Minnesota Deep Diver! 2022 AWWS Events Run From Mississippi River To Lake Superior And Stops In Between

Category: Tournament

 Dec 21st, 2021 by Keith Worrall 

Modified Dec 21st, 2021 at 9:37 AM

Minnesota Deep Diver! 2022 AWWS Events Run From Mississippi River To Lake Superior And Stops In Between

Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats Inc.

It’s never too early to start looking ahead when the AIM Weekend Walleye Series opens its 2022 season. We’re already excited about getting back on the water, so let’s begin with a deeper dive preview where AIM is headed in Minnesota. Ready?
Mississippi River, Hager City, WI
“AIM opens its 2022 Minnesota qualifier season with first splash April 10 on Minnesota’s side of the still-chilly Mississippi near Hager City, WI. Teams will have lots of choices here, which is something AIM always strives for in picking a tournament site, so regardless of what you like to do, you can do it,” said Denny Fox, AIM national tournament director.
First, he said, whether anglers prefer fishing the muddied up water you’ll sometimes find or that dirty-to-clear transition line the bigs like to hide in during their search and destroy predator missions. They’ll also be hiding in the eddies at those ‘eye-catching wing dams, or in quieter water by trolling above the locks in those huge pools. Any team comfortable with any technique will be able to home in on walleye here that will likely still be in spawning stage.
“The potential for high spring water will also present challenges here, but challenge is what most of our teams like,” Fox added, “and so is the opportunity for finding those huge gold-sided spawners.”
The last qualifier here was in June 2019 and more than 40 pounds won it, with that team using a variety of bait from Shad Raps to that fave live bait of many river rats, those recently hard-to-get willow cats, also called stone cats or mad toms. Here’s another nickname: “walleye candy,” because ‘eyes hammer them when they’re on the menu.
When fished vertically, slow trolled or rigged in spring, some pretty realistic and available soft plastic imitations (goby plastics may be a pretty good match, too), that don’t pack a sting from the nasty barbs on the real ones may be the ticket to try. And, don’t count out hair jigs for fooling’em, too.
Mille Lacs, McQuoids/Macs Twin Bay, Isle
Following that kick-off, Minnesota continues nearly two months later on June 12, when AIM visits Lake Mille Lacs for some prime-time action from Isle. That’s when you’re liable to see a winning poundage in the 50-ish range when the big toads turn on and turn hungry. AIM’s exclusive Catch-Record-Release™ format is tailor-made for this lake’s special regs.
At the 2019 AIM qualifier, teams had to land at least 41 pounds to finish in the top 15. At the two-day 2021 Quest For the Best here, the winning weight topped 75 pounds, and during the Warrior Boats Open qualifier just before the QFB, the winners took it and the $9,000 first place check with nearly 39 pounds.
Mille Lacs has always produced well for AIM anglers whenever, and June is one of the top months. Look for this big water to produce big again.
Leech Lake, Horseshoe Bay Resort
How can you top Mille Lacs for a potential 50-pound bag? How about a repeat at Leech Lake with another potential 50-pound bag waiting there, which is always hot, hot, hot in July. This time, AIM returns July 17, only a few days later than last year’s Warrior Boats event when 42-plus brought home $9,000, plus $1,500 in AIM side pot cash for the winners.
Lake Vermillion, Fortune Bay Casino
Keep’em coming, you say? We hear ya. And Lake Vermillion’s Fortune Bay Resort Casino is our destination for the final 2022 Minnesota Warrior Boats qualifier on July 31. AIM last visited this fifth largest lake totally within Minnesota borders in 2017 for the two-day Minnesota championship, and the winners boated nearly 65 pounds of gravel lizards.
In 2019, same story, but better. AIM was at this slot-protected lake for a qualifier, and it gave up 44 pounds for the winner. In one day. Vermillion’s ready for a repeat performance for AIM anglers, and so are they.
The Championship, Duluth
You may not think of Lake Superior as Walleye Central-North. Tell that to the winners of 2021’s final Warrior Boats qualifier, who took home $9,500 after recording 28-plus pounds fishing the lake’s south shore with cranks in early August. And this one goes off Aug. 19-20, when Superior’s nearly warmest and those big waldos cruising the rocks off Duluth are hungriest. Look for cranks to again get a team onto the podium.
For this visit, what’s at stake includes a possible berth in the AIM National Championship Shootout for a shot at that beautiful Warrior 1898DC, pushed by a 150 Yamaha four-stroke, and with that great Garmin electronics package searching for walleyes on the dash, all worth a cool $50,000-plus. Oh yeah, then there’s that little bonus of winning the prestigious 2022 AIM Minnesota Team Of The Year title at the same event.
AIM tournaments are meant for everyone, whether you’re in a barebones 18-foot boat or a fully rigged walleye-destroyer. Entering is easy and is the most lucrative affordable walleye tournament series on any water today. With AIM’s philosophy of its resource-protecting Catch-Record-Release format and leveling the playing field by holding events in lakes, rivers and Great Lakes, you can do this.
All events take place on or around weekends, so anglers both locals and traveling teams alike, can take a few days off work to compete. All you need is the willingness and confidence to try. Come join the fun! How to do it is all at AIM’s website.
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 inc.
AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Garmin, Berkley, X2Power by Batteries Plus, Abu-Garcia, Fenwick, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Quality Flow Systems, Gemini Sport Marketing, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, McQuoids Inn, Marinette, WI

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