN, 15.76 pounds $1,700.00
Third Place: Matthew Fernholz, Madison, MN, Tim Patzer, Marietta, MN, 14.74 pounds $1,300.00
Fourth Place: Josh Weckwerth, and Dylan Lines, both of Montevideo, MN, 13.27 pounds $1,100.00
Fifth Place: Rick Hoium, Madison, MN, and Robert Hoium, Montevideo, MN, 12.85 pounds $800.00
Watch for it on on Thursday, NAVIONICS BIG FISH THURSDAY where the winner is announced and will receive a Navionics Platnum Hot maps Chip courtesy of Navionics!
Contact: Denny Fox, AIM National Tournament Director, 920-505-0122; [email protected]
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, Starcraft Marine, Amsoil, Navionics, Powrtran, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Team Lodge, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, The City of Oconto, Eagle Bay Marina and Eagles Landing Casino, Montevideo MN Chamber of Commerce, Randall’s Milan Beach Resort