Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.






Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122


Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)




Not leaving fish to find fish wins AWWS Nitro Boats Open for Brett Wiersma, Nick Wenninger


A wise top AIM pro angler once gave sage advice to one who was just starting out: Never leave fish to find fish. And while they didn’t get that advice, that thinking helped anglers Brett Wiersma and Nick Wenninger drive off with $7,000 for Sunday’s win on the Wolf River Chain of Lakes at Winneconne, Wisconsin at the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Nitro Boats Open.


Wiersma, from Seymour, Wisconsin, and Wenninger, from Hartford, running a 620 Ranger powered by a 250 Mercury Verado, filled their card with 17.22 pounds of walleye by sticking to their plan to fish the upper lakes upstream of the Winneconne bridge, and not be tempted to head to Winnebago, where they knew there would be lots more, but smaller, walleye than what eventually put them on the first place podium.


Like in North Dakota that day, the entire field also battled rain and wind to rule the day.


“We got to our spot about 7:30 and got all our lines set up and in the water, and my partner’s inside board went back,” Wiersma said. “We got that fish in and it was our biggest, 25-1/2inches. We made another troll pass and another and caught a 21-3/4 and a 13-1/2. We knew then that if we kept grinding it out at that spot, we’d have a decent bag.”


Their next fish didn’t come until shortly before noon, two over 12 inches. “We decided to make an inside pass and slide in to a bit shallower water and caught a 16-incher, and the next at 18-1/2 and 18-3/4 inches,” he said.


They kept on trolling crank baits—types and colors still unrevealed, since they’re fishing a local tournament there soon—all day, he said. And with every pass, they kept changing colors or profiles or lure type, if something didn’t produce.


“We actually had a spot in Winnebago that we were going to run to, and we pre-fished that on Saturday, but knew we couldn’t get the size of fish we wanted, so our partner boat actually found the spot we stayed on, so we never really pre-fished that area,” he said. “So we were a little nervous for the simple fact that if we didn’t find fish, we’d have to bail to fill our card, and we were looking at a half-hour to 45-minute run to Oshkosh to find smaller fish to fill it.”


So, the result was instead to stick with the program, and it paid off big time. When the wind and rain hit, the bite slowed. Their last two fish came once the wind and the rain abated. Their partner boat? They finished back in the pack, leaving the spot they ceded to Wiersma and Wenninger before returning after a while. This was Wiersma’s fourth AIM tournament, and his first time to ever cash a check. He loves AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ format.


“If just for the fact that there’s virtually no fish killed. They get released into the same environment they came from, and they never get beat up in a livewell. And, you can keep upgrading throughout the day,” he said. “It’s nice that we were able to sit there and grind and grind and keep upgrading, and I love that AIM has partnered with Prochattrr so anglers can get the latest feeds. It’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on.”


Second in Winneconne went to Greg Wierzba of Little Suamico, Wisconsin, and Mike Lenarduzzi of Sobieski, Wisconsin, winning $2,200 for 16.24 pounds.


In third place, Steve Meyer of Birnamwood, Wisconsin, and Perry Nievinski, of Mosinee, Wisconsin, netting $1,700 for 14.40 pounds. Fourth place went to Robert O’Connell and Travis MacDonald of Menasha, who pulled 13.77 pounds and earned $1,300. Winning fifth place and $1,200 for 13.32 pounds of ‘eyes were Lynn Niklasch of Oconomowoc, and Mark Kumorkiewicz, of Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.


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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