Brimley Bay, St. Mary’s River To Test AIM Anglers At Bay Mills Invitational
Category: press release
Jun 5th, 2010 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jun 5th, 2010 at 12:00 AM
By William Semion
If you like your walleye opportunities to be about as varied, productive, and yes, tricky, as they can be, then the huge St. Mary’s River system and eastern Lake Superior, where AIM hosts its first-ever special invitational walleye tournament, is the place to be.
The Bay Mills Invitational also adds to AIM’s list of innovations in tournament fishing by with its exclusive artificial lures-only format. Combined with the exclusive AIM Catch-Record-Release™ formula – with every large walleye being digitally recorded – and then immediately released to fight again, this will make one of the most exciting and challenging stops for the 43 pros invited to participate.
What also makes the Invitational unique is that the highest-placing Canadian “Sanctioned Team” in the 2009 AIM International Walleye Championship also earned an invitation, and the highest-placing U.S. “Sanctioned Team” in the 2009 AIM International Walleye Championship also was invited to compete.
At stake are cash and a Crestliner boat with trailer and 125-horsepower Mercury outboard package totaling $40,000 awaiting the pro atop the field at the end of the third day. Bay Mills Resort & Casinos, headquarters for each day’s events and located on Lake Superior’s Brimley Bay, sweetened the pot for the entire field by $50,000 in incremental cash. Anglers will start each day at 8 a.m., with the live weigh-in webcast at aimfishing.com daily at 5 p.m.
Todd Riley, of Amery, Wis., the 2009 AIM Angler of the Year and International Walleye Championship winner, earned a paid entry, and is intrigued about figuring out the water and his chances.
“It’s a gorgeous area and absolutely love fishing here,” Riley says. “It’s incredibly challenging, but rewards are huge if you find fish. I found several spots separated by miles of water, and if I can find some more spots like that and catch fish there I can win this tournament.”
Regardless of their experience with fishing the Brimley area, AIM pros and their coanglers will find fishing opportunities in the St. Mary’s to be as broad as the river itself.
This region has it all, says Marianne Huskey of St. Ignace, Mich., who’s in her second year as an AIM pro and who will be fishing what she considers home waters: eastern Lake Superior, Brimley Bay, and the mighty St. Mary’s.
If you want to fish these waters like the pros, she says, try trolling the shallows of clear and frigid Brimley Bay, a great producer for pulling harnesses or crankbaits. Or, try the shallow waters of legendary Munuscong Bay, in the southern St. Mary’s system. Jiggers will want to head there too for the June bite that’s just emerging. Then return in the fall, when Munuscong turns on again.
Cast off the jagged rock points of the river’s islands like Sugar and Neebish, or troll the sandy flats of lakes Nicolet and George, which are actually bulges in the river.
This system has it all, and its challenges, too, she admits. But Huskey is expecting it’ll take three days of big baskets to win.
“I expect some pretty big weights because we’re fishing part of the Great Lakes. Whomever leads this is going to be registering 25- to 29-inch fish for sure,” she says.
“The biggest challenge might be the wind. We’re launching from Brimley in Lake Superior. If the wind blows up, it’s not like a shallow lake. When you’re talking 200 feet of water just offshore, you’re talking extensive rollers.
“But the best thing about Bay Mills is we’re talking 95 miles of river system,” she adds. “The St. Mary’s River and this region of the U.P. is such a great fishery so families who haven’t been here will find it’s so beautiful to vacation here and second, you’ll also explore new water and a lot of water.
“All the pros have fished rivers, but this one expands your horizons. The St. Mary’s is one of the fastest flowing on the tour,” she says. “In some areas the current is up to 7 mph.”
Other obstacles are rocks in the lower river. “As long as you stay in channel you’re fine but toward Munuscong Bay there are some good-sized rocks. If guys go into Munuscong, some rocks there aren’t charted.
“The only mapping program I’ve found to show them is the Navionics chip and if you don’t have one I strongly suggest you purchase one,” she says.
Brimley resident Greg Bertram agrees. He’ll be fishing as a coangler, and says that those who don’t know the river need to stay in the channel if they’re running at speed.
“There are some areas in the upper river too where if you get out of the channel, you’ll find some car-sized boulders,” he advises. A good graph system here like a Lowrance is a must.
Even though he’s fished the St. Mary’s since he was young, he’s looking forward to fishing with the best in walleye fishing.
“This is a great chance to learn from the pros and to learn about some new areas to fish as well as techniques,” he says.
Bertram also expects some impressive weights to be registered during the event, if pros concentrate on the right spots.
The 2010 AIM Bay Mills Invitational is sponsored by Bay Mills Resort & Casinos, located on the shores of Lake Superior in Brimley, in Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula. Bay Mills has two casinos, 1,000 slots, 10 tables, a poker room, 142 lake-view hotel rooms, an RV park, five restaurants and bars, plus a championship golf course. It is owned by the Bay Mills Indian Community and is located at 11386 West Lakeshore Dr., Brimley, Michigan 49715. The contact number is (906) 248-3715, or www.4baymills.com.
Further information about AIM as well as up-to-the-minute updates about tournaments can be found at the AIM web site: http://www.aimfishing.com.
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 Walleye fishing. 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 marketing partners.