Presented by Yamaha Marine and Warrior Boats
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Published June 11, 2014
MILLE LACS LAKE BITE TURNS ON FOR AIM TOURNAMENT
As predicted, the Mille Lacs Lake AIM Weekend Walleye Series (AWWS) “Alumacraft Open” proved to be an excellent opportunity to showcase AIM’s Catch-Record-Release (CRR) format on the legendary Minnesota walleye lake. “With light and variable winds along with blue skies, it was a great day for fishing,” stated Minnesota Tournament Director Jim Miller. “And our anglers put on a show. There was only one fish under 25 inches in length on the scorecards of our top five teams!”
Topping the 97 boat field that launched from the Red Door Resort were Bob Nitti and Justin Baldwin, with their five best fish converting to a hefty 38.13 lbs.
The team started their day rigging on a main lake mud flat and caught a few smaller fish, mostly under 24 inches in length. They then bounced around to a couple of different spots before settling in on a northern mud flat about two miles from the launch. Within the first half-hour after making the final move, they caught a couple of big fish putting a 26.25 and 28.25 inch fish on the scorecard. They felt the smaller walleye were relating to the edge of the flat in 27 feet of water, while the larger fish were up on the shelf in 24 feet of water. “We were corkin’ it,” said Nitti, “Bobbers and leeches set at 23 feet is what caught the big ones.”
The winning team took $8000 in cash and a free entry into the AIM’s Oconto Pro Team Challenge ($1200 value) and noted how much respect they have for the fishermen they were competing against, describing them as, “A great group of very talented guys.”
Second place honors went to a team who had only caught a handful of fish each day while prefishing, but it turned out they were on the right fish for the tournament. Twenty minutes into their day, Craig Teal and Stacy Forsberg landed a 28.75 inch walleye. “There were a lot of high fives,” Forsberg said with a smile. “Then ten minutes later we put another 25.75 inch fish in the boat too!”
They continued to fish their spot, rigging livebait slowly on the mud in 25 to 30 feet of water for the next three hours without a bite. Then fish number three and four came quickly, both good fish, only five minutes apart. The fifth fish was put on the card a half-hour later, measuring in at just 20 inches. But they were able to upgrade that one eventually with a 26.25 inch walleye, and their best five totaled 37.79 lbs earning them a check for $2400.
For Danny Thompson and Bjorn Horgen, the strategy was to put a quick limit of fish on the scorecard and then go looking for big ones. It took the team only an hour to card the first five fish and the hunt was on. Three big fish in the early afternoon rigging leeches on seven-foot snells and light line was the ticket to boating 36.88 lbs and taking home a check for $1800. “All of the fish were really healthy and released, which is great to see,” said Thompson.
AIM’s next Weekend Walleye Series event will take place June 29th at Hastings, MN on the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers, with teams from both AWWS State Divisions competing. Leech Lake will be the site of Minnesota’s final “Alumacraft Open” Qualifier event on July 13th.
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 Marketing Partners: Yamaha Marine, Warrior Boats, Alumacraft Boats, Nitro Boats, Mercury Marine, Navionics, Amsoil, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Team Lodge, Gemini Sport Marketing, National Fleet Graphics, and The City of Oconto.