AIM Announced Format That Pairs Co-anglers with Top Walleye Pros
Category: press release
Mar 21st, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Mar 21st, 2009 at 12:00 AM
Plymouth, WI – March 21, 2009 – AIM™ announced today the details of the Co-angler format of the Pro Walleye Series tournaments.
The AIM Pro Walleye Series™ tournaments will all be three day events. The full field of 100 boats (Pro Anglers and Co-anglers) will fish the first two days. The Pro Angler provides the boat, all the fishing tackle and bait for the day. Each day the Co-angler will be paired with a different Pro Angler and have the opportunity to learn individual strategies and cutting edge presentations. The top 50% of the Pro Angler field – based on cumulative weights over the first two days – will fish the third day of the tournament along with Co-anglers who were randomly drawn during the Rules Meeting prior to the event.
The AIM Pro Walleye Series™ tournaments include the following dates and locations:
May 22-24, 2009 in Bay City, Michigan fishing Saginaw Bay of Lake Huron
July 2-4, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin fishing Green Bay of Lake Michigan
August 13-15, 2009 in Akaska, South Dakota fishing Lake Oahe
The AIM International Walleye Championship™ will be held September 2-4, 2009 at Lake Winnibigoshish in northern Minnesota.
Co-angler entry fees have been set at just $250 per event which will help attract a broader base of new Co-anglers to the sport. Entries will include a minimum of two days of fishing with two different AIM Pro Anglers – plus the 50% chance to fish with a third Pro Angler on the third day of the tournament. This is a learning opportunity that is simply not available at any price elsewhere since very few Pro Anglers offer “guide trips”.
Co-anglers will not be competing for prizes based upon their placement in the event. Instead Co-anglers will be awarded prizes by drawings at the daily weigh-ins. These prizes are being contributed by AIM Sponsors – both national companies and those companies local to the tournament sites.
The “Pro-Am” format of the AIM tournaments allows fishermen (and women) to become partners with the AIM Pro Anglers in the pursuit of the winning limits. With the Pros responsible for all the tackle, presentations, locations, boat control, and hundreds of other details it is not unusual for the Co-angler to actually catch most of the fish! In all cases, Co-anglers are regarded as essential to the AIM tournaments.
All AIM™ tournaments – qualifying events and the Championship – will incorporate the exclusive AIM™ Catch, Record, Release™ format (CRR). The process will include the Pro Angler and Co-angler measuring the length of each walleye, taking two digital photos, and immediately releasing the fish. At the daily “weigh-in” the lengths of the seven largest walleyes will be converted to weights and counted in the cumulative total for the Pro Angler. The photos will be used to validate the measurements on the Official Scorecard.
“CRR will bring us back to the head-to-head competition that this sport needs” emphasizes AIM Pro Angler Gary Parsons, “It will eliminate the guesswork that slot limits and culling restrictions have brought to walleye competitions. We’ll be back to fishing on great bodies of water where the angler who catches the biggest fish – wins! And it also means that we can fish all day and have a real chance of coming from behind right up to the last minute of the competition.”
“The Pro/Co format that AIM is using for their events is a format that I embrace. Part of the fun for me as a touring pro is meeting new people. My Co-angler partner and I become a team for the day. I try to do my part to make my partners feel comfortable by teaching my Co-anglers as much as I can about the techniques we are using and by making sure they understand what we need to do to be successful that day. A day in the boat at one of these events can be exciting, and it can be stressful, but if you keep everything in perspective, it can be a day that memories are made of,” says Pat Neu, an AIM Pro Angler.
Keith Kavajecz adds, “I think one of the reasons that the AIM Pro/Co Angler format works for Co-anglers is the fact that we fish for boat weight. Each day of the tournament I am paired by random drawing with a Co-angler partner. Tournament day is where the fun begins. Any fish caught in the boat – whether by the Pro or the Co – is counted, so I want my partners to catch fish! I am going to do everything I can that morning to teach and inform them, I give a mini-seminar. What equipment we will using, how we will be presenting baits, the netting process, etc. are all topics I will be talking about to help us be more productive during the day.”
Keith continues, “What I appreciate more than anything (no matter what your fishing skill level is) is for Co-anglers to come into these events with a willingness to learn and desire to work hard as a team. We will have fun, we will have a great boat ride and we will catch walleyes!”
Jeff Quist, an experienced Co-angler comments about the new AIM format, “This format is about catching big fish and lots of them! There is no looking for the ‘right fish’ – just the biggest in the system! A real, no holds barred tournament format.”
“As a Co-angler where can you fish with two (or possibly three) of North America’s best walleye professionals for $250? This is more than a guided trip where you see a few spots to fish and one technique that will work. The tournament is an all out effort to win, so as a Co-angler you are privileged to witness the Pro’s entire play book! I have fished as a co-angler quite a number of times and without fail there is something new to be learned,” Jeff added. “Any one can put a worm on a hook. AIM is where you get your graduate degree.”
“I’ve been fishing as a co-angler since my first PWT event at Lake Mille Lacs in 1995. Some 52 events later, I can say each day in the boat with a Pro has been a learning experience which has helped me be both a better Co-angler and a better walleye angler on my own. The new AIM Series offers a Co-angler a very reasonably priced two, and possibly three days on the water with great Pros and in a great competition! Don’t wait–sign up now!” contributes Gary Speicher.
Dave Anderson, an experienced AIM Pro Angler says, “I’ve enjoyed fishing the ‘Pro-Am’ format for the past 19 years. The anticipation of the draw at the rules meeting and the fun and excitement of fishing with and teaching a different person for each of the next several days has always been a thrill for me.”
Dave adds, “I also always encourage Co-anglers to come to the tournaments 2-3 days ahead because there’s usually Pro’s willing to take anglers prefishing. This is another opportunity for the Co-anglers to learn what fishing programs may be used during the tournament and help them become an even better partner. Catching more fish is always exciting for everyone!”
Long-time Pro competitor Mark Martin said, “AIM is where you go to compete with the top walleye Pros and gain more insight into the world of the tournament fishing. The Co-angler format gives me the chance to teach my partners the methods, techniques, fish finding strategies, and boat control required in the quest to catch as many Walleyes as possible under Tournament conditions! A side benefit is just knowing that your next time on the water with family or friends will be that much more exciting and productive for everyone because of the knowledge you gained during the AIM experiences, and this time with you being the teacher!”
It is important to note that it is NOT necessary that Co-anglers “qualify” for the 2009 AIM International Walleye Championship™ in September. Registration for all AIM Pro Walleye Series™ events, including the AIM International Walleye Championship™, is available NOW online at www.aimfishing.com. Registrations can also be submitted by mail or telephone. The AIM™ office can be reached at 920-526-3399.
Anglers Insight Marketing, LLC (AIM™) is a unique tournament organization which is owned by stockholders, the majority of which are Professional walleye anglers. AIM™ Pro Anglers are among the “All Stars” of professional walleye 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.