Lake Winnibigoshish near Deer River will be buzzing with walleye anglers Sept. 1, 2 and 3 when the second annual AIM Catch, Record & Release Championship Tournament will be held there. More than $100,000 in prizes will be awarded. AIM is an acronym for Anglers Insight Marketing.
Events include a meet-and-greet with anglers at 1 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 28) at Tom Clusiau’s GMC in Grand Rapids and another meet-and-greet at 3 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 31) at the Northern Star Co-op in Deer River. Awards ceremony for the tournament gets under way at 5 p.m. Sept. 3 at the Gosh Dam Place On Minnesota Highway 46.
The Deer River School will be awarded a $5,000 grant by the AIM organization. The Deer River Wrestling Club and The Lake Winnie Area Resort Association joined forces in sponsoring a raffle to raise money for the tournament. The Wrestling Club will be awarded a check in for their portion of the raffle proceeds.
Friday morning, Sept. 3, a Youth Fishing Tournament will be held, concluding with a Youth Fishing Seminar by the National Professional Anglers Association at 4 p.m. at the Gosh Dam Place. The Awards Ceremony will follow.
In 2009, AIM Pro Angler Todd Riley blew away the competition by catching, recording and releasing more than 40 feet (total length of fish) of Lake Winnie walleyes. Under the tournament format, anglers return all fish to the water immediately. Anglers weigh their seven largest walleyes each day, regardless of slot limits. The 2010 AIM International Walleye Championship will be won by the pro angler who catches and records the 21 biggest walleyes, regardless of the slot restrictions.
No fish are brought to the “weigh-in” stage. Instead, the angler selects the seven largest walleyes to be tallied for his daily weight. The length of each walleye is converted to pounds and ounces using a standardized formula.