Team Niklasch and Kumorkiewicz ‘Harness’ Green Bay To Win Wisconsin Division Nitro Boats Championship
Sep 10th, 2015 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Nov 21st, 2018 at 3:18 PM
Running crawler harnesses, across reefs a bumpy 40 miles from the starting line in Oconto, WI the team of Lynn Niklasch and Mark Kumorkiewicz bested the field for two straight days to take the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Wisconsin Division Nitro Boats Championship on Green Bay Aug. 21-22.
The win also netted them the AMSOIL Team of the Year honors for the Wisconsin Division. Lynn and Mark had to run north to capture first and $6,500. All the way from the host city of Oconto, north into Door County water, in fact.
“We concentrated on the rock reefs and structure there,” the Oconomowoc, WI, resident said. “The way the bay is, the structure holds the big fish in late summer. The fish move up onto the rocks and they’re typically bigger there than in the lower bay. I bet we put over 200 miles on the boat for the few days of pre-fishing and the tournament, averaging 30 or 40 miles a day.
“It was a long run-over an hour-to get there, and with the wind, it was two to three hours coming back. It was easy in the morning getting there, but coming back it got pretty bumpy both days.
Weather, which also may come to play in Minnesota this weekend, definitely did on Green Bay, limiting pre-fishing for everyone. But to their advantage, the time they have spent on the bay over the years proved to be the factor that put cash in Niklasch and Pleasant Prairie, WI, resident Mark Kumorkiewicz’ pockets, boating 55.72 pounds on Day 1, and 45.06 pounds on Day 2, totaling 100.78 pounds, about what others were predicting would take to win.
“The last week weather was pretty nasty, and we didn’t pre-fish for three days leading up to it because there were 4- to 7-footers out there,” Nicklasch said.
“We were using crawler harnesses, and there were a few other boats fishing the same structure, so there was a lot of pressure, but everyone played nice,” he continued. Battling, or rather, rolling, with changing wind conditions, he said, they concentrated on Catching-Recording-Releasing their winning fish on different sides of the reef they concentrated on.
“Sometimes you’d take them on top, and sometimes off the side, and sometimes when the wind blew they were on the back side. The wind was coming from different directions. It didn’t switch like 180 degrees, but it definitely affected the way we fished, but it was more so the current. Sometimes we trolled at .5 mph, and sometimes 1.5 mph,” he said.
“We started Day 2 doing the same thing as the first day. We thought of switching to cranks but didn’t have to. I was able to keep the harness blades at the angle I wanted and spinning right. My Powrtran Python kicker steering system worked great for controlling the boat. My Mercury Pro XS was awesome as I got great mileage so we didn’t have to stop for gas, which was one of our big concerns. Our Offshore boards kept the baits far to our sides and upright in the waves” he said. We were able to run fast and everything that was supposed to work, worked.
“On Day 2, I was not confident we were going to win, but confident we’d be at least in the top five, and we had our second limit by 10:30 a.m. I knew it was a matter of finding five 30-inchers,” he said.
Rounding out the field were 2nd place finishers Pete Petta, Tomahawk, WI., and Dave Cooper, Schofield, WI, 97.95 pounds, earning them $2,750.
Third place went to Cameron Lewis, West Bend, WI, and Scott Rohloff, West Bend, WI, close behind at 96.75 pounds, and $2,250.
Nailing down fourth place was Robert Blosser, Poynette, WI, and Joe Okada, Fitchburg, WI, 92.29 pounds, good for $1,750.
Fifth place was taken by Ryan Foster Kaukauna, WI and Jeff Nuechterlein Greenville WI with 81.70 pounds and a check for $1,250.00
“This season was a great year!” Denny Fox, National Tournament Director said. “The anglers are embracing the most conservation minded tournament circuit in the walleye world and we are looking to make it even better in 2016. Thanks goes out to all the anglers as well as the fans for supporting the future of walleye tournaments”
Contact: Denny Fox, AIM National Tournament Director, 920-505-0122; info(at)aimfishing.com