Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13, 2021
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
‘Do I Stay Or Do I Go’ Is The Namea That Tune When
AIM Weekend Walleye Series Visits Green Bay Sunday
Do you go, or do you stay? Five hawgs may be waiting north, but so is the potential for a zero, or beating into an afternoon wind. Or, do you hang south after those warmer and potentially friskier fish that may or may not do it? That’s the question facing the field for the third Wisconsin Division event of the season, the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Garmin Open tournament this Sunday (May 16).
“What a question, and what a dilemma at least for some,” agreed Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “Fishing just about anywhere in the bay is hotter than hot right now, and making that right choice could mean a podium walk, and from the sound of things there’s going to be a lot of gas being purchased in Green Bay Saturday night. But depending on lots of factors the lower bay could just be the ticket too. Either way, hang on, because The Bay of Green Bay always produces, and the predictions are some hefty bags will be coming in Sunday afternoon.”
Two of the three team captains interviewed earlier this week either hinted or said that a run north may be on the program and programmed into their GPS. Each also said the lower bay bite was just as hot, but five fish with their food-o-meters stuck on “eat” is what you’re after in an AIM tournament. And with this being the Bay of Green Bay, weather will have the final say.
Ryan Pizzi and partner Don Rideout of Phelps in northern Wisconsin are sitting in fourth in AIM Wisconsin Team Of The Year standings. Pizzi says they’ve never been shy about burning gas and they’re not about to be now.
“We’re fishing another tournament Saturday and seeing as we’re fourth, we’re planning to make a run, and the part that’s going to be interesting is, how far,” he said.
“Most of our spots are a good distance so we’re crossing our fingers that it’s not too windy.”
The pair has drawn a line in the water from Marinette to Sturgeon Bay as their turn-around point. That’s at least a boatload of fuel, “maybe probably” more.
“We’ve never been conservative, and I don’t think we’re going to start now. We’ll keep the pedal to the floor and see what happens,” Pizzi said. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed so it’s not too windy.”
Pizzi was testing the waters this past weekend and found fish both scattered and schooled. “Depending on what spot, I was mostly casting to those where most of the pods I’m looking for were,” he said. But walleye being walleye, they just might change their tactics and you’ll have to change yours. So if they’re spread out, trolling is the way to go, and if they find’em grouped, they’ll be jigging. And he’s looking for the bay to produce everywhere.
“I would say for sure at least one team will pull 50 pounds, maybe as many as three. So, look for the 52 to 54-pound range, Pizzi said.
Dan Hobbs of Wisconsin Rapids will be on the water Sunday with partner Chris Krahn of Jefferson in their Mercury 300 ProXS-power and Garmin Panoptix-equipped outfit, and so far Hobbs is reporting cold water where he likes. He’s hoping the coming warmup will also heat up the water.
“Last weekend it was a little tough but if it does warm up the bite’s gonna be good. We were seeing a lot of 46- and 47-degree readings and once in a while 50. The fish spawned and the water temperature went way up, and now it’s dropped,” Hobbs said, who will be pre-fishing the bay from Wednesday on.
“At one time we were in Marinette and had 54 degrees, and now it’s dropped. I’ll either be casting or trolling, the two major ways, and we’ve got to let the fish tell us what they want. We’ll bring everything and through the next four days the bites will definitely get better. You’re going to win this probably with 45 pounds I would guess. With this being Green Bay, it’ll be a bit tougher,” Hobbs continued.
“Historically the bigger fish are up north and if you get any kind of wind, you’ll not make that run, but guys are getting a lot of big fish south too, and that’s where I’m starting. That area will warm up first and those should be the fish that really turn on. Most probably will stick in the lower bay. There’s enough big fish there to make it happen. I’m looking forward to the weekend,” he added.
Home boy Craig Suda from Green Bay is partnered with Phil Rahlf of Rhinelander, and they’ll be throttling up that Mercury 300 ProXS and Garmin Panoptix to make a run that may even require a refuel stop. He’s reporting fish everywhere you go on the bay, but he thinks he’s gotta go north to win with AIM’s resource-saving Catch-Record-Release™ format.
“Fishing’s been fantastic all over the bay in the last 10 days, and with a warming trend coming that will have the fish in a good mood. Although we may get some heavy east winds later in the day Sunday. The morning commute should be good, but the ride back may be sporty,” Suda said. No matter where teams go, he said, there will be lots of big bags.
“You could easily pull 40 in the lower bay, but I think 50 will be needed to win it, and it’ll be more manageable farther north. The fish are schooled up north and there’s large fish in tighter groups. In the lower, you have to fight through 25 or 30 to find the five you need whereas all the fish up north will be the right ones.
“I have another tournament Saturday and I’m anticipating the majority of winning teams will come from the far north. We just came off the last tournament and we had 58 pounds. If you’re fishing the lower bay, it will be a shad-style bite, but if you go farther, it will be a minnow style. The water temps will still be cold and you’ll want a very slow wobble stick bait. In the lower bay, you can find them already in an early summer pattern, but up north they’re still in a post-spawn, cold water pattern,” he said.
“Where I was on last Saturday, we were still seeing 46 degrees, but the lower bay is 54 or 55. Our fish spawned really early but the weather stopped warming and they kinda got stuck and they’re in an in-between phase. The next days will probably get them moving and that might be the challenge,” he added.
In other words, they may be where they aren’t now, and where they are now, they may not be. That’s always the challenge with walleye, predators that seem to be there one day and another spot the day after as they follow the next meal.
We’ll see who thinks like a walleye come Sunday when the results are announced starting at 5 p.m. at Green Bay’s Metro Boat Launch, including who scored that lucrative side pot. That’s also where the two boat flights will leave from starting at 7 a.m., and return to starting at 3 p.m. Saturday’s registration check-in and rules meeting is online, and Sunday, boat inspections at the launch site will begin at 5:30 a.m.
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