Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 26, 2019
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Vermilion’s Big Fish Reputation Greets AIM Teams
For Sunday’s Final 2019 Minnesota Qualifier
The ‘rep’ for Minnesota’s island-strewn Lake Vermilion as a big fish producer was sealed during the 2017 AIM Weekend Walleye Series Warrior Boats Championship in late August, and the teams that’ll leave from Fortune Bay Resort Casino will be trying to match or beat the heavy weights recorded two summers ago, when they go for it all in the final 2019 state championship qualifier this Sunday, July 28.
“This is the same lake, but because we’ll be a month earlier, possibly a different one at the same time for our teams,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “In 2017, the winners were posting 32-plus pounds average each day in that two-day show, and now the guys entered are predicting as much as 40 pounds will take it all this Sunday.”
And of course, the lake’s walleye slot limit is a non-factor, with AIM’s Catch-Record-Release® format. The biggest fish rule at an AIM event, Fox added.
Evan Rosemore, from Roseau, will be out there Sunday searching for the ‘eyes everyone knows are there in this 10-mile-long, bay-pocked lake with his fishing partner, father Steven. While Evan’s first day of pre-fishing will be today, he reports that Steven, who was out last weekend in their Mercury 200 four-stroke-powered platform, and found it tough going.
“He found a really tough bite. We’ve been doing a lot of research, and there’ve been a couple bug hatches and pretty much all the lakes in northern Minnesota are a few weeks behind” due to the winter that just wouldn’t quit.
“The fish didn’t quite set up” where they thought, he said. “He used lead core and crank baits, which was how we got a top 10 at the championship two years ago. He checked our spots pulling bottom bouncers and crawlers and leeches too, and did a lot of reconnaissance driving around the lake.”
He said he has heard about using creek chubs right now, but that probably won’t be a go-to presentation for them. “I don’t think it’ll be worth focusing on. I like to do that in spring and fall.
“I think the two main things I’ll target will be crank baits and a Jigging Rap bite. Those two seemed to shine two years ago, but from what I’m hearing I’m going to be bringing everything but the kitchen sink,” he added.
“I know when we fished Leech a couple weekends ago (Leech Lake qualifier, July 7), that was in the middle of a big bug hatch. I was hoping Vermilion was going to fish really similar to two years ago, but don’t know. It sounds like it’s setting up to be a different lake. We’ll have to find the fish just like anyone else.”
Despite not finding the right fish, or at least saying they didn’t, Rosemore’s still predicting some heavy-duty bags coming in Sunday afternoon to win.
“I’ll say between 35 and 40 pounds, based on how they were catching them this spring. There’s really a big fish potential in that lake. I don’t have a doubt that someone will go out and find them.”
Now, just a few graphs above, Rosemore discounted live bait. One guy who says ‘not so fast’ is another who will be out there Sunday, running a Nitro ZV18 with a 200 Merc Optimax at the stern. Matt Jollymore, of Blaine, MN, is going to have live bait and custom color cranks aboard. Never mind what kind, he added.
“When I was there for the championship it taught me some things about the lake, and those two have been producers, especially after a bug hatch,” Jollymore said. “They had a second, late hatch this year last week. I actually like fishing after a bug hatch. If you understand how to do it, it can also make it better. You have to find out what the fish like.
“This lake fishes like a small Lake of the Woods. You’ve got really big fish and they might be spread out. We know there’s walleye from the east all the way to the west side. It’s finding those spots where they’re schooled up,” he continued.
He’ll start fishing Thursday, and unlike a lot of teams who pre-fish 12, 14, 15 hours a day, he prefers to fish tournament hours. Logical in our book.
“If you fish outside the hours you’re finding where they go but not normally where they stay. I like going out later and having fun. That’s fun fishing time for me,” he added. He also thinks Vermillion will hold up its end of its reputation for producing net-fillers.
“I really think this is going to be a big producer. You’re going to have to average 27-inchers to be in the money,” Jollymore said.
From somewhere among this lake’s 365 islands, 24-mile width and 39,000-plus acres, they both agree, someone’s coming back to Fortune Bay Resort Casino with a Bunch-O-Fish Sunday. And it all starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Fortune Bay Resort Casino event tent, 1430 Bois Forte Rd., in Tower, at the rules meeting following registration beginning at 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, boat inspections begin at the casino Marina at 5:30 a.m. The first wave kicks off at 7 a.m., with the second wave immediately following 15 minutes later. First boats must be back at the Fortune Bay launch starting at 3 p.m. Awards will take place in the casino tent starting at 5 p.m.
Follow all the fun via Garmin Fish & Hunt with updates at our Facebook page, then stay tuned in to see who won. Visit our website for information on all AIM tournaments and how to register for all AIM events.
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.
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