Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2016
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
NoDak and AIM: A great combo kicks off first-ever Weekend Walleye Series in Peace Garden State Sunday
On the prairie, spring can be tantalizingly here one minute, with winter returning the next. This year, however, anglers in the first-ever AIM Weekend Walleye Series Warrior Boats/Mild 2 Wild Motorsports Open in North Dakota will be dealing with low water when they put in Sunday at Bismarck/Mandan, aka BisMan, on the Missouri River.
That’s the early prediction from Jesse Buechel, retired winning AIM pro and North Dakota division director. He said that the river is so low, anglers will get the “go for it” at 7 a.m. Sunday from mid-river rather than at one of the river’s boat launches.
But he’s also predicting that a record bag for this time of year will be needed to stand on the podium, thanks to AIM’s ground-breaking format.
According to Denny Fox, AIM Weekend Walleye Series national tournament director, AIM’s new North Dakota division will be bringing AIM events to more walleye anglers looking for an affordable and convenient way to test their skills against others.
“We’re extremely excited about AIM’s arrival in North Dakota. The state is home to some of the best fishermen in the nation, and we’re looking forward to providing them with a unique circuit that is all their own, on their home waters,” Fox said. And for the opener, Buechel added that spring on the Missouri provides some exciting challenges.
“This is a significant seasonal low for water on the river. So I think there’ll be a shallow bite here as long as we don’t get a heavy downpour in the day or two prior, and a deeper bite as well that should stay consistent as long as weather permits,” Buechel said. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be plenty of big spawners looking for a meal.
“The bite this past weekend probably has been the best for big fish since before the start of spawning. Many of the fish will be sliding back downstream in a week or so. Some of the fish are spawned out, but most aren’t. So I’m thinking that the spawning bite will be peaking for us,” he said.
At the upstream limit, Garrison Dam some 53 miles upriver, he said, the flow was cut last weekend, dropping the river water level another 8 inches, but rain over last weekend regained that amount.
“At midweek, the water level recorded by the Army Corps of Engineers was 3.75 feet. Usually we’re at 6 to 7 feet. The Garrison Dam discharge is usually around 20,000 cubic feet per second, and right now it’s about 15,000 cfs. We hardly got any snow this winter, and the rain we did get last weekend soaked into the ground. The Montana snowpack is down, but that won’t affect us until June or July,” Buechel said. That means if you’re in for the AIM tourney June 26 upstream on Lake Sakakawea, or perhaps even for the North Dakota championship Aug. 5-6 at Four Bears Casino on Lake Sak, be ready.
“Every tournament that’s ever been here this time of year has been won by whoever is the luckiest. But, C-R-R gives whoever finds the big fish a clear advantage. This tournament will probably be won with a bigger bag than you’ve ever seen for five fish in April here, because with C-R-R, you can keep fishing all day and upgrade,” Buechel said.
Buechel advises entrants to be prepared for anything. “At this time of the year I’d have every rod in my boat set up, because what the setup was yesterday may not be what it is today,“ he said.
Buechel says the prairie weather also may figure in. “Last weekend it was 81 on Sunday. Now this weekend it calls for rain and 58 degrees. The weather changes all the time here this time of year and wind is constantly playing into your game plan. With the water level the way it is, some of the usual spots that hold fish will not,” he said.
Boat registration and rules meeting Saturday and Sunday’s awards will take place at The Drink at Lakewood on the river’s Mandan side.
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, 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.