Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2017
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Ready for A ‘Superior’ Tourney? AWWS Heads To St. Louis River/Lake Superior For Final 2017 Minnesota Qualifier
Except for local entrants, who may have a definite edge, picking where to go in the final AIM Weekend Walleye Series Warrior Boats Minnesota qualifier Sunday may be a more of an crapshoot for the majority entered than when AIM was here last.
In June 2016 during AIM’s Warrior Boats National Championship Shootout it blew so much that boats were pretty much confined to the St. Louis River.
This time though, with light winds predicted despite a chance of showers, the areas teams have to choose from will stretch from the river upstream to the first dam, to 30, even 40 miles along the Wisconsin shoreline (Minnesota waters are off-limits, pretty tricky, eh?), even as far as the Apostle Islands, say two teams who’ll be hitting the water from Barkers Island Inn in Superior, WI in two wake-ups.
“I was up last Thursday and will be back at it tomorrow morning (Thursday),” said Greg Rudisill, who with teammate Doug Chapman competed here in 2016. Rudisill was pretty noncommittal regarding where to fish this extremely varied tournament area, which may also please a lot of teams.
It’ll either be the lake or river or (St. Louis) bay, and if the lake goes, you’ll see a lot of big bags,” Rudisill said. “It’s a little tougher to bag five big ones on the river, but the lake doesn’t go, that’s where it’ll have to be done. There’s always a population of resident fish there,” he said, but that’s where that little thing called tactics comes in.
If you’re in the lake, he said, you’d better be piling lots of boxes full of cranks in your boat. If it’s in the river, you’d better be piling lots of everything in, from cranks and harnesses, to even bobber setups, and jigs.
The reason the question of where to go here may be so iffy for some teams is that it really hasn’t hosted many major big-shooter tournaments, if at all, until AIM’s arrival. Except for local walleye clubs, he said, “we really haven’t seen any heavy hitters come to play” and establish a pattern.
“We were there last year for the Shootout, and we couldn’t’ get into the bay. Pre-fishing then we hit a home run. But the lake wasn’t tested during the tournament. The weather looks like it will be with us so I think we’ll see a good share of boats going along the south shore.”
In addition, it was June when AIM visited in 2016. “It’s almost August this time, so the locations are going to be different than last year,” Rudisill added. “Most of the teams here will be swinging for the fences, working for an upgrade to make it to the next Shootout. There’s a lot of water to come into play here. This time we’re not fishing out of one small fish hole. You’ve got miles and miles along the south shore. It’ll be a big puzzle to put together.”
One other angler, the way it sounds, may know where he’ll be pointing his Warrior 2090: Eric Hagen. On Sunday, watch for him to probably head to Superior.
With all the rain in the last couple of weeks, he said muddy water near shore was a problem. However, the mud line is moving out and so are the biggest fish.
“As it continues to clear the bigger fish move their way out, so all the big fish will be in the lake, and that’s a big target,” Hagen said. He also predicts crank baits, with crawlers and spinners a close second as the tools to get it done. And, the south shore will be the place.
“It’s going to be on the south shore, between 10 an 30 miles from the takeoff, is where it’ll be won. They are there. And quality fish as well. But conditions have been tough so landing them is one thing versus driving around and graphing them. But it looks like the weather will be fairly dry. I have some good friends who were here for the shootout last year and they had a really awesome bite on the main lake, but weren’t able to make it for the tournament. He had five fish over 29 inches pre-fishing. Almost like Green Bay last weekend,” Hagen said. “We’re not community fishermen so we try to stay away from community holes. There’s always a hero there but there are many zeros, too, so we try to swing for the fence and be on our own. There isn’t a better riding boat than my Warrior for the big waves. Warriors can walk away from the rest.”
If the waves cooperate however, he may have some company.
Team registration and rules meeting for the season’s final Minnesota qualifier begins at 5 p.m. Saturday at Barkers Island Inn across the bridges from Duluth in Superior, WI.
Boats will launch at the inn starting Sunday at 7 a.m., and must return there starting at 3 p.m. The awards ceremony begins Sunday at 5 p.m. at Barkers.
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, Garmin, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, Warrior Boat Center