Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.


Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


Nearly 42 Pounds Takes AWWS Rivers Division Qualifier

At Hager City For Lampman, Beck On Lake Pepin


Using live bait and both pulling and casting rigs, Wisconsin residents Robert Lampman and Tom Beck put a winning program together to boat nearly 42 pounds of fish while dealing with falling Mississippi River levels to win the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Open Rivers Division Qualifier at Hager City Sunday, June 11.

“Robert Lampman has fished this area for years, and he and his partner changed up their location to win this by a fish lip more than three pounds,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “They went home with $3,500 from AIM and first place side pot cash of $1,350.”

“We had a different program put together when the water was still three or four feet higher, but it dropped really fast, so we had to come up with a new one,” Lampman, who’s from De Soto, Wisconsin, said. Beck is from Genoa.

“We’d fished the south end of Lake Pepin before and just kind of worked around an area my wife and I had found in prior years,” he said. “We were right within 300 yards of where we thought the fish should be. But there were too many boats and it was a local spot, but in our particular area, we didn’t have anybody around us.”

There’s another tip for you, Fan Nation. Sometimes, boats just attract boats. It may or may not mean there are fish. But, if you can get close to the pack but not in it, you may have better luck. Fish won’t be spooked and may be on the feedbag.

“Exactly, all those reasons,” Lampman agreed. “We like staying away from people. Our first trip down, we were pushing more like 10 or 12 fish. We had a good limit, but not winning fish.

“We were basically pulling live bait with Lindy Rigs and a lot pitching jigs and pulling live bait on the jigs,” he said. That means willow cats and leeches both.

“I attach a swivel and bead on a two-way and put the leader off one and off the snap swivel I can put on any weight I want and change it over really quickly,” he said.

“We did have to battle 15 to 20 mph winds, so it was a day of boat control, and I think that’s what did it for us,” he added. The pair probably caught 20 to 30 fish all day, a lot they did not put on their Catch-Record-ReleaseÔ card, but one moment or two in particular sealed it, he said.

“We got into what capped it off. At one time we had a triple. One was still only 20, but two turned out to be a 25-1/2 and a 27-1/2, and after that, I said ‘we’re done here.’ In my lifetime I had three tournaments so far over 40 pounds. Any time you can break 39, you’re looking good for the most part,” Lampman said.

“I’ve fished the AIM format before and won a championship down in Dubuque, and I like it. I hope it continues. Having 40 boats was great. If it was 100 out there, it’d be great.”

You’ll also see Lampman and Beck at the next Rivers Division events, both on Sept. 10 at Pools 13, 14 and 15 in Clinton, Iowa, and on Oct. 1 in Dubuque, the makeup event for the one there that was postponed in spring due to high water.

Finishing second at Hager City were Tony Flatten and his son Kenny, of Albert Lea, Minnesota. They landed 38.80 pounds and earned $2,500 plus $810 in side pot cash.

Tony Flatten hadn’t pre-fished the area since the weekend prior to the contest. But, Kenny was scouting, Tony said.

“My son pre-fished for a half-day Friday and Saturday. He was at the riprap areas along the river and pre-fished the lake points on Pepin. We stay there all summer, so we have areas we know we have confidence in, and left them alone on Friday and Saturday,” Tony said. It proved to be a great move. They headed to Lake Pepin, where the Chippewa River meets the lake, settling in 12 to 24 feet of water to drag, pitch and drift those willow cats.

“We went right there on Sunday, and I didn’t even have a rod in the water and Kenny told me ‘get the net.’ Our first fish was a 25 and caught on a jig and a willow cat,” he said And just in case, he made it positive he wouldn’t run out of those. He had up to 10 dozen aboard.

After that first fish, they went three hours, catching maybe 30 between 18 and 21 inches, never bothering to take photos because he knew they wouldn’t take them to the podium. Then those three hours got over, quickly, with a last move that proved crucial.

“We got a 27-1/4-incher, and 15 minutes later we got a 27, and a fourth was a 27-1/4-incher, all within 15 minutes. And literally we knew we had to head back through the no-wake zones by 1:30, and we said, let’s go hit this lake point.

“During that, we caught eight or nine between 12 and 22 inches. And honestly, I thought I had a rock bass. It was nibble, nibble, nibble, and I set the hook, and got that 27-3/4-incher at the last minute. We cranked up the trolling motor and headed that way.

“We knew we had a chance, not to win. We lost five fish over 28 inches that day. We just couldn’t get them into the net. We had it, but we lost it, and that’s fishing. We’re very happy,” Tony Flatten said. “It was a very well-run tournament and we really enjoyed AIM hosting it. We’ll definitely be in any and every one that comes back to Pool 4.”

That won’t be too long of a wait. On July 9, AIM will be back at Hager City when the Minnesota Division visits for a qualifier on Pools 3 and 4.

Nailing down third place for this tournament were Kyle Brantner and Joe Newcomb of Pepin, Wisconsin, who netted 33.53 pounds, and $1,400, plus $540 in side pot cash. Fourth place and $1,200 went to Clayton Freiburger of Dubuque, and Robert Freiburger of LaMotte, Iowa, who landed 30.56 pounds. Fifth place and $1,000 went to Dwayne Smith Jr. of East Moline, Illinois, and William Stiner of Moline. They carded 29.58 pounds of fish.

We’re not quite over with June, Fan Nation. The North Dakota Division meets on this Sunday, June 18, on Lake Sakakawea at Parshall, where those Lake Sak walleye are waiting for someone to tickle their interest   2023 AIM Weekend Walleye Series season continues with more qualifying events, in all four divisions. Stay tuned to AIM’s Facebook site updates Learn how you can register for the next events at

You know you want to. You know you can.

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 inc.  


AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Gemini Sport Marketing, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, McQuoids Inn, Rosemore Outdoor Gear, Outdoor Authority fish house rentals, Island Bar and Grill, Bait Box on the Rock, Oconto County WI. Odyssey battery.

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