Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 9, 2017
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Two, Two, Two Tourneys In One, As AWWS Minnesota Division Championship ‘Duelie’ Heads For Leech
Two 100-boat fields are ready to blast off Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11, for the “dual duel,” back-to-back tournament in AIM Weekend Walleye Series on legendary, and currently hot-fishing Leech Lake, during the Minnesota Division Series.
Saturday’s Warrior Boats/Highway 3 Marine Open will be followed Sunday by the Warrior Boats/Musky House Marine Open. And from all pre-fishing accounts, the fish are sassy, hungry and ready to play. And so are the teams.
Since the AWWS is considered by many to be the first “working man’s tournament series,” many of the teams entered haven’t gotten on the water yet, or were headed there at midweek as of this writing. But, from what they’ve heard at least, it’s going to be a big-time event.
“I really believe we’re going to have a really good bite with really good weights,” said Stephen Picht, who will be in the field on both days. All he’s going by is what he’s heard. And the hearing’s good.
“The fish seem to be super on the feed right now. Yesterday (Tuesday) was a good day. The fish were on the skinny side, and they’re hungry. And it sounds like everything worked,” he said. “Bait minnows, jigging Rapalas, johnny darters, leeches, crawlers, and it was virtually flat calm.” At least yesterday. We all know how that goes with walleye. And, with Leech.
With a chance of rain, and lots of heat for the weekend—forecast in the mid-90s Saturday and near 90 Sunday—Picht predicts that Walker Bay may be the spot most teams will be playing in.
“It was, last week in the Leech Lake Walleye Tournament. I expect that Submarine Island, the Annex, as well as Pelican Island also will be active,” he said.
“Me? I’m hoping I’ll be somewhere else without all the traffic because it sounds like the lake will be pretty busy both days.”
Angler Paul Reiland just got on the water when reached. He’s also wondering if Leech’s clouds of big mayflies may decide to hatch just in time for the tournament. It’s happened many times before on other lakes. That would leave a lot of teams scrambling to change up tactics to get picked out in the clouds of food that will be present if it does.
But, he agrees with Picht that big weights will rule both days, because with AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ format, Leech’s restrictive slot limit doesn’t apply.
Reiland was in search mode on the lake at midweek. It was his first time on the lake in a while, having fished the AIM National Championship on the Mississippi, then working two days and taking two days off to head to Leech. “The surface on Walker Bay is 66 degrees. The tournament was won on Walker Bay last week. I don’t know what kind of a bite it’ll be, but I know it’s going to take big weights. They say this is a wind-driven lake, but I do better when it’s calm,” he said.
Allen Kichler was reached on the lake Thursday in his first day of pre-fishing. His report?
“The fish are going. Our first was a 24-1/2, the second a 24-3/4 and our third a 17-1/2, and my partner is about to set a hook on another one as soon as it turns its head,” Kichler said. He was in the main lake. And with that, he ended with saying he had to land another fish.
Before he arrived, Kichler said, he gave a prediction. “My thought is, they’re starting to move out to the main lake rock structures. I have a buddy who lives there and he’s catching them near their spawning areas. My second guess is, it’s going to be in Walker Bay. The bug hatch will begin on Walker and that’ll bring in the bait fish,” he said, which in turn will bring in the big ’eyes after the baitfish, and the mayflies.
“I’m guessing it’ll be two things: leeches and redtail chubs. I’ve fished it at exactly this time last year, and it was live bait rigging.” And from the sound of the action Thursday, he was right.
“I’m guessing that to make the podium, it’s going to take 30 to 35 pounds. That’s the beauty of the AIM format. All fish over 12 inches count. Catch’em, take a picture, give ‘em a kiss and let ‘em go. That’s one of the things we really, really like about this format, and it’s catching on leaps and bounds. You’re fishing for big fish instead of just keepers,” Kichler said. “We only fish two tournaments now, one of them AIM.”
When they and the rest of the teams take off for these back-to-back AIM tourneys, they’ll leave from Anderson’s Horsehoe Bay Lodge in Walker, on the main lake, around the corner from Walker Bay, in two waves starting at 7 a.m. each day.
The lodge also will be the location of team registration and the rules meetings, today (Friday), starting at 6:45 p.m., and for the awards, starting at 5 p.m. both days.
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.