Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 25, 2020
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Are Lake Sak’s Fish Scattered, Or Lurking For AIM Teams?
It Depends, Say Anglers, In Final NoDak Season Qualifier
The main question that’s been on the minds of teams on Lake Sakakawea this summer has been, where are the fish that it’ll take to win Sunday’s AIM Weekend Walleye Series/Pure Powersports Open, but with predictions of 35-pound bags to win it, it sounds like someone may have got’em dialed in.
“The weather is looking pretty darned good for the final North Dakota state qualifier compared with what our teams have faced in the last event nearby,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “And from the way it sounds from at least a few teams who are being close-lipped on the details have got’em tracked down. They say the big fish are in the lake proper, turned on and ready to show us a great time.”
Jessie Schiele from Norwich, east of Minot, will be there Sunday in his Mercury 200 Verado Tiller, with Garmin LiveScope as his guide to the fish that sounds like he’s found in the main lake. He’s in his third season of competing in AIM, and he gave a few hints, but won’t spill the beans until Sunday afternoon, if at all.
“The fish were scattered last time, but now we’re in Parshall, but it’s still spread out. They’re there. You’ve just got to dig around for them,” Schiele said. “I think most everybody is going to stay in the main part of the lake.
“We were just out there today. We had a south wind, and the wind Sunday will probably be out of the northwest, and it’ll be alright.
He didn’t give up what he’ll be using, but he did say reports are that live bait, including locally hard-to-find leeches, cranks, Jigging Raps ripped in a pod, and pretty much everything is working, he said.
“We’ve caught some nice ones on a Jigging Rap, and live bait. If you’re at the right time and place. We found a few spots and we’ve still got time, so we’ll check out some others. You’ve just got to dig’em from the dirt and wake’em up a little,” Schiele said. “There’s going to be fish caught, I’ll tell you that for sure. I’d say 20 to 35 pounds to win, but it wouldn’t surprise me if someone got 40.”
This is his third AIM season, and he’s sold on the format. “I like the (Catch-Record-Release™) format, the measurements and photos. It’s not a kill tournament, so there’s more fish to be caught down the road.”
Shawn Hennings is from Hillsboro, but he also has a house a few miles from the launch, and, he also runs Garmin electronics on a unique Fishing Specialties mount. He was on the water Tuesday in his Mercury 250 Optimax-powered mount, and has keyed in on some possible winners. He says Lake Sak’s walleye are eager to play.
“They’re in the lake. I was just messing around and got 26 pounds,” Hennings said. “I think it’s going to be a deep-shallower water transition, and if you find spots, they’re going to hold fish. It’s a matter of finding the right ones.”
“It’s back to the basics. They are hungry. I didn’t even get my second line in the water and I had a 23-incher yesterday,” he said.
Kade Lynch from Bismarck is running a Mercury 250 Verado-run boat, and he says his fish have been in the same spots the past six to eight weeks.
“We’re going to hit some of the spots we know, but the story is that the fish are scattered at every depth, point, and cranny, the system is so healthy,” he said. “A lot of them are 15 to 20 and 23 to 24. It’s a little harder this year to find those 28-pluses which we all try for. The lake is back to a normal pool level, which it hasn’t been for the last two years, with high water.” Fish, he said, remain widespread.
“We’re noticing fish deep at 40 feet and as shallow as two. And on live bait, plastics, dragging crawlers, leeches, and minnows. It doesn’t matter. On some days one trumps the other. I like casting plastics and artificials on those famous gravelly treeless points. The bigger fish, people seem to be catching less, but the right ones are there. If you pull live bait you could catch 100 or 200 a day, but they won’t be over 18 inches.”
Weather-wise, Lynch said, you may not ask for a much better weather prediction on the plains in July. Sunny, 78 and northwest winds 10 to 15 mph. This part of the lake should be protected for the most part.
“I think everyone’s going to head onto the big water. But who knows? We get surprised every time we fish. But we will be focusing on the main lake structure.”
We’ll all know come around 6 p.m. Sunday when results are posted at AIM’s Facebook page.
Before that, teams will launch at the Parshall Bay Recreation Area in Parshall after boat inspections starting at 5:30 a.m. The first wave leaves at 7 a.m., and boats must return starting at 3 p.m. Follow the action through the day at AIM’s Facebook page, where the winners also will be announced. Good luck to all teams!
Want to get in on an AIM event? All the details are at the AIM website.
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.
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