Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2018
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Dual Duel Redux: Two AWWS Full-Field Tourneys Set For Walleye-Filled Leech. Will One Bait Take Both?
At least one entrant in the dual AIM Weekend Walleye Series tournaments on Minnesota’s Leech Lake this weekend thinks that it may come down to just one bait that’ll get it done for both the Warrior Boats/Musky House Marine Open Saturday, and the Warrior Boats/Highway 3 Marine Open Sunday.
“Each tournament has $8K at stake for the winner,” said AIM National Tournament Director Denny Fox. “Each tournament has a 100-boat field. And according to one angler fishing both, each tournament’s winner may depend on who’s cornered a weekend’s supply of redtail chubs, which is producing big Leech Lake walleye so far. And, who’s also figured out how to catch the fish that’ll win it all in the middle of an expected mayfly hatch.”
That’s the word from Scott Seibert, of Oak Grove, MN, part-time Leech Lake guide, who’ll be in his Mercury 350 Verado-powered boat among the crews getting the green flag both days.
Although it’s been two weeks since he’s fished it, he says, fish from 27 to 29 inches were being taken during the recent Leech Lake Walleye Tournament, unlike some years past. “There were multiple fish in the 27- to 29-inch caught, so there’s definitely some larger fish. There’s also definitely a good population of 22- to 25-inchers, and in that 20- to 26-inch slot range that go back in the water. You’re definitely going to catch many of those,” he said. Of course, with AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ format, any size past 12 inches can fit on an AIM scorecard, regardless of that slot.
He added that the mayfly hatch is about to break, which could change up the bite. He noticed that during a recent promotional event on the lake, when he didn’t fish.
“We were noticing them on our sonar this past weekend, and could see them coming up. Whenever there’s a bug hatch, I always go with crawlers, either spinners or rigging. But what a lot will be doing is probably rigging redtail chubs,” he reveals. Last he checked, he says, they were going for $18 a dozen. “And that gets quite spendy. But Leech can change from day to day, to one day, crawlers, and the next they want leeches, so you’ve also got to mix up your presentation.
“The bigger fish are coming on the redtails, so the Walker Bay humps will get pressured really hard. You want those better, 25- to 28-inch fish, that’s what we’re all going to be shooting for.”
Those humps and that twisty, turny, seemingly ever-changing structure and drops in that famous bay, where, if you only fish Leech a few times, you must fish, will be a 10-mile or so run from the home for both tournaments, Anderson’s Horseshoe Bay Lodge, and a sure target for many of the teams.
But it can be a rough ride when Leech shows its rowdy side, he said. “During the Leech Lake Tournament, coming back was in four-footers, and trying to fish that mid-lake structure, from Walker to Portage Bay, it was an hour boat ride at 11 to 13 mph.” Siebert said he’d be back up to hopefully find where those winners are, starting Thursday.
Already probing the lake with his 300 Verado-pushed platform is last year’s winner, Luke Bollum, of St. Peter, MN, who said that the lake is starting to “set up” nicely for the weekend. As for those mayflies, well, they’re either good, or bad, depending on how you fish in them. For sure, though, they just are.
“We’ve been on the big lake the last two days and Walker can be a player any day, but I like the big lake,” Bollum says. He’s predicting that the mayfly hatch will definitely catch the attention of all teams, depending on how you deal with it.
“Some will pull cranks, and some will slow way down. It can be different during every hatch. You just have to fish, and figure it out. The weather looks pretty good so you should be able to get out to fish. Walker is deep, up to 160 feet. On the main lake, the deepest you’ll see is maybe 40 feet and structure can be 15-1/2 to 30,” Bollum says.
So far, he said, not a lot’s been going on in his boat. “It’s been a little tougher for us. We’re still trying to dial’em in,” noting that he’s got until the end of the day Friday to zero in.
Bolllum likes AIM’s two, one-day tournaments on the lake. “It’s cool that it’s two shootouts. First day, go for broke and gamble a bit, then it’s always interesting to see who can go out and get’em on Day One and Day Two. It’s always fun to see how good your bite is, and how good you are,” he adds.
That is always the challenge, and the challenge of two successive tourneys: Developing the confidence in your program, and sticking with it, and if you must, going rogue. Choices, choices. Choose wisely, and it pays $8,000. Each day.
The excitement comes to a head starting at Anderson’s at 5 p.m. Friday for boats fishing Saturday, and at 5 p.m. Saturday for teams entered Sunday. The rules meeting immediately follows registration on both days.
Boat inspection begins at 5:30 a.m. both days, with flights leaving beginning at 7 a.m. The first flight returns each day by 3 p.m., and the always-fun dual awards ceremonies start at Anderson’s beginning at 5 p.m. So there is a lot to watch both days at AIM’s Facebook site, with on-water updates both days, topped by winner announcement. Good luck all teams!
For info on all AIM events, go to aimfishing.com.
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, LLC.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, Gemini Sport Marketing, Treeland Resort, Anglers Avenue, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, Fox River Lures and Rods, Bismarck Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau