Make a plan, and stick with it. Don’t second-guess, or worry about what “that other team” does. And if your plan doesn’t produce like it should, only then do you adapt and adopt. That’s the lesson coming from both the first and second place finishers in the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Wisconsin Qualifier on the Petenwell Flowage Sunday, June 29
Ending on top with 22.11 pounds, Terry Mayhall and 21-year-old son Jarod stayed with their plan, and the result was very close to what he’d predicted earlier in the week, earning them $3,500 and valuable points in the Angler of the Year race. “I said it was going to take 25 pounds to win here and when I tallied up our card, we had 45 minutes to go. I said if we get one more 23-incher we’ve got a good chance, so I underestimated that a bit,” he said with a laugh.
“We fished the main channel’s humps and edges trolling Number 5 Flicker Shads. I think that’s the profile in Petenwell. I target walleye feeding on small sheepshead and white bass, and Flickers give that big profile,” Terry Mayhall said
“We ran to the lake’s north end where I’d already picked out our top spot,” he related. “We caught a couple fish right away, within the first 10 minutes. There was a group of boats inside me and I think their fish moved into us. Well, the boats eventually migrated out towards us, and when they did that, the fish quit.”
That’s part of the plan. Like the good chess players these anglers are, always have four or five spots ready. Up came Number 2. And that made all the difference.
“Our second spot held the biggest fish. Our biggest was 24 inches, or 5.75 pounds. We had to work for them though, but we knew they were there. That fish was our last recorded for the tournament. This spot was so small it took us a lot of time to make our passes over the top, and we lost a lot of big fish there,” Mayhall said.
“We caught all our fish on chartreuse or Firetiger. What happened is that the carp came in and muddied the water. Earlier in the week we were catching them all on blue and silver. When it muddied up, we switched to a brighter color,” he said.
“Our other problem was we were fishing an area where there were so many muskies they were biting our baits off. I’d say we lost about $200 worth between the muskies and the stumps,” Mayhall said.
At the lake’s other end and fishing their first AWWS tourney, and their first time on “The Pete”, the second-place husband-wife team of Marc and Nicole Jackson of Kewaunee, WI, also used what they learned during pre-fishing: concentrate on the outside edges of Petenwell’s main channel.
“It was overcast when we were pre-fishing and it was the best fishing we had,” Marc said. Rain on tournament day set the stage for repeat success with the crank of choice: Number 5 Lindy Shadlings, primarily in bumblebee color, with no weight. Over their preferred 15 feet of water, the cranks were running from seven to 10 feet down And like the eventual winners, they too, stayed with their plan. It earned them 16.09 pounds and $1,700.
“We just stuck with what we were doing all week, trolling the outsides of the channel edges. We started out the week with smaller cranks and went through a variety, and it seemed the Shadlings turned them on,” he continued.
“We had a spot all to ourselves and fished it the entire time,” he said. They didn’t have to throttle-up their new Mercury 250 Verado much at all, as they kept within two miles from the start/finish.
The lake’s penchant for swallowing lures on its stump field also hit the Jacksons. “We did lose about 10 cranks but then again it was right where the fish were,” Marc said.
“This was our first AIM tournament, and we felt it was great. It’s a lot easier than I thought. Denny (AIM National Tournament Director Denny Fox) gave a great explanation of how to do it in the rules meeting. We’re for sure going to be entering more.”
Third place and $1,300 went to Matt Johannes, Pine River, WI, and Daniel Vukovich, Greenfield, WI landing 16.05 pounds. 4th Place was the father/son team of Kevin and Tim Wetmore of Wisconsin Rapids, WI with 15.45 LBS good for $1,100.00. 5th Place winners were Chad Wiskow Neenah, WI and Brian Miller Fond du Lac, WI with 12.62Lbs and $900.00.
Come back to the site Thursday, when the Navionics BIG FISH THURSDAY winner is announced.
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.
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