Montevideo, MN, Father’s Day, 2015 – The father/son duo comprised of 21-year professional walleye angler Ross Grothe and his 8-year-old son Reid claimed their second AIM weekend Walleye Series victory during Father’s Day, 2015, on Lac qui Parle near Montevideo, Minnesota. This is the second win of the season for Team Grothe after winning the season opener on the Mississippi River out of Hastings, Minnesota. The year was a complete success at that point, but a seasoned professional walleye angler expects to win each and every event.
“Practice was a challenge and we didn’t have a lot of time on the water, but we fished as a family for a couple ofdays and had a great time,” Grothe says. “We managed to find a few small walleyes, but not the kind that I thought would contend for the victory. As I approach every tournament with my young partner, having fun is the top priority!
The water conditions were especially difficult, dropping 6-8 inches each day with very limited visibility, and hot breezy weather restricted presentation selections. Grothe knew from previous experience that trolling No.5 Shad Raps in a Firetiger pattern would find active fish under these circumstances.
“First thing after blastoff, I experimented with several shad raps colors for an hour and a half before we finally caught our first walleye,” he explains. “That fish ate a Green Tiger Shad Rap in Rapala’s UV series, which made perfect sense because of how well the bait’s finish penetrated the dingy water. Reid scrambled through the boat to find every identical lure and we managed to catch our limit by 10 a.m.”
Grothe knew that a couple of solid upgrades were absolutely required to stand a chance in this event. They caught two quality fish by 2 p.m., replacing a 13% with a 20% and later upgrading a 17 incher to a fat 24% completing an outstanding 5-fish bag weighing 17.96 for the win.
“Father’s Day is especially emotional for me because of how I valued the relationship I had with my dad. He’s gone now, but I’m convinced this victory was a Father’s Day gift from him to be shared with my son,” Grothe says. “To be honest, as the winning weights were announced, it was hard to hold it together. Our season so far has been such an amazing blessing that I’m very thankful for! You can bet I’ve got my eye on the Team of the Year title, now!”
Grothe’s gear played a major role in his victory. Being able to ride comfortably thanks to the Smooth Moves Seats installed in the Ranger/ Yamaha rig increased endurance. The right St. Croix trollingrods pulling Rapala’s Shad Raps tied onto Berkley Trilene 10-pound XT made it easy to isolate and replicate the pattern. The Optima-powered Lowrance kept the anglers on the fish-producing structure while maintaining the ideal speed for the finicky Lac qui Parle walleyes.