AIM to Kick Off Season at Winneconne
AIM will kick off the 2011 season this Wednesday on the Winnebago System, out of Winneconne, located in northeast Wisconsin. Tournament waters include the Fox and Wolf Rivers, along with lakes Winnebago, Poygan, Winneconne, and Butte des Morts.
Spring is running about two weeks behind in the area and there are reports of ice chunks still floating on sections of Lake Winnebago. Water on the Wolf River is very high and current is moving quickly, however water clarity remains decent.
At 24 years old, Jake LaPine has fished tournaments half of his life. At the age of 12 he began fishing the MWC with his dad Jim. Last year he fished as a pro in a couple of FLW events, but this will be his first AIM tournament.
Between running Dutch’s Trading Post in Fond du Lac and fishing the system a couple times a week, LaPine is usually pretty in tune with the conditions and the bite. “I’m excited to fish this tournament” he said. “I enjoy jigging and spring river fishing. This tournament is right up my alley.”
LaPine plans to focus the majority of his time prefishing on the river, but will also spend some time on the lakes. “The females are moving fast back down the river from spawning. What will be impressive is who can stay on them consistently for three days, either by setting up a milk run or a combination of river and lake fishing. The whole system can produce fish” he commented.
Tournament veteran Keith Kavajecz feels that the Wolf River will play a major role in this tournament. “Even though it is flooded the water clarity seems to be hanging in there. Many of the walleyes have also completed their spawn and are making their way down stream. Finding areas with reduced current where the walleyes “hold up” for a while will be a big key to success in the river. Jigging will be the preferred method in the river as many walleye techniques are not legal in the Wolf because trolling is not allowed” he explained.
Kavajecz also spoke about how the format of the AIM tournament affects this event, “It is great to be kicking off the third season of AIM. CRR (Catch Record Release) continues to be a great format for us tournament anglers because it brings a lot of the fun back into tournament. For example here at Winneconne we would normally have to worry about Wisconsin’s no cull laws. But since we release everything immediately back into the water, we can fish all day, catch as many fish as possible and record the lengths on our score card. At the end of the day our longest 7 fish will be converted to weight to determine our tournament placement. No worries about fish in the live well or making the wrong decisions on which fish to keep and which to throw back in hopes of replacing them with a larger fish later in the day.”
Weigh-in will start at 5pm each day at Critter’s Sports in Winneconne.
Join us on Walleye Central for complete coverage each day of the tournament.