Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 29, 2022
Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122
Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)
Vermillion Will Show Its Best to AIM Anglers;
45-50 Pounds Isn’t Out Of Reach Sunday
The AIM Weekend Walleye Series is riding a wave of huge bags, and it’s a good bet the crest will continue to build Sunday (July 31) at the Warrior Boats/Centre Powersports & Marine Open on Minnesota’s walleye-filled Lake Vermillion.
“We’re heading back to an amazing lake, where walleyes are waiting for us since our last visit in 2019,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director. “The latest surveys show an exceptional crop of year-class fish here. You can bet the farm that we’ll be seeing lots bigger than the lake’s one-keeper fish-over-26-inch slot limit. That’s one reason why we’re back. On our last visit, 44 pounds won it with B-I-G sucker minnows, and predictions are Sunday’s total may top that by a bunch during the awards ceremony at Fortune Bay Resort Casino.”
That prediction is echoed by both teams below. They’ve been on this rock and boulder-bottomed Canadian Shield lake since Thursday, including Dylan Maki of Cohasset, who with Joe Bricko of Farmington currently sit in third place in Yamaha Minnesota Team Of The Year points.
They’ll be on the water sporting Mercury 400 Verado-power and Garmin LiveScope among their electronics (they’ve covered ALL the bases there, he said). Maki was reached after his first day and is exploring this 61-square-mile lake, fifth largest in Minnesota.
“I’ve been here one day and so far, I’m finding a few here and there, but things kind of evolve, and we’re gearing up to find that 27- or 28-inch average. It’s doable. This place is an absolute walleye factory,” Maki said. He said the pair are ready to try everything under the sun to tickle those winners.
“It could be rigging, could be slip bobbers, could be jig and a minnow,” he said, every possibility’s possible.
“Vermillion fishes quite a bit different than others, with the makeup of the lake and its structure. All the humps are 100 percent rock. You’ve gotta kinda fish everything,” he said. Including what points leader Tom Huynh and partner Nate Wolske do, throwing big stuff so the fish show themselves, then going after them with something smaller? Possibly, he said.
“I’ve never done that. That’s an idea from the bass world. I just might have to, though. Whatever he’s doing, everybody should be. I would say the win will be somewhere between 45 and 50 pounds.”
Eric Wick of Stillwater is being joined by Jeff Bohnen of Andover Sunday in their Merc 400 Verado-powered boat. He agrees that to have a shot at winning, plan on being in that 40-plus-pound range. He’s only been on the lake once, and that was when AIM boats hit the water in 2019.
“I’m sure it’ll be comparable to win it. It’s a really cool fishery. I’ve fished it once and haven’t been there since. There’s so much water and so much structure all over the lake. You’re going to pick up good fish here and there, and if you get into a few, that’s going to be the team that is going to pull it out.”
And, he added, there are a stupid lot of fish. The smalls he caught have grown a bit, but there are more where they came from. The latest Minnesota DNR sampling shows an exceptional 2019 year-class of walleye, so prepare for small nibblers, teams.
“When we were there in 2019, we were catching 10-and 12-inchers on every cast. We had some good fish and a bunch of tiny ones. Those guys have grown up, but I’m guessing the same scenario. We actually had better success then with real aggressive baits and Jigging Raps. But if you can get on a rigging bite, absolutely. The big fish then were spread out over different rock piles,” he said.
We’ll see how these teams and others will finish Sunday during the awards ceremony at Fortune Bay. Weather’s looking good, with a chance of showers and high in the mid-80s after boats leave the resort marina starting at 7 a.m. The first wave will return starting at 3 p.m. Boat inspection Sunday begins at 5:30 a.m., and Saturday’s registration and rules meeting takes place online at 7 p.m.
Okay, Fan Nation, Vermilion is this season’s last qualifier. Next up next month, the championships, each week fire off between Aug. 12 and 27. We’re still having fun. Just go to the AIM website, aimfishing.com, for details on how you can get in on it next season.
You know you want to. You know you can.
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 inc.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Gemini Sport Marketing, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, McQuoids Inn, Marinette, WI, Explore Alexandria, Rosemore Outdoor Gear