2019 AIM Season Starts Sunday As Full Field Hits Green Bay
Apr 5th, 2019 by Keith Worrall
Modified Apr 5th, 2019 at 10:45 AM
Let’s Get It On, Wisconsin! AIM’s 2019 Season Starts Sunday As Full Field Hits Green Bay, Fox River
Are those big, cash-winning females in? Will the water warm up enough to make those ‘eyes happy and hungry? And, who’s going to lead points come Sunday? We’ll all find out April 7, in the season-opener of the 2019 AIM Weekend Walleye Series in the City of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Last year, the 100-boat field moved out of Green Bay Metro boat launch like Washington crossing the Delaware, pushing ice floes out of the way in 8-degree temps.
While this year’s 100 teams won’t be nearly as bundled up, temps are expected to hover in the high 50s with a 50 percent chance of showers, as each tries to find the five fish leading to a spot on the podium, and a shot at that first $8,000 payday of the year.
“There’s nothing like opening day in any sport, and this one is one of the best,” said AIM National Tournament Director Denny Fox. “It’s a rite of spring, and the boats are ready, we’re ready, and all we need is for the big weights we know are out there to show up for these 200 anglers .”
One who’s hoping everything goes according to plan, and you can bet who’s already got a few waypoints dialed in, is Jake Becker, who, with partner Chris Rice, won it all here last April, hefting a 40-pound bag to take home 8K, plus another $1,000 in cash from Warrior Boats because he won in his Yamaha 300-powered Warrior V208. They did it tossing jigs and Rippin’ Raps in the river.
“The weather forecast looks pretty good, with temps near 60. I’m sure a lot of guys remember last year when it was 8, so that’ll be a nice change,” he said.
A tournament last weekend, however, proved pretty tough.
“Just by looking at the weights, you can tell it was a tough bite. The water temperature dropped two degrees this past Sunday, and a nasty cold front came through, but it’s supposed to warm up so it should be significantly better.”
Getting into the bay proper up to that northern limit, however, still may get sticky for some hoping to find those big-weight female spawners everybody’s looking for, Becker added. Reports are that some of lower Green Bay is finally open to fishing. The northern limit is the Brown County Line, and the Fox River will be fair game up to DePere dam. That northern limit, however, may be a limit too far.
“There is some fishable open water but most of it is still iced up. In my opinion, most will be fishing the river, and if we get any north wind, that could push ice chucks back into the lower bay. But with the warm weather coming, it could open up quite a bit more too,” he said.
“There aren’t a lot of spawners in yet in my opinion. It’s close, and could very well happen with the warm-up this weekend. I know they’re getting big fish at night. It’s a matter of getting them to go.”
What’ll be hot in the river, where the water is a cool 39 degrees? As he proved last year, anything that stirs’em up to take a crack at a meal may produce the winning hookup.
“The nice thing about this river is you can do just about anything, trolling, casting, whether it’s plastics or Rippin’ Raps, blade baits or a classic jig and a minnow, it all works,” he said, without, of course, divulging what he’s found that worked best on his most recent trip.
“It changes so much, you can troll one day and the next it’ll be tougher. Whatever you’re most comfortable with, use it.”
Vying for that top spot also will be the 2017 winner, Tyler Mueller, who won with those big fish producers, Flicker Shads and Flicker Minnows on his Mercury-powered boat.
He agrees that the water’s pretty cool yet, but the heavier river current may help bring fish in, too.
“There’s a lot of current which means there’s probably going to be more fish, but when they spawn, they’re going to disappear faster. And the bay is still mostly iced up. If I had to guess, it’ll be won in the river,” Mueller said. “There was a lot of ice last year, but the current wasn’t there.”
“Right now they’re hitting everything from a jig and minnow to plastics and cranks trolled at night. I think it’ll be the team who finds that pod of fish that are hungry, and they’re lucky enough to catch five.
“It’s a similar year to 2017 and I hope it goes the same way. I don’t think I’ll be doing the same thing I won with.”
Come Sunday afternoon, we’ll see. Here’s the lowdown on what Sunday.
Team registration at The D2 Sports Pub starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 6, with the rules meeting immediately after. Boat inspection begins at 5:30 a.m. at the launch site, Green Bay Metro Boat Launch, 102 Beach Bay Road.
The first 50-boat wave gets the send-off at 7 a.m., and the second starting at 7:15. Boats must be back for check-in by 3, and 3:15 p.m., respectively. Awards will take place at the Green Bay Metro Boat Launch, 102 Beach Bay Road beginning at 5 p.m. Good luck to all teams!