For Immediate Release, July 21, 2015
Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp. USA and Warrior Boats:
Mille Lacs Hosts Final Minnesota Division ‘Warrior Boats Open’ Qualifier; Expect Great Bags, Thanks To C-R-R™
Anglers entered in the final AIM Weekend Walleye SeriesWarrior Boats Open qualifier on Minnesota’s famous Mille Lacs on Sunday, July 26, will definitely have the advantage over their catch-and-keep brethren, thanks to AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ format, which is credited for renewing tournament interest in this great fishery that’s now under some of the strictest limits in the Midwest.
Under current regs, if you’re keeping fish, you’re allowed one walleye from 19 to 21 inches, or one over 28. All the rest, throw’em back. Fortunately, that rule plays right into the nets of AIM entrants. Under AIM’s format, that slot limit does not matter. At the end of the day, only the biggest fish recorded, photographed and released do. And the team that finds those five biggest fish gets to do the podium cha-cha.
And from what we’re hearing, there are plenty of fish available on Minnesota’s second-largest inland lake, but finding those winners that will get you to the dance, well, that’s where an angler’s skills come into play.
“With the stocking programs right now on the lake we’re seeing a lot of fish in the 9- to 14-inch range, an overabundance,” reported Tyler Wolden, one of the crews who will leave The Red Door Resort in Aitkin, MN, on the lake’s north shore at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. If you’ve got what it takes, and know where the big fish are, you have until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday July 22nd 2015 to enter.
“There are still big fish in the lake, and it’s not so much about finding them in specific spots as it will be covering a lot of ground out there,” Wolden said. Color patterns will be the key, he added. If a team can latch onto a color that works, it will be more important than the lure or bait type, because right now everything is producing.
“Mille Lacs is a basin lake so you’ve got areas with 35 or 40 feet of water,” he said. Otherwise, you’ll want to concentrate on the lake’s well-known mud flats, mostly at the lake’s north end, rock reefs all around the lake, or rocky bottom, mostly found in the lake’s southern end.
“Typically speaking, the fish are on the flats this time of year because of the mayfly hatch,” he said, but finding the fish that will win may take you elsewhere.
Steve Kulifaj, owner of The Red Door Resort, reports that the bite remains strong, and also confirms there are a lot of small fish in the lake. He also loves the fact that AIM is here for the second straight year to showcase the Mille Lacs fishery.
“AIM’s format is a spectacular way of running a tournament because it is bringing back a lot of excitement onto the lake, and brought back a lot of fire in our tournament anglers,” Kulifaj said.
“The lead core bite is turning on right now along the deeper edges of the flats, some are bobber fishing with leeches, some are trolling so it’s a mix of everything right now,” Kulifaj said.
The basin areas, he said, also have pods of fish, and teams who find them may have the winning combination. He also confirmed that playing with crank bait colors and finding one that works may be the ticket.
“Some days, I’m changing colors 15 or 20 times to keep the rods bending. Right now the bigger fish are coming from rigging about 300 to 400 yards off the mud flats in about 30 feet of water.”
But, what it will take to win won’t be known until Sunday afternoon, when the tournament’s top guns will be announced in ceremonies taking place along the lakefront at The Red Door Resort.
Contact: Denny Fox, AIM National Tournament Director, 920-505-0122; [email protected]
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.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Starcraft Marine, Amsoil, Navionics, Powrtran, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Team Lodge, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, The City of Oconto, Eagle Bay Marina and Eagles Landing Casino, Montevideo MN Chamber of Commerce, Randall’s Milan Beach Resort