Minnesota TOY Win Was The Goal, And Huynh And Wolske Did It While Also Winning Minnesota Championship

Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.


Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


Minnesota TOY Win Was The Goal, And Huynh And Wolske Did It While Also Winning Minnesota Championship


When they launched at Lake of the Woods’ Wigwam Resort Friday for the  AIM Weekend Walleye Series Mercury Marine Minnesota State Championship, Tom Huynh and Nate Wolske were sitting in third for Minnesota Yamaha Motor Corp. Team Of The Year. And on Saturday night, they clinched both the championship and Team Of The Year, a goal they’d set out to do before the season even began.

“Attention, everyone in walleye fishing: Ignore what these two did this season at your peril, because they go about their business with an understated coolness and calmness that says, watch what we do AND what we say,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “This was their first full season of fishing AIM, and of fishing walleye, and have they ever got it going.”

“Our goal was to try to be Team Of The Year in AIM in our first year of fishing the full circuit. We fished conservatively for points this year but needed to go all out at the championships. It worked out,” Huynh (pronounced, believe it or not, like “win”) said.

Huynh, a regular on the bass circuit, got into walleye after last year’s Covid crash that brought those bass events first to a standstill, then to such a condensed schedule that he decided he just couldn’t do it. And then, there was this guy he talked to at a campground he was at in Walker, MN.

“So a guy at the campground randomly mentioned that there’s a professional tournament coming there. He thought it was bass, and I thought it was until I googled it and it was the AIM event on Leech Lake. After a couple of days thinking about it, I said, let’s give it a whirl, and the rest is history,” Huynh said. And, with that, not only history, but now, his future.

He and Wolske threw themselves into it. “I figured out something that week and I’ve been trying to ride it,” he said. And what a beautiful ride it’s been, starting with that out-of-the-box win at Leech last year. Then a fourth place on Lake Winnie, and more successes.

“With that came a lot of anglers that were very happy for us, but at the same time understandably a lot who thought it was a fluke. So, we said let’s go all out next year (2021) and let’s see,” he said.  Well, they saw, and they conquered. Here’s the tale of the tape: They were first on Leech the second year in a row, then sixth on Mille Lacs, 24th on Superior in Duluth, and way down in the pack on Big Stone, then first on Lake of the Woods, by a lot.

And, he says, he hates trolling. Boring, he said, which gives you a teeny glimpse into what he and Wolske do, adopted from Huynh’s past life as a bass angler: Power fishing, i.e., cast and retrieve, cast and retrieve, cast and retrieve. With what, he’s not saying.

“The only places we trolled we had our worst finishes. The rest of it is casting, power fishing, basically. We look at it all whether it’s water clarity or depth and I adjust from that to see what may or may not work. We try a lot of different things but end up going with our strengths,” he explained. But, he still can’t get over his successes.

“I don’t believe it. I knew we had a shot. We learned how to catch walleye but we were fishing against the best there is in Minnesota and North Dakota. The best, so that’s a big mental factor. Going in, we were competing against the best. They’ve been here (on Lake of the Woods) before, and to actually win the championship and Team Of The Year... I’m pretty good on stage, but that day it hit me that this is unbelievable,” he said.

“When I started hearing the weights from fifth place on up Saturday, not only to win but there was a big gap there. I started getting a little emotional, like, what just happened? We just had a good couple of days,” Huynh added in his typical understated way, without mentioning those other good days elsewhere that brought them the TOY title and that 9.9 Yamaha four-stroke kicker worth more than$4,000.

“We’re relaxed but still nervous. I have a tip for anybody: fish your strengths. If you’re a troller, go troll. If you’re a caster, go cast, and don’t fish history, since we’re new to this. The pattern on Leech this year was way different than it was last year and coming in with no history, no spots and areas gives us a whole open perspective, and we’re finding things that are new. As far as confidence goes, I’m not ever confident I’m going to win but I’m confident I’m going to catch fish,” he said.

That confidence in the technique he and Wolske use stretches so far, in fact, that they’re one of the only teams on the AIM circuit without a kicker motor aboard. “I don’t want to troll,” he repeated. “It’s just boring.”

Here’s another final, telling comment from the second-place team at LOW. Scott Burton and Travis Heffron were fishing near Huynh and Wolske on Day One of the championship. Burton said they watched as the winners uncannily and calmly used their Garmin Panoptix with LiveScope to pick on, and pick out and pick up their winning bag. One of Huynh’s secrets? Perhaps. And perhaps more than perhaps.

Way to go guys. We can’t wait to see what happens next year, including at the AIM National Championship Shootout, the location of which will be announced early in 2022.

Stay tuned, Fan Nation. We’ll be back in a day or two with the preview of the Wisconsin Division championship on the Bay of Green Bay at Marinette. There are monster fish waiting. Will the AIM total weight record be broken?  Follow all the action as well at Saturday evening’s awards ceremony at AIM’s Facebook page.

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, Berkley, X2Power by Batteries Plus, Abu-Garcia, Fenwick, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Quality Flow Systems, Gemini Sport Marketing, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, McQuoids Inn, Marinette, WI