Will New Strategies Prevail?
Jul 23rd, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jul 23rd, 2009 at 12:00 AM
Two professional walleye anglers who’ve tasted victory on a major tournament circuit, Dave Anderson and Mark Martin, from Minnesota and Michigan respectively, talked about strategy with the new AIM Catch – Record – Release format. Both have experienced similar immediate-release scenarios.
Martin said he was part of the first test of this methodology at a special PWT charity event in Manitoba a few years ago. Anderson said he has always measured and recorded every fish during practice and tournaments for 20 years. From Martin’s perspective, he said speed and accuracy will be critical. “I want to get each fish back as quickly as possible, because it might bite again later that day or the next day,” he said.
“The picture of fish will be new, but I’m used to the process, so I will have an advantage based on experience,” Anderson said. He was more pleased with the fact that weights will be based on length. Tournament anglers know that fish in certain sections of a system weigh more than others and it won’t force all boats to head to a certain area. “This format will allow boats to spread out so we’re not all fishing just for ‘fat’ fish,” he said.
In the beginning of CRR discussions and planning, Anderson said he wasn’t particularly enthused. However, as it progressed, and he understood it, he became more and more excited. “I know this will open a tremendous window for tournament anglers,” he said. It will also remove some of the stress, especially when pros had to make decisions on which “slot” fish to keep or release. “Now, they all count,” he said. “And, we can keep fishing all day long.”
Martin intends to target the best fish he’s found during the practice period. Good decisions will demand attention to details in the sky and in the boat. “Every minute on the water, I know that big fish are only a bite away. Possibilities to hit a home run at 10:30 a.m. are as great as they are at 2:30 p.m. My partner and I will work hard right up to the final bell every day,” he said.
“One of the important aspects of CRR is that the co-anglers will be taking a college course on walleye fishing,” Martin said. It may be better than a college course, because each teacher wants the co-angler to catch lots of fish. Every detail of every tactic, boat control and electronics will be covered. He said, “In my boat, winning depends on my co-angler.”