Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 7, 2018
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Two Time’s A Charm: AWWS Wisconsin Title Goes To
Locals Wiesner, Schrauth, Who Boat 45-Plus Pounds–Again
First, it was an AIM Weekend Walleye Series Nitro Boats Open Championship win in 2016, also on Lake Winnebago, with 47-plus pounds, crushing the field by more than 20 pounds. Well this year, Josh Wiesner and Brad Schrauth did it again, boating a mere 45.23 pounds to best the 2018 field, win $8,000 and net a berth in the 2019 Warrior Boats National Championship Shootout.
And they did it once again in the big lake where some in this year’s field predicted smaller weights for the two-day championship. Wiesner, who owns The Boat Doc in Lomira, just south of ‘bago, did it again by following the weed lines with his onboard Garmin Panoptix electronics and anchoring his Power Poles on board his Mercury Verado-powered craft with jigs and crawlers. And with that win, the team also earned an extra $1,000 from Garmin and $500 from Fox River Rods as contingency monies earned from using there products.
“Remember me talking to you two years ago when we had almost 48 pounds and won?” asked Wiesner, from Fond du Lac, at the lake’s south end. “Well, we struggled all this year, and then all of a sudden everything was cooperating. It was a good two days, a fun time.” Partner Schrauth is from Campbellsport.
“We actually had a couple of other programs pre-fishing where we found bigger fish, but Friday they were gone. We thought they were going to be our solid spots for bigs, but we found these spots of little wolf packs in shallow and we’d run in shallow, catch one or two and run back out to fish the rocks, running all over, burning gas,” Wiesner said. And, he’s got the spots too, more than 200 from his 18 years of fishing the lake, and he capitalized on them since their No. 1 spot went belly up.
“We were just jigging, one rod in one hand and jigging a crawler. We did catch some on plastics but most of the time that was it,” Wiesner added. “I’ve just put a lot of time out there. We have a lot of spots and you basically just move until you find fish. If you’re new to the lake it’s overwhelming, but there are fish everywhere. We caught fish on every part of the lake but there are certain areas that are more consistent.”
The second day, however, was a bit different. For just about everyone. It looked good to start, with a little wind to break up the surface and hopefully keep the fish turned on, but it didn’t. “We didn’t get our fifth fish on the card until 11 a.m. The first day we were filled by 8 a.m. All of ours were 20-3/4 inches and up the first day. We caught smaller fish, we just didn’t put them on the card,” he said.
“We thought it would be lights out crazy on Day Two and it wasn’t the case.” But they used their Garmin (He’s the Midwest’s largest distributor) to pinpoint the fish, and make accurate casts along those weed edges.
“Panoptix makes a huge difference. The fish were sitting on the outside edges of the weeds and you had to hit that. With the Garmin system, it looks forward out to 100 feet. You can do pretty good casts covering the area. If we get on a spot, we put our Power Poles down and then went forward and cast precisely to get on that edge,” Wiesner explained. And they caught many of their fish in the thickest algae cover.
“The algae was probably some of the worst but it didn’t matter. It did affect our netting them because you didn’t see the fish until they were coming out of the water. We didn’t lose any fish that could have gotten off, and that’s how you win,” he added.
Along with the winners, the top four teams also will receive an invite to next year’s National Championship Shootout on the Missouri River at Bismarck/Mandan, North Dakota including the second place finisher with 38.07 pounds, Matt Johannes, Arkdale, WI, and Jason Miller, Menasha. They cranked up their Mercury-powered boat to win $4,000 fishing the upper lakes near Winneconne and the Fox River with Flicker Shads.
“The fish were surprisingly still there,” Johannes said. “Usually they’re gone by now. We were surprised by the weights, but we had fish on there all week. The second day we were struggling in the morning then ran to the river and went back to trolling. It was an afternoon bite the second day.”
They only had two other tournament boats for company, and made good on the lack of both competition and the lack of fish-disturbing boat traffic, to cash in. “We had a good feeling going in. We were talking if we got 15 or 17 pounds a day, but we did a little better. We knew the fish were there,” he added.
Not doing badly at all and cashing a $3,000 check for third with 33.84 pounds were Kevin and Tim Wetmore of Wisconsin Rapids. In fourth and earning $2,000 for 33.56 pounds were Ryan Foster, Kaukauna, and Jeff Nuechterlein, Greenville. Fifth place finishers John Herrmann, Antigo, and Sean Freund, Fond do Lac, went home with $1,500 for 30.25 pounds.
Next up in the August championship round is next door is the Yamaha Motor Corp. Minnesota Divisional Aug. 17-18 on beautiful Lake of the Woods, headquartered at Wigwam Resort in Baudette. Watch for the preview and reports both days at AIM’s Facebook site. For info on all AIM events, go to aimfishing.com.
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, LLC.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, Gemini Sport Marketing, Treeland Resort, Anglers Avenue, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, Fox River Lures and Rods, Bismarck Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau