Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 10, 2016
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
The boys from Bismarck crowned first-ever AWWS North Dakota Yamaha Team of The Year with 4 points to spare at Lake Sak
They did it.
By just four points, Mike Peluso with partner Jeff Enzminger, both from Bismarck, held off a hard charge by the eventual first-place team to take 2016 Yamaha Team of the Year (TOY) honors at the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Mercury Marine North Dakota Division Championship on Lake Sakakawea.
Peluso and Enzminger, placed fourth and won $1,000 for their 45.51-pound bag in the championship tourney in their Lund 208 Pro-V GL tiller, powered by a Mercury 250 Optimax. They also went home with a brand new Yamaha 9.9 four-stroke kicker motor for their consistent showings in all three qualifier tournaments and the championship. Their season started with a 7th at Bismarck then a 4th at Garrison, ND on Lake Sak. They placed 11th at Devils Lake and finished with a 4th at the Championship at 4 Bears Casino in New Town ND on Lake Sak.
They concentrated on the Van Hook Arm region in the Championship.
“Well you know it’s an area of Lake Sakakawea that I’m familiar with. I’ve spent a fair amount of time up there and just going off what has been taking place, I felt pretty good going in,” Peluso said. On Day One they landed 25.27 pounds. “Our biggest on Day One was a 26-3/4-incher and had a couple big fish that got off. One broke the line, and one came unbuttoned on the top. Then came Day Two.
“On Day Two, we probably caught 100 fish, but we could not find that kicker fish we needed. Our smallest fish was a 21-1/2,” Peluso said. “So we did multiple things, Slow Death on a bottom bouncer and long lines with a Lindy Rig with a leech and Jigging Raps at the back of the boat. We just felt live bait for us was bringing in bigger fish. We were pulling Slow Death anywhere from ½- to 1 mph and when I say long line I probably had it back 300 feet just trying to get it away from the boat.”
After trying what he said was everything under the sun, the long line began working, as did the jig, run bare so it wouldn’t tangle as fast in the lake’s submerged trees and vegetation. Not many, but quality fish. And the 20.24 pounds on Day Two was enough to take Yamaha Team of The Year.
“I probably fished pretty much every circuit over the last two decades, you name it, and have done very well, but for whatever reason, winning AWWS Yamaha Team of The Year is probably one of the greatest accomplishments I’ve had, simply because the guys fishing in North Dakota are some of the most diverse and skilled out there. And to stay on the top end of all these tournaments is pretty special,” Peluso said.
Peluso said he and Enzminger are big supporters of Catch-Record-Release™. “I’m a huge believer in this format. I started a similar tournament a dozen or so years ago so this holds a special place in my heart because there are too may kill tournaments and tournament fishing gets a bad name because of it. With AIM’s format, the fish go back into the lake and someone else can catch them the next day.”
Now to prepare for next year’s AIM National Championship. “We’re pretty fired up about that, too. We’ve got a one-in-30 chance of winning a $50,000-plus boat, and you don’t get too many opportunities like that. We can’t wait. We’re super-excited. We’ll be fishing it, 100 percent.”
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.