Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 17, 2022
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
AIM Acquires Iowa-Based Walleye Anglers Trail, Expanding Presence On America’s Great River, The Mississippi System
The board of directors of the AIM Weekend Walleye Series is pleased to announce that the Dubuque, Iowa-based Walleye Anglers Trail (WAT) is now part of AIM, bringing the organization’s expertise and philosophies to a fishery that it is already familiar with.
“The Mississippi and its tributaries are a tremendous walleye fishery, as AIM anglers are already aware,” said Brett King, AIM board chairman. “Changing the ownership also means that the name will change to the AIM Weekend Walleye Series River Division to join the Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota divisions.
“AIM has an extensive history of its own events on the Mississippi system and other rivers since 2014, and we’re happy to know that anglers in the new AWWS River Division already know the value of the resource we cherish. WAT anglers have also practiced a format nearly identical to AIM’s Catch-Record-ReleaseÔ system for years, so it will be a seamless transition,” King added.
“And knowing that Jason Hughes, the WAT tournament director, will climb aboard with AIM as we move to 2023 also means his knowledge of when, where and how to create great tournaments on rivers will be seamless, too,” King said.
“AIM is probably the strongest tournament organization in walleye fishing, and this enables us to bring a new division and tournament experience to even more walleye anglers. This division will cater to anglers who love to fish moving water,” King continued.
“The 2023 AWWS River Division schedule will be announced in the coming days, and while it will be focused mainly on the Mississippi currently, opportunities to tournament fish walleye in moving water can stretch outside of the Mississippi in the future.
It will also give AIM a unique opportunity to reach walleye anglers in four states who’ve never fished an AIM event.”
“I can’t think of a better tournament series than AIM to take over the one I’ve owned since 2002,” added Kevin Oyen of Dubuque, who is turning over stewardship of the series to AIM.
“The WAT series has been in existence since 1996. AIM brings a new dimension to it and to river walleye fishing. I’m excited to leave it in such good hands. It’s been a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see what AIM will do with Jason Hughes continuing as tournament director,” Oyen said. I also look forward to fishing the new circuit as well.”
Jason Hughes’ expertise will be invaluable next season, King added. Hughes, from Dubuque, said that he’s excited about the future of the AIM Weekend Walleye Series River Division. He’s been the WAT tournament director since 2015, and his history with that organization goes back to 2006.
“Becoming a part of AIM is a great opportunity for our anglers and to bring our circuit into prominence as the preeminent river walleye tournament series,” Hughes said. “We’ve got some of the best walleye river fishing and walleye anglers in the country in this series. Our anglers have won some of the country’s top national tournaments. We’ve got some great sticks. With AIM behind us now, it will definitely help grow our circuit.”
One angler who is looking forward to AIM’s involvement is Clayton Freiburger of Dubuque. He and his father Bob, also from Dubuque, have been fishing WAT together for the last eight years. They won Team Of The Year in 2018 and 2019, and he’s also fished several AIM Weekend Walleye Series events.
“I think this is going to be great. I can’t think of a better circuit to expand this series. I’ve fished a number of AIM events and it’s the most professionally run circuit I’ve ever fished. AIM does a great job of promoting the sport and it’s going to cast a big net and bring a wide variety of anglers to the river,” Freiburger said. Anglers looking forward to trying the River Division had better bone up on the how-tos, he added.
“I grew up on the river and it’s definitely my favorite place to fish. Obviously the current and knowing how to read it is by far the most important factor,” Freiburger added. “This is going to be great for the sport and great for anglers already in the series.”
AIM National Tournament Director Denny Fox said he couldn’t agree more and can’t wait to kick off the AWWS River Division in spring, 2023 to join AIM’s three other divisions.
“This is an exciting time to be part of AIM, and our new AWWS River Division. AIM Weekend Walleye Series tourneys are already purposely designed to take place on both lakes and rivers including the Mississippi. To offer this opportunity to introduce AIM to ‘river rats’ from Iowa to Minnesota is absolutely the best,” Fox said.
“I was already looking forward to announcing the AIM’s Weekend Walleye Series 2023 season soon. Now I’m really pumped to watch the 2023 AWWS River Division season take form, too.”
Interested? Watch for updates, schedules and how to sign up for the 2023 AIM Weekend Walleye Series River Division, as well as the other AIM Weekend Walleye Series divisions at AIM’s Facebook page.
You know you want to. You know you can.
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 inc.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Gemini Sport Marketing, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, McQuoids Inn, Marinette, WI, Explore Alexandria, Rosemore Outdoor Gear, Outdoor Authority