Dave Andersen’s Pro Fishing Career Leads to Co-Ownership of Warrior Boats
Oct 6th, 2011 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Oct 6th, 2011 at 12:00 AM
This was a dream of mine ever since the plant closed, Dave Andersen said.
Now, as a Warrior Boats co-owner with three other investors, details have been finalized, and the new Warrior company is moving forward.
Dave is from Amery, Wisconsin, and has been a custom home builder for 32 years. That business will continue, because his sons have been well-trained, and a reputation for quality has served him well. “This will make life interesting. I thought I had plenty to do already with tournament fishing and construction,” he chuckled.
Dave won the PWT Championship in 2005 on Lake Milford in Kansas. He won money in 23 of 45 PWT tournaments, placed high in several AIM events, and did well on the FLW tour this season, with two fourth place finishes, including at the Championship. He was 10th in Angler of the Year standings.
He won the Wacker with son Alan in 2010. With son Kent, he fished the Full Throttle circuit and won Team of the Year in 2010, with second, fourth and seventh place finishes. They also won the Full Throttle Championship in 2009. Dave has netted more than $400,000 fishing walleyes. He told his sons, “I know you both would love to fish as pros, and you will do well, but your time will come.”
Expectations always run high with new companies, but Dave said in the case of Warrior, he fully expects immediate results. “At a Mille Lacs tournament, I had six different Warrior owners come up to me who all said they wanted new Warriors,” he said. “I can’t believe how many people keep asking me about the boats. There is a lot of positive feedback.”
First things first. The company recently signed papers with the city of Melrose for a lot, and the steel-frame building has been ordered. “Things all take a little longer than expected, but production will start by late November. The purchase included all molds, equipment, tools, trademarks, etc. Initially, the new team will establish a dealer network based on former dealers. He said, “We hope to sell boats at prices better than three years ago and be very competitive. We will treat dealers and customers right.” Plans call for a half dozen popular models with new interiors. He said, “We might do a new17-footer with a 50 — same Warrior performance, but at an entry level price-tag.”
Dave has owned eight Warriors, all tiller models. “There are a lot more big tiller boats showing up from other companies, because with the hydraulic steering systems, we can get bigger motors and keep up with the console-boys. But, we have much better boat control on our spots,” he said.
His pro career has taken him far and wide, and he said, “If I wasn’t a pro, I wouldn’t have fished Bull Shoals, Cumberland or so many other exotic walleye spots. I feel fortunate to say I’ve fished there. If I had anything to do in life, it would be on the water, and I’ve done that, working with great sponsors and using top equipment.”
Dave advises walleye anglers not to get stuck in a rut. The walleyes are somewhere and the more experimentation, the better chances of finding them. He researches new waters, looking at forage, timing, past-patterns, etc., but keeps wondering what and where he should be fishing. At the AIM Championship two years ago on Lake Winnibigoshish, he checked mid-lake humps, weeds and shorelines, but struck out.
Then, things changed. He said, “On the last day of pre-fishing, I put on cranks, ran out the boards and got a few walleyes, after not catching much up to that time. I exchanged the cranks for spinners and crawlers and ran one line three-feet down. In 30 minutes, I had six fish in the boat from 20 to 25 inches. That night I told my tournament traveling partner Todd Riley that he might want to re-think his pattern. Well, Todd won; I was fourth. I try off-the-wall tactics. Many times that makes a big difference.”
Gazing at his crystal ball, Dave admitted that the walleye world has slowed down quite a bit in recent years, and said, “Even some of the smaller tournaments are dropping off. People are giving up something to survive, and tournaments are being hit hard.” The reason he only fished one AIM tournament dealt with the basics, “Their 2011 tournament locations really hurt. Had they gone to Mille Lacs and Lake of the Woods, their format would have drawn big fields. FLW had some good locations, and participation improved.” Dave said, “I’m optimistic; I expect the walleye market and tournaments will pick up if the economy ever heats up again.”
Dave shared an interesting walleye tactic that has won him some big bucks along the way. He calls it “Power Bobbering.” It sounds simple, yet has proven extremely effective. Dave credits more than $100,000 in cash over the years, and a first-place finish in the Wave Wacker Milles Lacs tournament to Power Bobbering. He runs his Warrior at 2 ½ to 3 mph over the Mille Lacs gravel flats. He selects areas not being fished by other anglers, and zigs and zags watching his Lowrance electronics.
He knows what the right size slot fish look like and searches for them. He holds a slip-bobber rod in hand with hook baited. So does his partner. When the perfect size image shows up – the biggest slots – he throws his bobber right behind the boat and hits reverse to slow the boat’s momentum. So does his partner. Dave said, “This may look odd, but we usually boat 30 to 40 slots each day, often hooking up doubles.”
His personal sponsors are Mercury, Setyr custom-built rods, Lowrance Electronics, Warrior Boats, Optima Batteries and Navionics.
To contact Dave: 715-268-2168. Email: [email protected]