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AIM® Heads to Oconto on Green Bay for its First-Ever Pro Team Challenge, July 20-22, 2012

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New format - 3 Anglers with 6 lines - should be fun!


AIM announced today they will be heading to Oconto on Green Bay for its first-ever Pro Team Challenge. The walleye-rich waters of Green Bay off Oconto, Wis., will be the site of the AIM Pro Walleye Series™ Pro Team Challenge when its angler armada heads there July 20-22.

In 2010, the last time AIM pros visited the bay, they broke just about every AIM record including largest fish, biggest basket, as well as total weight. Those records attest to the number and quality of fish that will be waiting off picturesque Oconto with a population of 4,700, located midway between the city of Green Bay and Marinette, WI. Pro teams will be competing using the Pro Team Challenge format where each team consists of a pro and a chosen team member invited by that pro. The pro team is randomly paired with a different co-anger each day of the tournament. This unique format will put three anglers in each boat and allow the use of up to six rods. Tournament entry fees are $1,200 for each pro team and $300 for each co-angler. Pro teams are competing for one hundred percent of all pro team entries, however that percentage could rise. Actual payout schedule will be released in the near future.

“AIM chose Oconto because of its excellent walleye fishery that is well known across the Midwest,” said Joe Baron, AIM Pro Walleye Series CEO. “Green Bay’s walleye migrate north throughout the summer and when AIM arrives, the population of migrating walleye in Oconto should be at its peak. This should be an exciting tournament not only in number and weight of fish caught, but also the new Pro Team Challenge format.” Baron added. AIM is well known for its Catch-Record-Release format which allows the teams to weigh their seven largest fish. Anglers aren’t limited by the no cull regulations of Green Bay since all fish are returned to the water after being photographed and recorded.

"I'm very excited about the AIM Pro Team Challenge. This will be the first time I've had the opportunity to compete against some of the very talented team anglers from across the country,” said AIM pro Chase Parsons of nearby Brillion, WI, “I'll treat this event exactly as I would a Pro/Co where I cover all of the expenses alone, however now I'll have a "hand-picked" partner and a co-angler in the boat as well,” Parsons said. “Having a third person in the boat will allow us to run more lines,” he added. “Some of the best Pro/Co and Team anglers in the country, competing head to head, on one of the best walleye fisheries in the world...all in one tournament. Can it get any better?"

Mercury Pro Team angler Cameron Lewis of West Bend, WI, is one of the AIM rookies expected to be in the hunt on the tour this year. “I am super excited for this new unique team event, with the top talent from around the country in walleye fishing coming to one of my favorite fishing towns around. My team partner and I are so pumped for this event. Catch-Record-Release is awesome, because all those big Green Bay walleyes we catch will go back for another day. Additionally, co-anglers will get twice the experience by having two pro-caliber anglers in the boat. Got to love that....,” Lewis added.

AIM Pro Robert Blosser, of Poynette, WI, echoed those thoughts, as did another AIM young gun, Joe Okada, of Fitchburg, WI. “Oconto in July is as good as it gets on Green Bay. The bite will be on fire and everything will be close, within five to 10 miles of town. Having the majority of fishing right there will make for interesting planning and giant weights,” said Blosser, who placed second in AIM’s first visit to the bay in 2009 and won it all in 2010. While both those tournaments were headquartered in Green Bay, Blosser said that most pros fishing them headed north to the Oconto area, and he’s looking forward to try for a repeat win.

Green Bay’s walleye fishery is a story of an amazing comeback. A reversal of years of commercial over-harvest has resulted in a stunning turnaround. Many anglers feel it may hold the next Wisconsin state record. Alewives and plentiful perch have become the forage base to grow the bay walleyes big and hungry. The natural reefs around the Oconto area make perfect mid-summer walleye haunts.

The town of Oconto will be ready for AIM as well, said tournament director and Oconto City Councilman Richard Doeren. Headquarters will be Oconto’s Breakwater Park, where the daily virtual weigh-ins will take place. “We’re going to make this a festive occasion the entire three days,” Doeren said. Expect a parade of the pros and their boats downtown, drawings for a chance to fish in a “mini-tournament” with a pro for some lucky anglers, plus events tailor-made for kids to introduce them to fishing. “We want to make this tournament a family fishing affair to get everyone involved.”

Please visit AIM at www.aimfishing.com for further information on AIM and their marketing partners.

