Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.


Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


Time To Power Up And Launch 2021 AWWS in Wisconsin;

Who Will Win The Garmin Open On A Chilly Fox River?

Are you ready? Are you ready for this? Are you hanging on the edge of your seat? If you’re a fan of walleye, you will be come Sunday (March 28), when the  AIM Weekend Walleye Series kicks off its 2021 season on Wisconsin’s Fox River at Green Bay, with the Garmin Open, where the fish are big, they’re spawning, and they’re ready to shake hands with a 100-boat field.

“What a venue for the opening event of what’s sure to be a great season that is on the verge of returning us all to normalcy,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “The fish are in both pre-spawn and spawning with the potential for hefting some bigs. The weather looks good for late March, and we’re set to go with a full field and $9,000 waiting for the winner, along with the possibility of some cool incentive cash and side pot money in play.  Being at the opening day of our tournament series never gets old, and we’re all looking forward to gettin’ this show started. Let’s fire it up!”

Also eager to get the go sign on Sunday are the team of Matt Bootz of Wausau, Wisconsin, and partner Sam May of Crandon, who will be running their 250 Mercury Pro XS-powered and Garmin Panoptix-equipped boat after those Fox River walleye, many of which are just making their way into and to the Fox River from the Bay of Green Bay.

Bootz predicts that the winner will need to bring aboard at least in the mid-40s to be on the podium’s top rung. A cold front moving in just in time for the event also may be a factor.

According to Bootz, that news of combined rain and snow forecast for Sunday will make for a ‘let’s see how miserable I can be” day, but he’s pumped and ready to give it his best. And that means, watch out. The pair won it all here at the qualifier two years ago.

“I was out last week there for a little and will head over on Thursday. In talking with a lot of people I know I think the spawn will be in full swing when we’re there for the tournament, with fish coming in and going out of the river,” Bootz said.

“Depending on the weather, the anglers will probably be focusing on the channel edges, bends and breaks in the river channel (the river is open up to the DNR limit at De Pere dam, and the bay boundary is the Brown County line), all the holding and staging areas. And there will be a variety of techniques, both jigging and trolling and slow presentations like always,” he continued.

“Every year it’s much the same when it comes to the Fox. It’s not a fishery you need to spend weeks figuring out because there are areas that are hot, and not hot. There are about eight different techniques there that will work. It’s about finding out which will work for you and what works the best on tournament day, and where those staging areas are.

A lack of much runoff that encourages the fish to show up may also become a factor, he said. “The surface temperature in the river was 38 last week and now I hear it was up to 41. And even in the bay it’s getting warmer. We were supposed to get all this rain and I’m not seeing it. They’re saying Sunday, 30 in the morning with rain and snow. What you see coming in is a cold front, so that may slow things down,” Bootz added.

Another in the 100-boat field looking at the weather is Jake Becker of Genoa City, WI, who will be running a Warrior V208 powered up with a 300 Yamaha with partner Chris Rice of Burlington, WI. Becker predicts the tournament will be right on time with the peak of the run.

“I’ve been there the last couple of weeks and will be fishing Friday. I’d say the water temperature is getting right to where the fish will start spawning,” Becker said, but that looming front could throw a cold hold on their fun, but not on the anglers’.

The beauty of fishing here, he said, is that whatever your strong suit just might do it all. “I like jigging with artificial baits, whether it’s Rippin’ Raps or blade baits or others but with that cold front, minnows could definitely play a role,” he said.

“We’ve been catching fish both in the river and the bay. It’s probably going to get won in the river. It seems like there’s been more pressure out in the bay than usual so the fish may be scattered. But if you get on the right fish in the bay, it could also be won there,” he continued.  

Unlike some who let the weather play a role mentally, Becker said it doesn’t get him down, proving that fishing success is part skill, part luck, and part attitude.  “I don’t mind fishing in stuff like that because it gets in other people’s heads.”

That positive attitude must work. He and Rice won here in 2018 when at morning launch the temps were a fridge 11 degrees.

Both are hopeful of repeating, but there’s just as good of a chance for anyone else in the field to come out on top on Sunday. We’ll find out whether attitude will win the day starting at 5:30 a.m., with boat inspections at Green Bay Metro boat launch. Boats will be released in two waves starting at 7 a.m., and teams will return in reverse order starting at 3 p.m. Awards will take place at the boat launch starting at 5 p.m. Good luck all teams! Let’s get it on!

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, Berkley, X2Power by Batteries Plus, Abu-Garcia, Fenwick, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Quality Flow Systems, Gemini Sport Marketing, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, McQuoids Inn, Marinette, WI

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