Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 22, 2019
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Minnesota’s AIM Team Of The Year: Dobias and Hylla
Take Crown With 4th Place State Championship Finish
It looked like an impossible task midway in the season, but a win at Vermillion and 4th place in the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Mercury Marine 2019 Minnesota state championship brought Bemidji’s Chaz Dobias and Moorehead’s Ryan Hylla the title of 2019 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Team Of The Year, and an automatic entry in next year’s AWWS National Championship Shootout.
“The team that finishes the most consistently high usually wins the Team Of The Year (TOY), not necessarily one that wins them all,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “And Dobias and Hylla proved that overall, they certainly earned this title, and also that great 9.9hp Yamaha Four Stroke Kicker.”
So let’s review what their win, and the high showing by others in both the championship and Team Of The Year standings means, as explained by Dobias.
“There were three double qualifiers for the National Championship Shootout in 2020 at the championship on Lake Bemidji,” he explained. “Three were in the top five for points and for the tournament.”
You can’t qualify twice, so that leaves three spots open to the next three teams down the TOY points list. Simple.
“This is the ultimate goal I wanted to accomplish,” said Dobias, who, partner Hylla, did it in their Mercury 200 Pro XS four-stroke-powered boat on the last day of the Minnesota championship.
“It’s an honor to be near the top consistently. It’s one thing to win one event (they won at Vermillion Lake, the final Minnesota qualifier event this year), but to come out on top is cool,” he said.
“Chad (Chad Bleeker and Mike Piekarski, both of Ellsworth, WI, who won the Hager City qualifier, and finished second in TOY points, about 10 points behind Dobias and Hylla) was way out in front after the first three events, and it didn’t look like anyone was going to be able to catch them. Our only shot was to win one (they did), and get into the top five in another (they did, finishing fourth at the championship). We passed him in the last event,” Dobias said.
“On Day Two at Bemidji we weren’t swinging for the fences. We wanted to try to at least secure Team Of The Year. As much as I wanted to win on my home water, we wanted to be sure at least with a good finish. We were trying to win both, but we didn’t specifically target big fish. We wanted to get our right fish and then worry about getting the big ones. I’m pretty excited to win that motor. It’s an extra chunk of change for us,” he said.
They finished at Bemidji with 28.64 pounds, in fourth place. Dobias said that knew about the spot at the lake’s north end where the eventual winners pulled their fish from, but he was looking elsewhere. “I pre-fished that spot and there were some nice fish, but I was looking for bigger. We were all looking for kicker fish, and it worked out well for the winners.”
Finishing in third for Team Of The Year were David Burkholder, Monticello, MN, and Gordy Powers, Rockford, MN. In fourth, Justin Schneider, Forest Lake, MN, and Aaron Sands, Lino Lakes, and Joe Bricko, Farmington, MN, and Dylan Maki, Cohasset, took fifth.
Next up, the final, final. The 2019 Nitro Boats/City of Marinette Wisconsin Championship, in beautiful Marinette on the shore of northern Green Bay, this Friday and Saturday, Aug. 23 and 24. Follow both days of action via Garmin Fish & Hunt on our Facebook page. Visit our website for information on all AIM tournaments and soon, how to register for any AIM event in 2020.
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, Bismarck Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau, Marinette WI, Pro Chattrr, Missouri Secrets Tackle, Gemini Sport Marketing, Anglers Avenue pro shop, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, Fox River Lures and Rods.