Robert Blosser’s Goal: Win Angler Of The Year at Lake Winnie
Aug 30th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 30th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
Who’s No. 1? Robert Blosser, of Poynette, Wis
Who’s shooting for a heavy three-day bag to keep him No. 1? The one in the same 32-year-old from that small town near Madison, who sits oh-so-slimly atop the standings for the $10,000 prize, accolades, potential new sponsors, and the title of 2010 J.J. Keller Angler Of The Year.
How slim? The difference between first and second going into the AIM Pro Walleye Series™ International Championship Sept. 2-4 is only 1.15 points. The difference between first and third place: 6.95 points. But Blosser feels that a consistent bag each day may not win the tournament, but will win the title for him.
“I know it probably will not win the tournament, but my goal is a catch of 25 pounds a day. That should secure Angler of the Year for me,” predicts Blosser, whose 12-hour days on the water and top finishes at three successive AIM Pro Walleye Series tournaments-including winning at Green Bay-have gotten him this far.
“You don’t get many opportunities to win a tournament, and AIM is giving five of those away this year. But, they only give away one Angler Of The Year.
This is one of the most highly coveted titles in the sport fishing industry and it can help one’s career quite a bit,” Blosser says.
Here’s how he got to be at the top of the heap by that slimmest of margins, especially over his closest two competitors, fellow Wisconsinites Jarrad Fluekiger and Keith Kavajecz: an eighth place at Michigan’s Bay City, Mich., winning at Green Bay, Wis., and a fifth place at Akaska, S.D.
That from an angler who fished just one AIM event in 2010, placing second at Green Bay. Of the five AIM tourneys in which he’s competed, including the Bay Mills Invitational at Brimley, Mich. (which did not count towards AOY standings), Blosser’s placed in the top 10 four times.
One fly in the ointment: it’s also his first trip to Lake Winnie, which he’s been learning since starting to pre-fish it on Aug. 24.
“I have fished nearby lakes like Cass and Leech. But I really don’t know what it’s going to take here. The first two days of pre-fishing here we had a cold front come in which made fishing the main lake really tough,” Blosser says.
“We lost five degrees in water temperature just overnight. So I think we’re going to see a complete transition throughout the week to the fall bite. I believe there are a lot of fish on the offshore humps, but I think we’re going to see them sliding up shallower and into the weeds, starting to transition to their fall feeding patterns.
“I’m anticipating going into the tournament, to look for somewhere around 25 pounds a day, and I should be sitting really well,” he predicts.
Of course, that’s what pros said last year on this huge lake with so many presentation choices too. Blosser admits that figure might change. “I know Todd Riley blew it out of the water last year with more than 100 pounds over three days. But being a first-timer on the lake and from Wisconsin, I’m not a rigger, not a one-rod type of angler. I like to troll a lot so I’m going to look for a trolling program whether it’s in the weeds or the flats, and I’m also planning on spending some time on the offshore structure with chubs or red tails to fill out my bag with a big kicker fish,” Blosser adds.
Blosser feels that despite having never fished Lake Winnie, he always manages to peak at the right time. “It seems to be my style to never get it all the way put together until the tournament starts. At every tournament so far it’s been ‘boom, you find’em’ and finally figure out the pattern. I also do have some friends in the area and a couple of good partners, (AIM pros) Joe Okada and Brett King, who have some knowledge of the lake, but the learning curve is steep for me.”
Blosser says he has fished other major tournaments since 2007, and currently runs a Ranger powered by a Yamaha F-250, and AIM’s unique Catch-Record-Release™ format is the only way to go.
“The fun is back in tournament fishing. You’re no longer worried about fish mortality and you don’t have to worry about things like slot limits, which take all the luck out of a tournament. Rather than worrying about catching the right size fish, AIM is back to whomever catches the biggest fish wins, and that’s what it should be,” Blosser said.
“I sure hope CRR becomes the way of the future,” Blosser adds. “It’s funny: for the thousands of walleyes as I catch, I may keep somewhere in the neighborhood of five a year. CRR helps preserve the resource for future generations, and if we can turn what’s an okay walleye lake into a trophy fishery for my kids and their kids, all the better.”
Less than a week prior to the tournament’s first day, Blosser says he’s ready despite the variables that come with fishing a lake for the first time. “I’ve had a lot of help to get to where I am this year but Angler Of The Year is definitely on my mind and what I’m shooting for.”