Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.



Contact: Denny Fox, 920-505-0122

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™)


Vermillion’s Islands and Bays are for Walleye, As Season’s

Final AWWS Championship Takes To the Water

And then there was one. And, that one’s a tricky one. One with nearly 100 miles of shoreline on its 39-and-some-odd thousand acres of water that really is two distinct water bodies, and perfect for a championship challenge. That’s what anglers heading for the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Yamaha Motor Corp. Minnesota Championship will be tussling with for two days starting Friday, Aug. 25.

Currently part of the team sitting seventh in Minnesota Team Of The Year ranks, Jeff Tatur has been probing Vermillion’s islands and bays both on the “Cook” side, and the “Tower” side—those two regions separated by the Narrows are named for nearby towns—for the last three weeks. He’s finding lots of fish, but as always, and especially this late in the season, it’s a matter of finding the big ones to win.

With cooler weather moving in for the tournament including a chance of rain Day One, the search for fish that will win the tournament may get tougher. So far, however, he says the fishing’s been “unbelievable.” But also tough finding the fish that will win it all.

“Right now you can catch as many as you want. The problem is, you’ve got to find the big ones,” Tatur said, who’s been on the water here most weekends for more than three weeks, and joining the chorus that’s echoed across AIM events from Lake Sak to Superior. It helps when you’ve got a cabin on the lake, when your parents live there, and you know lots of lake residents, AKA, those who may know where the fish are this time of year.

Tatur said that as far as he knows, this is the latest in the season a big tournament has ever taken place on the lake.

“We’ve got a couple of really good spots marked. This lake is actually two completely different lakes once you get past the narrows,” he said.

“You’re fishing more suspended and bigger fish at the west end, the Cook end. On the Cook side, you’re fishing a little shallower waters, more of a weed walleye bite,” Tatur reports.

“It’s more of a finesse bite there. There’s more bait fish and when I catch them over there they’re almost full of perch, so they’re harder to catch because of more forage.

“On the Tower side, you’re fishing the hard bottom, rocks and the flats. All I can say is you’d better bring every kind of pole you have because you don’t know what’s going to happen at the tournament.”

Right now, at least, he’s reporting that the crawler bite is the best. Minnows will not be on the walleye menu there for another week or two, he feels. But, it depends on the water temperature, which has been cooler than normal.

“If someone gets a 30-pound bag, that’ll be a heck of a day out there.  It doesn’t seem like there’s that many big fish piled up in one area. They’re spread out. You can find little ones, but the big ones are in completely different areas,” Tatur added.

This is his first season fishing the AIM Weekend Walleye series, and he entered because this tournament is on his home water. “I really like the catch and release,” Tatur said. “They’ve all been well-organized, and it was pretty exciting fishing on Lake Superior in July.” His team finished seventh there, ensuring at least a shot at TOY on Vermillion.

“I don’t know if we can catch them, but we’re going to give it a shot,” he said.

The team he and others will try to catch, Mitch Neill and partner Billy Weich, sit atop the Team Of The Year board by about 23 points.  Neill also is finding lots of smaller fish on Vermillion so far. It’s his first time for walleye on Vermillion, and he’s got to learn it fast. He’s been on the water daily since Saturday.

“It’s been a grind, up and down,” Neill said. “There’s nothing super consistent, and there’s quite a lot of smaller fish, 14- to 18-inchers. We’re catching fish but it’s been tough to dial in a big fish program. We’ve had some high winds and we’ll see how that changes it.”

Finding that consistent big fish producer setup can be a challenge, especially if walleye are hitting on everything. “We’re getting them on a mix, including leeches, crawlers, and even plastics and artificials like Jigging Raps. There’s a ton of bait in the system so you’re competing with that as well. I’ve never seen so much bait in the water. You get one nice fish in one area and don’t get anything to go with it,” he said. Meaning, more big fish. There’s that consistency thing again. Or, lack thereof, at least for him.

“It’ll be interesting. At this point for me we’ll be trying to hold our ground and bring in a decent bag both days,’ Neill said.

For Vermillion, all events take place at Fortune Bay Casino, at the lake’s Tower end. Team registration and meeting will be today (Aug. 24) starting at 5 p.m.

Launch both days will be at the casino marina starting at 7 a.m., and boats must be back and checked in starting at 3 p.m. both days. The awards ceremony begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26. Join us to follow all the action both days at AIM’s Facebook site and Prochattrr.

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, 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.

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