Kolb, Hoover, Garner Top Seed Status In Win At AWWS ‘Starcraft Marine Open’ On Saginaw Bay

Category: npaa

 Jun 11th, 2015 by OutdoorsFIRST 

Modified Jun 11th, 2015 at 12:00 AM

Kolb, Hoover, Garner Top Seed Status In Win At AWWS ‘Starcraft Marine Open’ On Saginaw Bay

If anyone wants to know who the likely top seed is for the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Starcraft Marine Open Championship on Saginaw Bay in a short two months, you can bet David Kolb and Robert Hoover will be near or at the top of the list, after winning last Sunday’s qualifier event.
Running more than 25 miles from Linwood Beach Marina one way in continually changing weather, the pair won doing what Kolb had predicted earlier in the week would take it, trolling.
But, not spinners like the second-place team did. Instead, Kolb, of Rockford, MI, and Hoover, of St. Clair Shores, MI, pulled crankbaits behind 2-ounce Offshore Tackle Guppy weights to get them down to walleyes hunkered to the bottom in 30 feet of water near Au Gres.
“We’d found a pod of fish on Friday and by Sunday they’d moved from being suspended straight to the bottom, so we ended up switching our presentation from harnesses to pulling crankbaits like deep-runner Husky Jerks, Thundersticks and Flicker Shads using the Guppy weights to get them down deeper,” Hoover said.
    “The first couple of fish were the biggest of the day, with the largest at 27 ¼ inches. Then it was a grind to put fish in the boat the rest of the time,” he added. The mixed-up weather was a factor.

    “We went from having a pretty decent chop on the way out, to calm, and then the wind switched to rollers, making for a long ride coming in. We went through only nine fish but it was a lot of hope and luck that the better fish would be there, and they were,” Hoover said.
    “Our Offshore planer boards were the key in that chop. They handled the heavier wave surges easily. Without those Guppy weights we would have been running our lures 180 feet back, but with them, it was 70 or 80 which was much more manageable,” Hoover added.
    Their 29.80 pounds not only earned them $2,000 but also valuable championship points. The pair finished second on the Detroit River in April.
    While Kolb and Hoover pulled cranks, Kal Ustishen of Chesaning, MI and his father Rick, of New Lothrop who placed third in Detroit behind Kolb and Hoover, used crawlers to take second in Linwood and $1,150.
    “We ran to the Charity Islands, almost 35 miles one way from Linwood,” Kal said. They recorded 24.93 pounds of ‘eyes on those trolled crawler harnesses in the “steeples” area of the bay in 26 to 42 feet of water. “The structure there really goes up and down, so I adjusted my speed faster to lift my lures up in shallower water, and slowed as we came off it, usually 1.2 to 1.3 mph. It was pretty rough out there. We ran out in two- to three-footers, then it calmed, and as we were coming in, we were greeted with three-to-five-footers. It took us over two hours to come in,” he said.
    This father-son team believes that AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ format fits them perfectly. “I like it. It’s fair for everybody and easy to do. The fish are in and out of the boat as quick as can be and I didn’t have to babysit fish in the livewell, especially in the weather we had. I know there wouldn’t have been a fish living in mine with all the sloshing and banging around coming back,” Kal said.

Watch for Navionics BIG FISH THURSDAY when the winner is announced! That team will win a Navionics Platinum Hot Maps chip for their efforts, compliments of Navionics.

Contact: Denny Fox, AIM National Tournament Director, 920-505-0122;

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™) is a unique tournament organization created and owned by many of the most accomplished and recognizable professional walleye anglers, along with others who share the mission of advancing competitive walleye fishing and making it sustainable into the future. AIM is committed to marketing excellence on behalf of its tournament competitors, the tournament host communities, and the brands that partner with it. AIM is also committed to maintaining healthy fisheries across the nation by the development of the exclusive AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format which is integral to its dynamic events and unparalleled consumer engagement. For more information about AIM™, AIM Pro Walleye Series™, AIM Weekend Walleye Series, AIM sponsors and AIM anglers, visit www.aimfishing.com.

AIM Presenting Sponsors: Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. and Warrior Boats. 
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Starcraft Marine, Amsoil, Navionics, Powrtran, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, Off Shore Tackle, Team Lodge, National Fleet Graphics, Gemini Sport Marketing, The City of Oconto, Eagle Bay Marina and Eagles Landing Casino, Montevideo MN Chamber of Commerce, Randall’s Milan Beach Resort

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