Right On Wisconsin! Two Qualifier Fields Filled, More Are Close, For 2018 AIM Weekend Walleye Seri
Published By OutdoorsFIRST Media Published February 17, 2018
Don't wait. If you're even thinking of entering a tourney in the 2018 AIM Weekend Walleye Series, now's the time. Fill out that entry form, or be on the sidelines saying, "shoulda, coulda, woulda." That's the word from Denny Fox, AWWS National Tournament Director.
From the reservoirs of North Dakota and Minnesota's lakes, to the shores of Lake Michigan, anglers are signing up to test their knowledge, their boats and their equipment, for a shot at fame, and cash. The first two Wisconsin Division Nitro Boats Open tournaments, April 8 on Lake Michigan's Green Bay, and April 29 in Winneconne, both hit their 100-boat limits. And the way things are going, it may be that way all season long for each of the four events in each state division this season, which starts a short seven weeks from now. "This has been the busiest pre-season we've seen in the history of the Weekend Walleye Series, which began in 2014 as an idea to create a tournament series that would appeal to the everyday angler. We've seen a huge rise in interest in both registrations and inquiries, all pointing to a break-out year for our events," Fox said.
What sets the AWWS apart, says Fox, is its unique, Catch-Record-Release™ format. Everyone who's ever tried it raves about both its simplicity, and built-in care for the resource. C-R-R virtually guarantees no fish kills, Fox added. AIM was the first to pioneer this fish-saving tournament technique. For those unfamiliar with C-R-R, or who think it's a gimmick, one time is all it takes to convince anyone that this is the way of the future for tournament fishing, he saIn usually less than a minute, entrants land, measure, and photograph their catch. Fish are then immediately released into the same water they inhabit. The information is recorded using proven safeguards so there is no question about who did what and when. Back on land, all measurements and photos are used to calculate fish weights to the nearest 100 th of a pound. No slot limits to worry about. No culling. Team with the biggest bag wins. That simple. Fish spend zero hours sitting in a livewell jostled by waves and numerous drain/fill cycles. C-R-R results in virtually no harm to them, or to the general fishery. Information on where the fish were caught and with what is also shared by competitors at the end of each tournament, so anyone can try the same locations the next day.
The second reason AIM entries are rising is its low entry fees. So low that any weekend warrior angler can afford to enter and win. Those low fees, and the ease of C-R-R, also are reasons at least three of last year's tournaments were won by teams that had never entered a major event prior to signing up with AIM. "You don't have to be a touring tournament pro to fish the AWWS series. Our events are all on weekends, so anyone can take a day or two off work to practice and come out of nowhere to win," Fox added. "All those first-timers who showed up and went home with cash last season proved that all you need is the will and a positive attitude, and you may be on the way to the podium." "You can also see and read about some of the new tournament anglers AIM's attracted in our 'Tales of the Tape' interview series at our Facebook page. Many were unsure about entering, and AIM's C-R-R rules, but once they did, they found that it's all so simple, they're hooked," Fox added.
Waiting at the end of the AWWS April-to-August quest, of course, is that extra tasty bait: the grand prize of a new Yamaha-powered Warrior boat worth $50,000-plus, awarded each year at the National Championship. This year's event for those who qualified in 2017 is June 1-2 at Wisconsin's 15,000-acre Chippewa Flowage near Hayward, WI and sponsored by the lodges and restaurants of Treeland Resorts. Hayward also is home of the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, and some of the best walleye fishing in the state. "But, you've got to enter to participate, and have a chance to qualify for next year's championship," Fox said. "From the looks of it, if you don't do it soon, you'll be part of the audience for the awards either in person or at AIM's Facebook page, and wishing you had." Visit AIMfishing.com for registration information and the schedule of 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. 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