Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2021
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Decisions, Decisions: Turn Right, Or Turn Left?
Missouri Produces Right To Win AWWS Nodak Opener
When you’re fishing the Missouri River near Bismarck, North Dakota in the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Warrior Boats/Mild 2 Wild season opener, there are two basic ways to go: Left (Upstream), or right, (Down).
Turning that steering wheel left proved right for winners Kade Lynch and Tanner Ouelette, who pocketed $3,200 and also instantly took the Team Of The Year lead on a snowy, cold day, typical NoDak April weather on a river that was finally behaving after three years of high water.
“Not only did a Bismarck-captained team win, but they finished 1-2. Interestingly, first place went upstream, and second a bit of both,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “And, the second-placers got there with Berkley lures, repeating what happened in Wisconsin the same day. That a trend? We’ll see.”
Lynch from Bismarck, and Ouelette, from the state’s west side at Dickinson, told their 250 Yamaha-power to go a good hour north of the launch. Ninety-eight percent went south. Three boats, he said, went north. And that made all the difference. Over and around the Missouri’s piled up sand bars, through skinny water a foot deep, where incidentally the river’s walleye love to hang, they went.
Returning to “that spot” or two that they’d scoped out a day earlier and knew why they were headed there. They needed five fish, and they got exactly five bites. Using their side imaging, they pitched jigs with minnows and plastics, and nope, they’re not saying colors or type, since they’re in another tournament upcoming.
“We used our side-imaging and picked on fish in two- to six feet of water on those sand bar flats, casting and waiting. My very first cast, I got our 29-3/4-incher, and Tanner got his first 27-1/2. It lulled for about two hours, and Tanner plucked another 27, and I got a 23, back-to-back.” At this point it was about noon. Tanner whipped his lure up into about a foot of water, and something hit it and it put up a heck of a fight, and it turned out it was our 29-1/2-incher. That sealed it right there,” Lynch said.
“Since we made a long run, Tanner wanted us to head back, so we were back at the ramp about 1 or 1:30. That spot we’d found the day before, we rolled in there and caught two right away, and we anticipated filling our card with five over 20, and we rolled in and looked at our side imaging and the marks, we knew it was going to be a different day,” he said.
Afterwards, when they’d caught their last fish, he said, he really wanted to get that 23-incher off our card because I know that river can produce. “And Tanner looked at me and said ‘if someone beats us, good for them because this is one heck of a bag.’” It was. That 42.96 pounds earned them first, that $3,200 and the current top spot in Team Of The Year ranks.
Lynch said that the win means that the pair, in their third AIM season, is going to charge hard this year, with their eyes on that TOY prize.
Finishing second were Tyler Lacher and partner Nick Brilz of Bismarck. They netted $2,000 with 39.02 pounds, 3.94 behind the winners. They headed south, then north, then across, concentrating on fish they’d found.
“We had some pre-fish days that were pretty stellar,” Lacher said. “Did we know we’d catch two 30-inchers and a 28? No. But I’d rather have luck on our side than skill. It was sure cold that day, but we sure warmed up after that.”
The pair trolled with their Offshore Tackle boards (if they’d won, they’d be eligible for another $200 in Offshore bucks) in their Warrior V198 (and yup, they would have been eligible for Warrior cash, but Lacher unfortunately didn’t complete the registration process the first time; now he has). His side imaging was key, he said, when they were pulling Berkley Frenzy baits with their Offshore boards, and pitching plastics.
“We saw fish on our sidescan and we threw baits out to them and kept grinding and grinding. We knew which fish we had to cast at and it was great,” Lacher said. “We had all our fish by 10:30 and didn’t upgrade the rest of the day. I would also like to thank our local sponsors, they mean so much to us by helping us chase our dreams, Thank You. It’s an awesome fishery up here, just incredible.”
Finishing in third with 32.52 pounds were Daren and Heide Schneider of Bismarck, who took home $1,500, Fourth and $1,000 went to Bob Sabo and Tory Crowe of Minot for bagging 28.81 pounds. In fifth, Chris Scouten of Spiritwood, and Evan Reimers of Wimbledon, boated 27.14 pounds and $700.
Next up North Dakota, you’re headed to Lake Audubon May 23. Go to AIM’s website to register. You CAN do this. Trust us.
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