Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 21, 2017
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Father’s Day Treat: Use Dad’s Boat, Win Season’s Third AWWS Tourney On North Dakota’s Lake Sak
Talk about a Father’s Day present. Your fishing partner’s dad helps you find the fish you need to win on Sunday. You use your fishing partner’s dad’s boat to find those fish again, and you go home with $4,700 from the AIM Weekend Walleye Series North Dakota Division Warrior Boats Open on Lake Sakakawea on Sunday, June 18.
Jeff White, of Bismarck, and partner Mitch Lang, Turtle Lake, fished within a 10- to 15-minute ride from the launch, and using crankbaits, boated 29.31 pounds of walleye for first place.
“We’ve got the North Dakota Governor’s Cup tournament coming up, so there’s a chance those fish might still be in there,” White said.
“Mitch’s dad is an accomplished angler and because it was Father’s Day weekend, they went on one boat to pre-fish and I went on mine. Our philosophy was to find something as close to the launch as we could. They worked on that and I went elsewhere,” he said. After Friday and Saturday, they decided to concentrate on those close-by spots. They used dad Bryan’ s Nitro Z21 because its graphs had the spots where big fish swam. And, where cranks were the ticket. Bryan runs Devils Lake’s Rig It N Jig It Guide Service.
“We tried live bait but what was working was pulling crankbaits. We had a really nice, steady bite. We knew we were only going to get five to eight bites the whole day because we were only looking for big fish,” White said.
“Our first was a 27-1/4. The next two were 26 ¾-inches each,” he said. Then came every angler’s nightmare. A good bite, then…. “Then it just died on us,” he added.
But, they worked at it. In came a 15-1/4, and another, a 21-1/2. “That gave us five on our card and we went back to our big fish spot to search. Those five would be the ones they brought back to the dock on their card, and won with.
“At the end of the day, we beat the second-place team by about a pound, so that 15-1/4-inch fish made the difference,” White said.
This was the team’s third AIM tournament, and White said they love Catch-Record-Release™. “It helps the fishery, and stops mortality, so we really enjoy that aspect.”
And, they’re ready for the next one in July, on the same lake, but at the other end. “We’re going to the west end for sure and hope to have enough points to get into the championship. Our intent is to finish with strength,” White said.
In second, Jason Feldner, and Kyle Clifton, both guides in Minnewaukan, did just that, and earned second, with 28.08 pounds, good for an $1,800 payout.
“We had a 63-mile boat ride,” Feldner said, all the way to Vanhook Arm. “We watched the forecast in the morning and decided to run west and get back by 11 to beat the wind. We knew we had to get five over 20. Their biggest of the day was a 26-1/2incher, and they caught all their fish with Slow Death and Lindy gold Little Joe spinners. The Lindy was tipped with a leech on bottom bouncers slow-trolled .8 to 1 mph. The Slow Death hooks had night crawlers.
Feldner said one reason they finished second was his boat set-up. His tiller rig is pushed by a Mercury 250 Optimax, which is known for its fuel-stinginess. He never had to re-fuel on his run, and finished with 13 gallons aboard.
Feldner said he figures he and Clifton may be on the way to North Dakota Team of the Year honors. We’ll see come season’s end. The next North Dakota meet is back on this same lake on July 16, which also starts the next round of action in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, before the state championships starting in August.
Finishing in third and earning $1,600 for 27.71 pounds was the team of Shawn Mertz and Tommy Miller, both of Bismarck. In Fourth were Les Vietz and Monte Hienemeyer, also from Bismarck, with 25.12 pounds, for $1,400. In fifth were Ian Placek, Bismarck, and Tim Berger, Mandan. They carded 23.14 pounds, and earned $1,200.
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, Navionics, Garmin, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, Warrior Boat Center.