Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 27, 2016
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Jigs git’er done for Bismarck’s Todd DeBoer, Leon Leier, at AWWS Warrior Boats/Mild 2 Wild Motorsports Missouri River Open
Todd DeBoer approached Sunday’s AIM Weekend Walleye Series Warrior Boats/Mild 2 Wild Motorsports Open with trepidation. Not about AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ format, even though it was his and teammate Leon Leier’s first C-R-R experience.
It was about what had happened a few weeks prior. Because just before Sunday, he’d gotten back his Ranger 620, powered by a Yamaha 250 four-stroke with a T8 kicker after a too-close encounter with a log 6 inches below the Missouri river’s surface cracked his hull. And, this was its first post-log event.
But, overcoming memories about what the river’s low water can do, DeBoer and Leier jigged minnows to boat a winning weight of 29.21 pounds and went home $3,500 to the good at Sunday’s opening tournament in Bismarck/Mandan in AIM’s North Dakota Division.
DeBoer, who’s fished the Missouri with Leier the last seven years, calls this the biggest win of his amateur career so far. He and Leier are already looking forward to June 26 upriver at Lake Sakakawea to boost their chances for a shot at the National Championship.
“This was different for my partner and me. We’ve fished a lot of tournaments, but we’re still used to the format of keeping your best five fish and hope you made the right decision,” DeBoer said. But, after the win, he said C-R-R is something all tournaments should adopt. The morning started off slow. They’d planned on motoring downstream about 10 miles and fishing their way back at the 20 spots they’d zeroed in. But by 11 a.m., they had only two fish on their card, an 18- and a 19-incher.
“Our heads were pretty low, but by 11:30, we had a 27, a 26 and a 25 on the card. They all came on the little back eddies and washouts that held one or two fish. That’s the way it was during pre-fishing, too,” he said. “Some spots had fish and some didn’t. We gave each 15 minutes or a half-hour,” fighting 40 mph wind and heavy mid-day rain, as all in the field did.
The river’s current low water levels did figure in their planning, he said. “One of the big factors was if you’re not up on plane, there are places you’re not going to get across, and those stretches can go two or three blocks or more.
“Our presentation was jigs and minnows for the tournament, and the week prior. We had to go to heavier jigs, and it was pretty critical to keep the bow out of your line because of the wind,” DeBoer said. “It didn’t start raining until 10 a.m., then it rained the rest of the time and there were a couple of times when it was just pouring down, with definitely a lot of wind, but I guess it all came in the right order for us.”
DeBoer said he and Leier are signed up for all North Dakota AIM events.
“I’d heard about the format from some others, and Leon and I talked when we heard North Dakota was on the card. And after doing it with this format, it’s great. I’d like to see other tournaments go to it. On the river we were catching pre-, post-and spawning females. There’s a lot of fish being taken out of the river and this is a great way to not only have a tournament, but to also keep the fishery healthy”, he said.
With C-R-R, he said, “It doesn’t matter how many fish you have. It takes a lot of the decision-making out of it, absolutely. I don’t know that any of the fish we measured we had in the boat over a minute. It’s fast. There’s taking a measuring photo, the second photo, writing on your card and you’re done.”
Earning $1,800 in second by boating 24.8 pounds were Ian Placek and Jordan Binstock, also of Bismarck. Third place and $1,400 went to Mike Klug and Mike Keller of Mandan for recording 22.63 pounds. J.D. Clark and Trent Eisman of Bismarck took fourth, and won $1,100 for 20.88 pounds, and Justin Rogstad of Lincoln, North Dakota, and Matt Dietrich of Bismarck, took fifth and $900 for a 20.65-pound bag.
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, Powrtran, Power-Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Team Lodge, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, 4 Bears Casino North Dakota.