Anglers Voice Their Approval of the 2011 AIM Pro Walleye Series Season
Jan 21st, 2011 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jan 21st, 2011 at 12:00 AM
The excitement is building for the 2011 walleye fishing tournament season. The recent National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) convention in Minneapolis only added to the “Spring fever” most of the Pro Anglers are experiencing. Despite the sub-zero temperatures of Minneapolis in January, the Pro Anglers in attendance were looking forward to getting back on the water.
Jim Carroll, AIM Pro Angler from Minot, ND summed up the consensus of the over 200 anglers in attendance at the NPAA meeting when he said, “I can never remember having so many tournaments that will be paying back more than 100%. I am planning on fishing all four of the AIM tournaments, and squeezing in as many other events as my schedule allows.”
Chad Schilling, an AIM Pro Angler from Akaska, SD agreed. He said, “I am obviously excited that the AIM Championship will be held in Akaska in September this year. There are millions of walleyes waiting in Lake Oahe! Plus, Akaska is going to host another Pro-Am tournament in August, which I and some of the other AIM Pros will compete in.”
The 2011 AIM Pro Walleye Series season will kick off with a tournament hosted by the Winneconne, Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, along with Wolf River Resorts and Critter’s Sports on April 20, 21, and 22. Anglers will be able to fish all the connecting lakes including Lake Winnebago, as well as more than 30 miles of the upper Wolf River.
The 2011 AIM Bay Mills Invitational Walleye Tournament has been scheduled for June 2 – 4, 2011. The host location and major sponsor is the Bay Mills Resort & Casino in Brimley, Michigan. Pro Anglers qualify for entry based on their participation in both the 2010 and 2011 AIM tournament season.
Dubuque, Iowa will host the third tournament of the 2011 AIM schedule on June 22 to 24. Like all AIM Pro Walleye Series tournaments, there are no restrictions on where the anglers can search for their limits of winning walleyes. The AIM Pro Anglers will have access to literally hundreds of square miles of the Mississippi River and backwaters.
The AIM International Walleye Championship will be held in Akaska, South Dakota on September 15, 16, and 17, 2011. Akaska has previously hosted AIM qualifying tournaments in 2009 and 2010 and these events featured huge walleyes, huge daily limits, and huge crowds of fans. Pro Anglers qualify for entry in the year-end Championship by having participated in at least one 2011 AIM Pro Walleye Series tournament, including the Bay Mills Invitational.
Akaska will also host the 2011 AIM International Team Championship. Teams of entrants will have the opportunity to match their skills against each other in this special event that will run alongside the AIM Pro-Am Championship. These teams will have qualified through their top finishes in as many as 50 regional AIM Sanctioned Series walleye tournaments across the U.S. and Canada during the 2011 season.
The four tournaments scheduled for 2011 represents a reduction from the five held in 2010. Chase Parsons, an AIM Pro Angler from Wisconsin commented, “As a current member of the AIM Angler Advisory Council, we wanted to make it as easy as possible for anglers to be involved with every AIM tournament. Many of the guys love to fish in smaller local events too. With the economy struggling, we decided it seemed unreasonable for guys to be able to fish 5 large national tournaments on top of their smaller ones.”
Regarding the 2011 AIM Pro Walleye Series locations, Chase added, “It was also the Advisory Council that pushed for new bodies of water for this year, as it’s always exciting to bring CRR and AIM’s 7 fish limits into new venues. Winnebago in the spring will be a great test for anglers to bring in 7 nice fish each day and will no doubt be a great event!”
All AIM Pro Walleye Series tournaments will feature the exclusive AIM Catch-Record-Release (CRR) format that uses digital photo technology to verify each fish as it is recorded on the Official Scorecard. The fish are then immediately released – where they were caught – and NOT transported to the landing. This means the Pro Anglers can continually upgrade their catch all day, every day regardless of any local “slot” limits. CRR also means that NO “dead fish” penalties will be assessed at the weigh-in. With this format, the angler who catches the 21 largest walleyes over the three day tournament will win!
Entries are now being accepted for both Pro Anglers and Co-anglers. The Co-angler entry fee is $250 for two days of fishing, each with a different AIM® Pro Angler. On Day Three the number of Pro Anglers is reduced to the top 50% of the field and 50% of the Co-angler field will also be selected to fish an additional day for free!
Further information about AIM® as well as up-to-the-minute updates about tournaments can be found at www.aimfishing.com.