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Angler Profile

This article made possible by:

By Mark Shutz

Ken Snow and Mike Mattis both from Wisconsin are two names that you would recognize if you fish tournaments or the Mississippi River from MN to Illinois.  Although they like to remain “low key” as Mike would agree they make one tough team that is more than likely to cash a check in the majority of tournaments they fish.  The first season these two veterans combined as a team they were the 2004 WI Fishers of Men points champions, went on to the national championship in Kentucky and won several local events on the Mississippi River.  Ken is also the conservation director for the WI B.A.S.S. federation. 

Mike Mattis and Ken Snow

Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Ken and Mike at the Fishers of Men Mississippi River tournament on pool 4.  Both thought was a really cool website and were happy to have the opportunity to share with the audience. Here is how the interview went down.  I asked them a question and they answered about the question about bass fishing and fishing tournaments and what’s up with Ken and Mike. I will abbreviate my questions with a FB which stands for

FB- What are some of your keys to your success in fishing tournaments?

Ken- “Pre-fishing is huge.  Both Mike and I pre-fish separately out of different boats.  We then communicate very well together as to what we think is going on given the water were fishing.  Notice I said “think”. 

Mike- “I think we work really hard at it.  Map study, GPS coordinates, phone calls et…  If while we are pre-fishing Ken finds a good spot then during the tournament Ken is in charge of the spot.  What I mean is Ken will work the trolling motor no matter which boat we are in or the other way around if I find the spot.  I really don’t care if Ken catches the fish or if I do.  We work together well.”  I have not problem being “net man” or having Ken be “net man” for the day.

FB- “Now you two are known for doing quite well on the Mississppi River.  What is one tip you can give the viewers to help them on their River fishing?” 

Ken-“Know the stage of the river.  Before the tournament we check each day either with the lockmaster or on the internet the stage of the river.  This determines where the fish are positioned and how fast the current will be going.  Last year Mike won a BASS zone tournament on the Mississippi River pool 4 because he had been checking the stages of the river and he knew the water was falling and the fish had to move out.  Other anglers were fishing too shallow where the fish had been and he was fishing deeper where the fish were going.”

FB- “Good stuff”. What is your favorite bait on the Mississippi River for fishing smallmouth?

Ken- “Deep Baby N Norman Crankbait, sunshine craw color. It just catches smallies.”
Mike- “All-Terrain Creature bait ¼ ounce weight texas rigged and Bandit crankbaits.”

FB- “How about for largemouth bass on the Mississippi River?”

Ken and Mike- “All-Terrain creature baits ¼ ounce sinker.  Today in the tournament we caught 4 largemouth that we kept on All-Terrain creature baits. We only caught 7 keepers but we cashed a check so it was a good day.

FB- Is there ever a tournament on the river where you don’t cash a check? 

Ken- There has been many.  This place has burned me more times than I want to admit.  But that could be the reason why we are successful in many today.

FB- Is there anything else that you would like to comment on? 

Ken and Mike- “Yes, we are both sponsored by Warners Dock Stratos Boats Dealership in Wisconsin.  They are one of the few boat dealers who “GET IT”.

FB- What do you mean by “GET IT?”

Ken and Mike- If you look at their contingency program for fishing out of a Warner’s Dock boat you would be amazed by what they offer tournament guys for fishing out of a Warner’s Dock Stratos boat.  

FB- That is really cool.  Anything else that you would like to comment on in regards to tournament fishing or being successful in fishing?

Mike Mattis and Ken Snow

Mike- “Yes, I am a very spiritual person and have to give the credit to being successful in fishing or in life to God. It’s not me. Without a doubt I believe that it is the most important part to tournament fishing and in life.   I mean in everything.  I don’t want to sound like a broken record but I truly think you can’t ignore it. Especially in tournament fishing.”

FB- “Cool. Speaking of tournament fishing what tournaments or circuits are you going to be fishing this season?”

Ken- “ I am going to be fishing the Fishers of Men WI West division and the ESPN BASS weekend series.”
Mike- “ I am going to also be fishing the Fishers of Men WI West division and the ESPN BASS weekend series.

FB- Keep us posted on on how you do.  We would love to hear from both of you on the season.

Mike and Ken- We will do that and thank you for letting us do this interview.  Looking forward to seeing it on the website soon.  How much do we owe you?

FB- Well we truly want to thank both of you for doing this interview for and we look forward to seeing you at more tournaments this season.” Thanks again guys.”