Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.


Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


Winneconne’s Next In 2021 AWWS Wisconsin Division:

Will Lakes Or River Hold The Key To A Win Sunday?

Wisconsin’s Wolf River system and Lake Winnebago is the scene this Sunday, (April 25) when the AIM Weekend Walleye Series travels to Winneconne for the Berkley Open, and where teams will be contending with river water lower than in past years, an expected bounce in temps from the week prior, and a potential that it just might not be the river, but the lakes, and Lake ‘Bago itself, that hold the key to winning here.

“Our anglers will be riding a roller coaster temperature change from the 30s early this week, to the mid-50s on Sunday, so that may make heads swirl not only for our anglers, but for the fish as well,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “The potential for bouncing air temps causing rising water temperatures is sure to be a factor for finding those winning Winnebago spawners. It’s always interesting to come here in the throes of Wisconsin in spring, and Winneconne isn’t disappointing us this time, either.”

Brad Zahringer of Sherwood, WI, will be fishing with his father Gary from Stockbridge in Brad’s Mercury 350 Verado-powered boat, and Brad’s reporting river levels are down 18 to 24 inches from just the last weekend. You out there in Fan Nation may remember the last visits here by AIM, when the Wolf River system was so high, No Wake laws were imposed in some sections. No chance of that happening this time, however. And, he says, fish are staying upriver. He thinks.

“I’m not a river fisherman so I just don’t think the fish are flushing into the main lake as soon as we thought. I know at least where they’re not,” Zahringer laughed. “So I think they are at least still in the Wolf, even maybe to New London and Fremont.”

“Rumor has it last week they were,” he added. But it pays to be flexible. Earlier this week, Zahringer was convinced the lakes or even Lake Winnebago may hold the key. Reached again a day later, he now feels he may be nosing around New London and Fremont for spawners that he hopes will still be there doing their thing. In other words, six of one, half-dozen of the other. If they think they’re there—or have found–fish up, he’s not saying which, the program they thought they’d go with, slip bobbers, leeches and crawlers on the lakes at Winneconne, may switch come Sunday payday.

“I’m betting somebody gets 23 or 24 pounds, and then the weights will fall off fast. On average you’ll see weights in the 10 to 12-pound range,” he added.

Others like Ross Wozniak of Green Bay aren’t so sure of that move. He feels the lakes are going to produce for him and cousin Jim, from Racine, and their Mercury 250 ProXS-powered boat.

Wozniak has fished the Wolf system the last 20 years and feels a lot of fish have spawned and will be into the lake or heading there.

“They’re still catching some small ones from the river, so we’re going to run all the way down and hit a couple of our good spots on the way, but I doubt if we’ll run upriver at all,” Ross Wozniak said, who’s been pre-fishing since midweek. “It depends on the flow and what the water temperatures are.”

He’s aware also that river levels are way down. “I’ve had a couple of friends bust up props on the river already,” he said. So, their battle plan?

“If we can locate fish with our electronics, then trust that. Find’em and start throwing the tackle box at’em. I like using crankbaits a lot, especially the smaller profile 4s and 5s, like Flicker Shads, and dial in from there. If you’re able to find that right school and just try to get them aggressive. When one goes, usually you’ll be able to pick up two or three good ones,” he said.

His prediction is that the winner will need 10 to 15 pounds. “Winnebago fish run a little smaller. But a lot of the locals have got these holds in the river that I haven’t just figured out yet. One of these days, though,” he added. “We’ll see what we find later in the week and let that dictate.”

Phil Theisen, of Auburndale, and partner Travis Boyd of White Lake at least so far are pointing their bow and their 200 Merc ProXS, along with their Garmin Panoptix Livescope towards Lake Winnebago.

“I was out this last Saturday and it’s very slow going on the river,” Theisen said. It’s very possible that the big lake may be the spot to be. “I know there’s spawners in the lake, and spawners that go into the river. I know I’m not going up the Wolf. I’ll probably be somewhere in the system from Winneconne down, and be fishing all three lakes (actually, four, kinda: Lake Poygan, Lake Winneconne, which is part of Poygan, Butte Des Mortes Lake, and Lake Winnebago).” He’s putting his bets on

Theisen reports river water temps in the 40s and holding due to cold earlier this week. Sunday’s forecast is for sun and highs in the 50s. He’s looking at the winning bag in the low to mid 20-pound range.

The online team meeting and registration starts at 7 p.m. Saturday.  Boat inspection at Winneconne’s city docks starts at 5:30 a.m. Sunday, with two waves of boats heading out at 7 and 7:15 a.m. First teams are due back at the dock starting at 3 p.m.

Who had the edge on the all-important “where” and “how” questions will be answered when the awards presentation takes place at Woodeye’s Bar and Grill, 700 W. Main in Winneconne, starting at 5 p.m. Tune into AIM’s Facebook site for all the fun. And if you want to get in on it, go to AIM’s website to register for the next Wisconsin event May 16 on the Bay of Green Bay, from Green Bay.

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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