Brimming With Fun at Brimley

Category: article

 May 31st, 2012 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified May 31st, 2012 at 10:57 AM

You won’t want to miss the activities that are being planned at ALL the AIM Professional Walleye Series events this year!  Each of AIM’s walleye tournaments have been set up with communities that have worked extremely hard with AIM to bring excitement for anglers, sponsors and the surrounding communities.  Festivals have been planned, parades, youth clinics, mini sport shows, community dinners, city-wide rummage sales, food booths, live entertainment; the list goes on and on.  Each tournament site has their own unique plans and it will be exciting to be a part of it all.

The first stop on the tournament trail will be held at Brimley, Michigan from May 31-June 2, 2012.  AIM President Joe Baron and Bay Mills Resort and Casinos representatives have worked diligently to help make this a very successful event.  Not only will it be an exciting tournament to watch where anglers have the potential for huge walleye weights, but there are many other activities that will attract people of all ages. 

The Brimley area fishery literally forms a border between the United States and Canada.  Director of Marketing for Bay Mills Resort and Casinos Connie Winkler said, “One interesting point is that Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan is the 3rd oldest city in the United States.  Sault Ste Marie, Canada is the 3rd largest city in Ontario, Canada.”  Connie also has some great suggestions if you have time to come enjoy the area.  “Some awesome tourist attractions on the U.S. side are the Soo Locks which is only 18 miles away, Iroquois Lighthouse (5.5 miles), Tahquamenon Falls and Whitefish Point’s Shipwreck Museum (50 miles), plus it’s always impressive to travel over the Mackinac Bridge.  Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are both close, plus in the Soo you can tour a freighter called The Valley Camp.  In Canada there is the Sault Ste Marie Museum, Bellevue Park and the Art Gallery of Algoma.” 

Bay Mills Resort and Casinos set up a really impressive tent last year (60’ X 180’) which will be used again at the weigh-ins. 

The tournament runs right at the Bay Mills Casino on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with weigh-ins starting at 5:30 p.m.  If you can’t be there “live” then tune in on the web site at www.aimfishing.com for the live stream weigh-in feed.  Along with the tournament activities there will be an Outdoor Show with many vendors showcasing their tackle, cars, boats and ATV’s.  Something the U.P. is known for are their U.P. pasties so if you haven’t tried them, now’s your chance!  Other vendors will have burgers, hot dogs, subs, fish and brats. 

AIM member Marianne Huskey has shown her passion for teaching kids to fish by managing the NPAA (National Professional Anglers Association; www.npaa.net) Youth Clinics at each and every AIM tournament.  This year Brimley, MI is expecting a huge turnout of 400 kids.  NPAA is donating 100 T-shirts and rod and reel combos with Bay Mills Resort and Casinos donating the other 300.  They will also receive Frisbee’s from Off Shore Tackle and jigs from Fin-tech Tackle.  Here is what Marianne has to say about these youth events:

“I think the most important thing about our NPAA Youth Clinic is allowing the kids to
meet the pro’s they see on TV and let them realize we are no different than they are.
The kids will receive T-shirts with the NPAA Sponsors logos on them along with “Future Pro 2012” on the opposite side. Each child will have the opportunity to get the T-shirt signed by the Pro Anglers.  Most of the kids have a great story about the biggest fish they caught and they always use their hands to justify their great big catch!!!! It’s very cute. As you know we all had a story like that when we were little.”

“My objective is to catch the interest in each and every young person who attends these clinics so they want to take their new fishing rod and tackle out to the local stream or lake and catch fish on their own. Hopefully we will create some young upcoming pros’ as well. It is important to pass on our love for the outdoors not only to children but to families who are looking to enjoy the outdoors with new activities.”

Connie Winkler added that the time for the youth clinic has changed from last year to the morning hours so the kids will have more time to fish in the trout pond and play games throughout the day.  Plus last year many of the kids couldn’t watch the weigh-in, but with the new time change, this year they should be able to attend.

Team members from the semi-pro hockey team “The Soo Eagles” will be working the kid’s event and will be signing autographs!  There will also be minnow races, fishing games, a tattoo parlor, coloring hats and learning to cast.  A local TV station will be broadcasting live from 6-9 am on Friday, June 1 in the morning and a live radio remote will be aired on Saturday, June 2.  There will also be a 50/50 raffle that will add a lot of excitement to the weekend and Betty Sodders, an outdoor writer, will be there covering the event!  Plus the Sault Area Chamber of Commerce will be holding fishing seminars on Sunday, June 3.  Chase Parsons will be one of the featured speakers at 10:00 a.m. 

Bay Mills Resort and Casinos will hold an invitation only slot machine tournament during the weekend as well as a fun Batter’s Up promotion in the casino from 10am to 8pm each day.  Anyone over 21 may enter.  AIM member Keith Kavajecz thoroughly enjoyed the craps tables last year and wanted to add that Bay Mills Resort and Casinos has, “The Friendliest Craps Table Crews Ever!”  Bay Mills Connie Winkler added that, “Saturday, June 2 there will be a party with a DJ in our Back Bay Grille & Games restaurant where the anglers will either celebrate or lick their wounds.”  Bay Mills Resort and Casinos is also working with two charities for this event—“The Boys and Girls Club” and “Fishing Has No Boundaries”. 

Yes Brimley, MI is a wonderful site to hold AIM’s first event of 2012.  The main activity is, of course, the AIM CAN/AM tournament where 31 Canadian anglers will be competing against 31 American anglers, for a grand prize of $40,000.00.  Prizes will be paid in cash on silver platters and the co-anglers will be eligible to receive Cabala’s gift certificates.

Each tournament has a sort of time-line of what and where the anglers need to be for the start and finish of a tournament day.  For anyone who wishes to “see the anglers off in the morning” and watch as the boats return for the final weigh-ins; here’s an itinerary for the Brimley 2012 event and the procedures that all competitors must abide with:

Each day the tournament will start at 6:00 – 7:00 a.m. at the boat check/launch.  Each boat receives the official score cards and blank SD camera memory card.  Anglers must remember to fill in their names on their score card.

The daily boat check will also be a great opportunity to conduct interviews and take photos and videos of the competitors.  On day three the top five boats will be outfitted with an AIM Pro Track™ GPS system.  This allows anyone to see where the top competitors fish during the day.  Follow them on www.aimfishing.com. 

At 7:15 a.m. each morning, the singing of the National Anthem takes place along with any final instructions and roll call.  Take off is at 7:30 a.m. Check-in is at 3:30 p.m. for ALL boats. The Weigh-in is at Breakwater Park and the show starts promptly at 4:30.

One thing to note for anglers as well as anyone traveling into Canada—DO NOT FORGET that you must have an enhanced driver’s license or a passport when traveling into Canada and returning to the States. 

For more information on the tournament itself, go to the AIM home web page and click on the “Brimley, MI to Host the First AIM Professional CAN/AM Walleye Tournament” article.  The 2012 season has some pretty wonderful tournament sites.  AIM’s format with CRR (Catch, Record, Release) has the anglers excited to get started and get fishing!  Follow the “Schedule and Results” here on the web, come join in the activities, or better yet—-Come Fish the Professional AIM Walleye Series.  The first event at Brimley has such an awesome weekend planned plus it’s going to be an exciting year. Literally Brimming over with Fun!

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