Two professional walleye anglers, whether they fish for paychecks or pride, have teamed up to create Artifishalleyes (artificial eyes). This duo knows the next generation beyond bait is artificial, and they are getting serious about it.
For the 2014 season, Corey Heiser and Troy Morris have signed a notarized contract to NOT use live bait for the entire season as they compete in walleye tournaments across the country. Their new organization called Artifishalleyes will help educate and teach youth and fellow anglers that artificial baits can be used competitively, even on those “so called” live bait waters, and help protect our water systems.
“Being in the fishing industry for several years we have seen the invasion of Aquatic Nuisance Species become more widespread, causing severe and permanent damage to the habitats they invade,” shared Corey Heiser. “The ANS reduce the abundance of native species and alter the ecosystem processes. This destruction causes lakes and rivers to have less game fish and even rendering some lakes and rivers unusable,” added Troy Morris. .
Even in those natural walleye fisheries not affected by ANS, walleye tournament fishing continues to be scrutinized because the possible transportation of ANS to new locations by live bait and the water used with transportation.
Troy and Corey have agreed to produce numerous videos following their year on the Masters Walleye Circuit Trail. They will be fishing the following MWC Events:
- April 4-6 — Pierre, SD Lake Sharpe
- May 16 – 18 — Ortonville, MN Big Stone Lake
- June 20 – 22 — Oconto WI, Bay of Green Bay
- Sept. 12 – 14 — Cass Lake, MN
“We’ve picked varying types of water to fish tournaments, including some traditional live bait locations like Green Bay and Cass Lake, in order to show the effectiveness of artificial presentations,” Morris continued. “I have spent several years using both artificial and live bait and now is the time to commit to artificial.”
Morris and Heiser felt like the MWC was the perfect venue with their push towards artificial only events, hosting the Devils Lake event last year and both Red Wing and Spring Valley tournaments this year.
The duo will also fish two FM Walleye Club events that are historically dominated with the use of live bait:
Pelican Rapids, MN Pelican Lake
Lake Park, MN Big Cormorant
“I’m extremely excited about fishing these western Minnesota waters. They are traditional chub and crawler fisheries. Many years, the biggest concern before the tournament is where to get red tails; it will be a relief to put together a presentation without them,” explained Heiser. “Plus, Pelican Lake has zebra mussels, we won’t have to worrying about proper disposal of live bait minnows.”
Image courtesy Beyond Bait Co.