For Immediate Release, June 1, 2015

 Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp. USA and Warrior Boats:

Saginaw Bay: Who Will Find The ‘Bigs’ To Win

Sunday’s AWWS ‘Starcraft Marine Open’ Great Lakes Division Qualifier?

On a water body that has so many 18- to 22-inch walleye you can’t keep’em off the hook at times, whoever will find those pockets of 25-inch-plus Bigs will leave the field victorious at Sunday’s AIM Weekend Walleye Series “Starcraft Marine Open” Great Lakes Division qualifier on Saginaw Bay.

That’s the considered opinion of those who’ve fished the bay recently, including its tournament chairman and two anglers signed up for this iteration of AIM’s Weekend Walleye Series.

By Michigan DNR estimates, there are upwards of three million keeper-size-and-up ‘eyes inhabiting the 1,100 square miles of Saginaw Bay. Most of them would look great gracing the dinner plates of any happy angler on a family outing.

But, says Greg Warsow, AIM’s Great Lakes Division tournament director, the anglers who will push off from Linwood Beach Marina in Linwood on Sunday morning will have to first find enough big fish to reach that 30-pound mark, or more.

“There is going to be a lot of nice, smaller fish available. Our anglers aren’t going to have a problem catching those. But those who can bring in walleye from 25 inches up will be placing very high in this tournament,” Warsow said.

Angler Carl Hatala of Alpena, agreed. Even though he lives nearly three hours away, he calls the bay nearly his home water.

“I expect a lot of fish and some pretty good weights. While Saginaw Bay has a ton of fish, the bigger ones tend to be harder to target, but if you find’em….,” he said hopefully. “You can go out and have 50-fish days, but to have larger fish you’ll have to cover some ground out there,” he said.

Hatala will be ready come Sunday to give the bay all he’s good for, because he’ll be sporting a brand new platform, Warrior Boats V 193 DC, powered by another familiar AIM sponsor, a 200-horsepower Yamaha outboard.

I’m certain I can cover the water I want and find those fish, so I expect to have a great showing here. My Yamaha is a beautiful running motor and the Warrior handles unbelievably. I can run at 40 mph through two-foot chop and not even feel it,” he said.

He may need that comfort for Saginaw Bay’s notorious weather and tightly grouped waves that can blow up in a troll or two, and then go dead calm just as fast. Earlier this week, the bay was knocked about by gale-force wind and waves up to 10 feet, but it’s expected to begin behaving itself again by tournament day.

Hatala thinks versatility is what’s going to seize the day. “My last few trips here, cranks have worked. The crawler bite for me has been hit-or-miss but I definitely think it will take targeting the right depth with my Offshore planer boards and Tadpoles. I’d say it will take at least 30-plus pounds to win.”


Rockford MI, resident David Kolb, who fished in second place by a half-pound on the Detroit River qualifier in April, will start with spinners, a walleye angler’s favorite “search and destroy” technique.

“It’s going to be a trolling bite, I feel. We’ve had a lot of strong northeast winds this week so I’m sure the bay will be dirtied up, but the bite should be better as the week goes on and things warm up,” Kolb said.

With those two sporting opposite philosophies, it may just be up to the North Wind to determine who’s right.

Registration for this tournament will continue right up to the rules meeting, which takes place at 6 p.m., Saturday, June 6, at Frank’s Great Outdoors, along M-13 north of Linwood.

Contact: Denny Fox, AIM National Tournament Director, 920-505-0122;

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

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 Saganing Eagles Landing Casino, Montevideo MN Chamber of Commerce, Randall’s Milan Beach Resort


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