Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 17, 2022
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Peotter, Englebert Are AIM Weekend Walleye Series Team Of The Year After Winning Three Events In 2022
A grateful Dylan Peotter joined teammate Anthony Englebert to accept the 2022 AIM Weekend Walleye Series Yamaha Team Of The Year (TOY) title at the Lake Winnebago Wisconsin Championship, after notching two qualifier wins this season plus the championship, their second TOY title in three years.
“Peotter and Englebert won it by more than 25 points in a year when the TOY wasn’t really decided until this weekend’s championship,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “What a way to finish the season and net a guaranteed berth in the next AIM National Championship Shootout coming up in spring, 2023. And, they went home with that beauty of a T9.9 Yamaha kicker motor to boot.”
The pair were in first place coming into Lake Winnebago, but the points spread between first and second meant it was anybody’s to lose. And, they won.
“We started off with a win in DePere, Peotter said. Actually, Dylan, it was officially at the Fox River at Green Bay, and it was also the team’s second win in a row there, and Peotter said it was their best-ever day on that river.
“Then in Winneconne, we didn’t do very good. I want to say we were in the low 20s. And during our third event on Lake Petenwell, we actually won that one as well,” Peotter said. Yup, another win.
“Then we went out on The Bay of Green Bay (at Marinette in July) and ended up in 15th. “We were trying to play it safe there and it didn’t work out. The winner had 37 and we had 12, so we got beat by a lot,” he said.
Now, let’s pause right there. That they got beat “by a lot” tells you something about AIM’s rules about how TOY points are awarded. You now see it played out in real time. Even if you think you don’t have a chance at winning, you actually do. That’s the beauty of competing in the AIM Weekend Walleye Series. Ok, commercial’s over, let’s continue.
This is the pair’s second AIM TOY win. Their first came in their rookie season back in 2019.
“I want to say this time, it feels a lot more accomplished,” Peotter said. “It felt great in 2019 but the May Marinette tournament was actually canceled that year (due to a huge storm). With this one we never pictured ourselves as a team that would win tournaments, but we had consistent fish. This year everything happened perfectly. At almost every pre-fish when we showed up the fish were there.
“We adapted to everything around us. At DePere there was a local fishing a different style. So we copied exactly what he was doing and won. At Petenwell, we had the experience of fishing there the year before, so we were able to take that and use it for the event. We were hoping that the fish we saw last year were still there, and there was a lot of them. Everything just happened exactly how we wanted,” Peotter said.
“Coming into the tournament we were worried about the (Randy) Fifrick and (Justin) Schneider team and the (Ryan) Mereness and (Justin) Heider teams. Both are very good on the Winnebago system. They could win any event at any time.
“We knew though that to get to Team Of The Year, we didn’t have to catch much weight on Day Two, so that took a lot of the stress off. I think we only had to catch five pounds no matter what someone else caught. Coming into Day Two, we felt pretty good. Day One, we were worried. I’ve never won a tournament on Lake Winnebago, so it was one of those things. It was finally good to win one on our home water,” Peotter said.
Then came the thanks, to his family and his partner, for putting up with being on the road from April to August.
“I’d like to thank my wife Jen for taking care of the family and allowing me to chase my dreams. She was there a lot of hours to take care of the kids. Also her parents Jim and Julie Martin and my parents Katherine and Bill Peotter.
“I’d like also to thank my sponsor, Speedy Clean Drain & Sewer and all the guys who help pick up my slack when I’m gone, and also Michelle Englebert, Anthony’s wife, for allowing him to come fish with me.”
“It felt like we learned a lot and accomplished a lot more. It’s really hard to explain it I guess,” he added. Their accomplishments also mean he’s moving into a new boat with Yamaha power aboard, and that Yamaha T9.9 they won might come in handy.
‘This year we were running on all cylinders on every tournament day. Those are the days every team looks for. We were a well-oiled machine this year, and that’s what happened,” Peotter said.
Yup, Dylan, exactly what happened. And you and Anthony are headed to next year’s National Championship Shootout, and a chance to trailer home that Warrior boat/Yamaha motor/Garmin electronics package worth more than $55,000.
In second place for TOY and also going to the championship was one of the teams Peotter was worried about, Randy Fifrick of Kronenwetter, and Justin Schneider of Malone. Both Fifrick and Schneider run Warriors, and last weekend, they were in a Mercury 250 ProXS-powered V2090.
“I really feel fortunate that we were that close to them,” Fifrick said of Peotter and Englebert. “They won two regular season tournaments and the championship, and we were fortunate we were able to stick with them. We got one win and everything else was a top 15. We were really consistent and kept giving ourselves a chance. We just needed a couple big bites to do well.
“It seems like every tournament, you’re just one or two fish away. Luckily, we were able to win at Winneconne. We had a tough day Friday. We didn’t catch fish (they actually came in with 8.40 pounds) and dug ourselves a hole. Saturday, we had 15.3 and that got us up to ninth. And even then, you’re just trying to find a couple of “overs” to pad the weight,” he added.
But, they’re in the championship, he said. “We’re excited about that. We all, this time of year, are just trying to figure out the math” to get there. “I think even if we had zeroed, we probably would have been okay to go,” Fifrick added.
“But just being out there competing against such top level teams. It’s a joy.”
Let’s do the countdown to Eighth in final TOY standings. In third place, Ryan Mereness and Justin Heider of Oshkosh. Fourth place went to Randy and RJ Harwood, also of Oshkosh. In fifth were Curt Stam and Adam Halder of Winneconne. Sixth went to Mike Kasper of Shiocton and Andrew Schmidt of Fremont, and seventh was tagged by Marcel Cardinal and Ross Ory of Fremont. The last spot that will fill the field at the Warrior Boats National Championship Shootout will be Terry and Jarod Mayhall.
Now, let’s see who their competition will be, starting this Friday in Minnesota, and the week after in North Dakota. This is an exciting time to be an AIM team, and an AIM Fan, and that means all you in Fan Nation who’ve supported these teams and followed all the action from the start of the season to now. Remember, this season is far from over. One down, two to go, and it begins days from now again.
Think you can stick with them, too? You can. All these teams put their lures on one snap at a time. Just like you. Sign up next spring when events open up at AIM’s Facebook page, and keep following the page from Minnesota this weekend and North Dakota the next. It all starts again on Friday, and we’ll have a preview of that nail-biter Thursday. Just go to the AIM website, aimfishing.com, for details on how you can get in on it in 2023.
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.
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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 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, Marinette, WI, Explore Alexandria, Rosemore Outdoor Gear, Outdoor Authority