AIM Heads to Oconto on Green Bay for its First-Ever Pro Team Challenge
AIM announced today they will be heading to Oconto on Green Bay for its first-ever Pro Team Challenge. The walleye-rich waters of Green Bay off Oconto, Wis., will be the site of the AIM Pro Walleye Series™ Pro Team Challenge when its angler armada heads there July 20-22.
In 2010, the last time AIM pros visited the bay, they broke just about every AIM record including largest fish, biggest basket, as well as total weight. Those records attest to the number and quality of fish that will be waiting off picturesque Oconto with a population of 4,700, located midway between the city of Green Bay and Marinette, WI. Pro teams will be competing using the Pro Team Challenge format where each team consists of a pro and a chosen team member invited by that pro. The pro team is randomly paired with a different co-anger each day of the tournament. This unique format will put three anglers in each boat and allow the use of up to six rods. Tournament entry fees are $1,200 for each pro team and $300 for each co-angler. Pro teams are competing for one hundred percent of all pro team entries, however that percentage could rise. Actual payout schedule will be released in the near future.
“AIM chose Oconto because of its excellent walleye fishery that is well known across the Midwest,” said Joe Baron, AIM Pro Walleye Series CEO. “Green Bay’s walleye migrate north throughout the summer and when AIM arrives, the population of migrating walleye in Oconto should be at its peak. This should be an exciting tournament not only in number and weight of fish caught, but also the new Pro Team Challenge format.” Baron added. AIM is well known for its Catch-Record-Release format which allows the teams to weigh their seven largest fish. Anglers aren’t limited by the no cull regulations of Green Bay since all fish are returned to the water after being photographed and recorded.
“I’m very excited about the AIM Pro Team Challenge. This will be the first time I’ve had the opportunity to compete against some of the very talented team anglers from across the country,” said AIM pro Chase Parsons of nearby Brillion, WI, “I’ll treat this event exactly as I would a Pro/Co where I cover all of the expenses alone, however now I’ll have a “hand-picked” partner and a co-angler in the boat as well,” Parsons said. “Having a third person in the boat will allow us to run more lines,” he added. “Some of the best Pro/Co and Team anglers in the country, competing head to head, on one of the best walleye fisheries in the world…all in one tournament. Can it get any better?”
Mercury Pro Team angler Cameron Lewis of West Bend, WI, is one of the AIM rookies expected to be in the hunt on the tour this year. “I am super excited for this new unique team event, with the top talent from around the country in walleye fishing coming to one of my favorite fishing towns around. My team partner and I are so pumped for this event. Catch-Record-Release is awesome, because all those big Green Bay walleyes we catch will go back for another day. Additionally, co-anglers will get twice the experience by having two pro-caliber anglers in the boat. Got to love that….,” Lewis added.
AIM Pro Robert Blosser, of Poynette, WI, echoed those thoughts, as did another AIM young gun, Joe Okada, of Fitchburg, WI. “Oconto in July is as good as it gets on Green Bay. The bite will be on fire and everything will be close, within five to 10 miles of town. Having the majority of fishing right there will make for interesting planning and giant weights,” said Blosser, who placed second in AIM’s first visit to the bay in 2009 and won it all in 2010. While both those tournaments were headquartered in Green Bay, Blosser said that most pros fishing them headed north to the Oconto area, and he’s looking forward to try for a repeat win.
Green Bay’s walleye fishery is a story of an amazing comeback. A reversal of years of commercial over-harvest has resulted in a stunning turnaround. Many anglers feel it may hold the next Wisconsin state record. Alewives and plentiful perch have become the forage base to grow the bay walleyes big and hungry. The natural reefs around the Oconto area make perfect mid-summer walleye haunts.
The town of Oconto will be ready for AIM as well, said tournament director and Oconto City Councilman Dick Doeren. Headquarters will be Oconto’s Breakwater Park, where the daily virtual weigh-ins will take place. “We’re going to make this a festive occasion the entire three days,” Doeren said. Expect a parade of the pros and their boats downtown, drawings for a chance to fish in a “mini-tournament” with a pro for some lucky anglers, plus events tailor-made for kids to introduce them to fishing. “We want to make this tournament a family fishing affair to get everyone involved.”
Please visit AIM at www.aimfishing.com for further information on AIM and their marketing partners.
Anglers Insight Marketing, LLC (AIM) is a unique tournament organization which is owned by stockholders, the majority of which are Professional walleye anglers. AIM Professionals are among the All Stars of professional fishing, with cumulative HUNDREDS of years of tournament experience, including countless tournament victories, series championships, and Angler of the Year titles. This insight and knowledge is now being employed to provide the finest tournament experience for the participants, and the maximum exposure for the host tournament sites and corporate partners.