Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14, 2017
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
A Family Affair At Leech For AWWS Minnesota Division Championship As Team Bollum Gets It Done On Day One
Rigging with big creek chubs is a go-to way to catch walleye on Leech Lake, and the father-son team of Luke and Mark (Sparky) Bollum used their knowledge to boat big females and take $8,000 in the AWWS Warrior Boats/Highway 3 Marine Open, the first of back-to-back AIM tournaments June 10 and 11.
Piloting his Verado 300, Luke and his father Mark (Sparky) fished a main lake break line at the south end, which, as he said, was “stacked full of big females.” It was found with the help of their partners, Josh Blosser, Pardeeville, WI, and Jeff Holz, Dodge Center, MN, who eventually finished fourth with 34.25 pounds, earning them $1,500.
The Bollums were among six of the top 10 spots in both tournaments that were filled by family teams.
“They went in and dialed in the bite for us. Our bigger fish came on chubs,” he said. And, when Leech’s fish want chubs, you give’em big ones. Four- to seven-inchers to be exact.
“We had our fish by about 11:30, and upgraded around noon and we were pretty much done. We probably had two or three boats around us throughout the day Saturday. We had the mentality on Day One that it would be either hero or zero, and we fished that 300- or 400-yard stretch all day Saturday, and the right fish were there and we got’em,” Luke said.
Their first, a 26-incher, came only about 100 yards into their first run. “The second was a 28-1/4, an absolute stud. We kept moving down the break. I looked at my dad and said ‘we’ve gotta turn around and go through those,’ and that’s how we found the sweet spot,” he said. Chubs ruled. They only caught two or three on leeches and didn’t bother weighing any.
Bollum’s been fishing AIM tournaments for about four seasons now. “This is our first ‘W’ and it feels really, really good.”
With one more Minnesota division qualifier coming on the St. Louis River, he’s figuring how he can both attend a wedding on the 29th, and fish on July 30. “I might have to burn the midnight oil to do it.”
Second place went to Steve Bradt, Hudson, WI, and Mel Brenden, Sauk Rapids, MN, who clocked in with 36.98 pounds, winning them $2,400. They headed to Walker Bay.
“We were really fishing the community spot, a hump in the southern part. There were probably six or seven others fishing the same area at various times,” Bradt said. Their fish liked leeches, in 30 to 45 feet of water.
“I think we might have been the only ones using leeches. Everyone else was fishing red-tails. We caught as many big fish in a short period of time as I’ve caught anywhere. By 9 a.m., we had seven fish on the card. We tried to upgrade one 24-inch fish and never did,” The AIM veteran said. They hoped to fish the main lake in the afternoon, but instead chose not to leave fish to find fish, finishing just 7/10ths of a pound behind the Bollums.
In third were Leech guide Chris and wife Ashley Whitney, with 36.02 pounds, good for $1,800. Fifth went to Tim Bymark, Grand Rapids, MN, and Matt Shermoen, International Falls, MN. They carded 32.63 pounds, earning them $1,300.
The Minnesota Division takes a well-deserved break until late July, when the season’s final qualifier hits the St. Louis River near Duluth. This weekend, the AWWS focus shifts to North Dakota’s huge Lake Sakakawea, and the Upper Missouri River’s points, bays and gravel bars. Follow who’s got it dialed in, and who’s won at AIM’s Facebook page and at ProChattrr.
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.
AIM Presenting Sponsors: Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. and Warrior Boats, LLC.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Navionics, Garmin, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, Warrior Boat Center.