AIM Catch-Record-Release™ to be the Centerpiece of the 2010 International Walleye Championship™
Aug 30th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Aug 30th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
The AIM “CRR™” format enjoys the completion of its second year of tournament application.
Plymouth, WI – August 27, 2010 – Anglers Insight Marketing LLC™ (AIM) announces that the exclusive Catch-Record-Release™ format will once again highlight the Lake Winnibigoshish fishery at the AIM International Walleye Championship™.
The AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format was unveiled in 2009 with the creation of the AIM Pro Walleye Series™. While there are many very good, proven tournament formats to choose from, AIM’s “CRR” system proved to be both revolutionary and entertaining. For years many tournaments have required fish to be brought to the weigh-in for measurement and/or weighing.
In contrast, CRR requires that the Pro Anglers take digital photos on the official AIM Judge ruler. These photos are compared with the official scorecard record that each Pro Angler turns in daily. Every walleye is immediately released where it was caught. No fish are transported in “livewells”, in some cases for many miles from where they were caught.
At the same time, CRR eliminates the possibility that the anglers are subjected to “dead fish” penalties for fish deemed unreleasable. In many cases, a penalty of only one pound will alter the tournament results. (Several AIM tournaments have had first and second place separated by LESS than one pound!)
CRR also eliminates the decision process when local fishing regulations include a “slot”. In the case of Lake Winnibigoshish – the site of the AIM International Walleye Championship™ – the slot allows each angler to harvest only ONE walleye over 26 inches and NO walleyes between 17 and 26 inches.
In 2009, AIM Pro Angler Todd Riley won the Championship by weighing over 100 pounds of Lake Winnie walleyes. ALL of these walleyes were “slot fish”! Instead of tournaments being decided based on lucky decision making, all AIM tournaments are won by the Pro Angler who boats the biggest baskets of walleyes over three days.
When asked about the AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format, Riley was very enthused. “I once had the chance at a victory but lost it due to a dead fish penalty. That will never happen again with CRR.” he said. “I love this format. All you need to do is catch fish. There is no worry about what order you catch the fish, or which fish to keep and which ones to release. And when we can come to a fishery like Lake Winnie and showcase the quality of the walleyes it is a win-win for us and the local community. Plus, every walleye is right back where it was caught and anyone can go out there and try for it tomorrow!”
The AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format is, by necessity, an exacting process. The elimination of live fish that are examined and measured at the weigh-in requires the reliance on digital photos and the precise record of the fish on the official AIM scorecard. Randy Reek, AIM Tournament Director stated, “We were all apprehensive when we unveiled CRR at the first tournament in 2009. But after literally thousands of walleyes have been CRR’ed, the format has been proven accurate and easy to administer. In fact, we will be using CRR in the new AIM International Team Championship™ that will be run at the same time as the AIM Pro-AM Championship at Lake Winnie.”
This is not to say that there has not been a “learning curve” over the past two years. Recently, Mike McMaken, an AIM Pro Angler from Cedarville, Michigan, suffered the loss of a 22 inch walleye at the AIM Pro Walleye Series™ tournament in Akaska, South Dakota. The fish was disqualified when the scorecard entry did not match the confirming digital photo. No cheating was implied, but the error on the official scorecard forced the subtraction of the weight. The consequence was significant in that McMaken would have otherwise placed second in the tournament.
Mike McMaken accepted the penalty like a true Pro and stated, “For the AIM Pro Walleye Series™ and the Catch-Record-Release™ format to be above any possibility of cheating, I have accepted the penalty that was imposed. CRR has so many positives – for the local fishery, the competitors, and the image of tournaments – that it is important that the rules are strictly enforced. While I had a great day and caught more than enough weight to earn the second place at Akaska, I know that the long-term success of AIM is the most important objective.”
Mike continued, “AIM is moving forward using all the technology at hand to make fair rulings for all the competitors. What’s really exciting is when the AIM Pro Anglers can use the CRR format to reveal the quantity and quality of local fisheries. And every fish is returned right back where it was caught. Pretty cool!”
Further information about AIM as well as up-to-the-minute updates about tournaments can be found at the AIM web site: www.aimfishing.com. Additional information about the Lake Winnibigoshish area can be found at www.lakewinnie.net.
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.