Anglers Insight Marketing, LLC™ (AIM) is a unique tournament organization which is owned by stockholders, the majority of which are Professional walleye anglers. AIM Professionals are among the All Stars of professional fishing, with cumulative HUNDREDS of years of tournament experience, including countless tournament victories, series championships, and Angler of the Year titles. This insight and knowledge is now being employed to provide the finest tournament experience for the participants, and the maximum exposure for the host tournament sites and corporate partners.

AIM Marketing Partners:

Bay Mills Resort & Casinos, Lund Boat Company, Mercury Marine/MotorGuide, Yamaha Marine, Crestliner Boats, JJ Keller Fishing Team, The Reel Shot, Navionics, John Butts Outdoors, Oahe Wings & Walleyes, Luck E Strike Lures, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Pier of d’Nort piers, Come By Chance Resort, Reef Runner Lures, The Judge Tournament Ruler, Rite in the Rain Paper, G2 Angling, M419 Guide Service.

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WOW, cool format, I am really looking forward to fishing this tournament!

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This tournament is going to be cool for sure. smile

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hoey
      I applied to be on the committee, denied.  I pretty much understand and agree with all comments in this post, however I would add the topic of slots.   1 - I believe the strategy behind the protective slot is a good thing for reproduction and growth of trophy sized fish. 2 - I believe there is a large natural imbalance of slot fish, size-wise, more of the slots than typical in nature. 3 - i believe this imbalance leads to depredation - large ones eating small ones.   The DNR and other "experts" claim walleye do not do this.  i have personally seen 10 inch eyes in the stomachs of 18s.  A 16 inch eye in a 30.  Not many of the fish in the slot and above are being cut open, so it is really tough to know exactly what is going on, but it sure is possible.   I do not have a recommendation on how to solve this.  Around 2000, fish over 19.5 were protected, allowing one over to be kept.  That would seem to help control the number of slots.  Again, I do not have a recommendation. Also, folks fishing multiple days, claiming a limit each day seems fishy, as it is nearly impossible to eat 4 fish each day.....  And if you claim have a fish meal the night before departing and you have a limit to travel with, you were over the limit.  
    • Hoey
      Fished Fri, Sat, and Sun with FIL, BIL, and the Mrs.  Fri was at large, deep basin reef.  Pulled up, anchored with a good bite.  Nothing fast and furious, but enough to keep us busy and interested.  Then the wind went flat.  Our bite went with it so we began pulling spinners, finding areas with biting fish.  The bugs were a moderate bother.  Ended with 8 larger eyes and 4 slot fish.   Sat was up to the south shore of the Angle.  Started off in 30' pulling spinners into 5', but never got past 27' as the bite was good.  Spent about a hour with this bite, then proceeded to join the 60 or so boats off Stoney.  We trolled through the village, picking up fish every 5 minutes or so.  Ended early at 2pm due to threatening skies that never produced and unbearable bugs.  Ended with another 8 eyes and 3 slot fish. Sun, needing suager, we fished in nearby reef that we heard had sauger.  Really no bugs to speak of due to the nice breeze.  Found our sauger, but more remarkable was the slot fish bite.  Ended just short of 20.  FIL was on fire.  He had nearly half of the boat's slots.  He went 28, 20, 25, 26.5, 27, 24, 27, and 24.  Here is the 28 with a smile.  
    • holmsvc
      I agree with too many small fish, the issue is the deep water winter fishing.  This would result in more fish being wasted, as people would shove them under the ice rather than being fined.
    • Jmnhunter
      you are correct got a solid answer from champion on that; i do have an email sent out about the thermostat on those coleman ac units as they ahve a catolog selling them, just couldnt find out if it was compatible with our units
    • fancgoDRfwa3562
      Excellent topic. I remember a lot of new things. I need more such discussions.
    • MN_Walleye_0408
      I'm hoping so! 
    • redlabguy
      PSU, If that’s the cause, that’s a serious problem! Has anyone seen evidence of spiny waterfleas this spring? RLG
    • PSU
      Yesterday was the first time I have noticed all of the dead smaller minnows floating around in the Frazer / Smarts Bay area. Friend of mine who knows the lake as well as anyone indicated it may be perch minnows choking on spiny water fleas. If so, that's a bit disconcerting.....Can anyone confirm? Slow for me mid to late afternoon yesterday in the area fishing for walleyes.. 
    • Surface Tension
      I'm not going to say it.
    • imhatz