Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 8, 2022
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
‘Aleing’ AWWS Green Bay Marinette Tourney May Mean
Feasting Walleye May Be A Bit More Scarce Sunday
In the 1960s, before salmon took care of the issue, Lake Michigan alewife die-offs were a huge midsummer nuisance, and while they aren’t as heavy as then, anglers in the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Wisconsin Division Navionics Open Sunday, 10, may just be dealing with fish with lockjaw after filling up on the small fish that are again showing up in droves.
“This time of year, our anglers often have to contend with fish filling up on mayfly hatches, but this month, alewives are apparently on special, and that may mean our teams will have to work extra hard to fill their Catch-Record-ReleaseÔ cards,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “Our pre-event survey is pretty unanimous: the walleye may be happy with all the alewives, but the teams who get them to bite lures will be happier.”
Chad Wiskow and Brian Olinger, of Neenah, will be on the water as of Thursday, and Wiskow says the “alewife boom” has been huge, and that spells fat bellies for the Marinette area’s walleye, but potentially a tough time coaxing them to go after what he’s offering.
“It’s gotten to the point where fish have completely shut off” in some areas, Wiskow reported. “Unless they spawn (alewives come shallow to spawn, with about 70% dieing after spawning), it’s going to be a grind. There are several guides on Green Bay that have vacated the program and switched to perch because the bite’s that bad. The walleye are gorging themselves. It’s a free feed, so it’s going to be going into a reaction bite,” he said.
“You’re going to have to try to make these fish react to something. It’s just to the point where they’re plumb full of food,” Wiskow added. He’s therefore heading out of Marinette harbor Sunday and staying shallow.
“Three to five feet, maybe 10 at the most where maybe the fish have got that bait pinned against the shore and hopefully, we can get some reaction bites. The mud bite has completely died off, so I’m going to be looking for areas where that bait is getting pushed in to get them to bite.
“My prediction is that it’s going to be tough. Somebody could stumble on what could be a 30 or 35-pound bag, or maybe it could be that 14 or 15 pounds will be doing good. It’s all about how this alewife die off progresses, so this is kind of a wild card.
Wiskow hopes he will be steering his Mercury 250 Pro XS-powered boat, with Garmin Panoptix in the mix to find cooperative fish.
Jeremy Bock, of Jackson, with Mark Bartels, of Johnson Creek, will be in their Merc 350 Verado-powered boat also with Garmin aboard Sunday, and Bock is reporting the same.
“The alewife population is massive, especially in the lower bay (Bay of Green Bay). I’ve had friends fishing a tournament and if you look at the weights, 18 pounds took second place and that doesn’t typically happen,” Bock said. What weight won? Try about 22 pounds.
“We’re getting warmer temperatures this week and that may start moving fish out of the lower bay, but there’s schools of bait we haven’t seen in a long time.”
Is going north into Michigan water the answer? Maybe, maybe not, he said.
“I don’t think it’s going to be as bad to the north, but if people run up to the Cedar River there’s always a chance, but again the northern bite has just not seemed to pick up yet,” he said. That’s usually later in August.
“Somebody can always land on them, but I think it’s going to be one of the most interesting tournaments we’ve had in a while. It’s changing quickly here, and it’s been very difficult for a lot of people,” he said, adding that he agrees with Wiskow.
“It’s going to be a reaction bite that will be more in play with all the alewives. You’ve got to trigger them to bite. You’re still going to get them trolling, but I think casting Jigging Raps or minnows is what you’ll see the majority of people doing,” Bock added.
Back on the AIM circuit is Russell Ory, who’ll be fishing with Marcel Cardinal, both of Fremont, in a Merc 350 Verado-powered platform. Ory’s not been around since AIM’s first year, and he’s back, in part because of the C-R-R format.
“That’s part of it I like, yes. We’ve fished others and the fish got beat up on every system. We’re enjoying it, being able to go other places,” he said, including heading to lakes like Petenwell. And, Ory’s going big with his prediction.
“Somebody’s going to get on the big ones and I figure there’s going to be at least a 48-pound weight, and obviously I hope I’m up there too. But anything can change. You can be on the bite the day before and it can go to a whole different way the next, and you’re like, ‘what is going on.’”
That sounds like walleye fishing to us. Been there, done that, lots. And Sunday afternoon we’ll learn whether the alewives prevail, or AIM anglers do.
Teams will meet online for registration and rules at 7 p.m. Saturday. Boat inspections at the launch and return site, Marinette’s Menakaunee Park, start at 5:30 a.m., with the first wave of teams leaving at 7 a.m., and returning at 3 p.m. Awards will take place starting at 5 p.m. at the park. Good luck, all teams!
Remember, there’s STILL plenty of summer left, and still plenty of time to sign up for all remaining events at AIM’s website. Be there!
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.
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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.
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