All posts by NPAA

Guaranteed Deadline is Tuesday, May 29th (due to Memorial Day being Monday)

Guaranteed Deadline is Tuesday, May 29th
(due to Memorial Day being Monday)
BAY CITY, Mich. – Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region is eager to show off its rebounding walleye population, as the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour visits Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay June 14-15 for the second event of the 2018 season. The national pro-am tournament, which features television coverage on NBC Sports and the Pursuit Channel, features the best walleye pros in the sport, including Korey Sprengel, fresh off another victory at the season opener.
Sprengel has never fished Saginaw Bay, yet he enters the tournament brimming with confidence.
“It’s a summertime Great Lakes bite, and I feel very comfortable on the Great Lakes,” explained the Ranger-Mercury pro. “It’s exciting to visit a new body of water. I’ve heard it fishes a lot like Green Bay. The nice thing about the Great Lakes is that there is no shortage of fish. I grew up open-water fishing; trolling is what I love to do.”
Despite his lack of experience, Sprengel plans to approach Saginaw Bay like any other event.
“Nothing will change; I will still put in five or six days of practice time. I really don’t get too carried away with where everyone is fishing and where the supposed hot bite is. I’ll look at my Lowrance electronics and decide where I think the fish are at.”
At the opposite end of the spectrum is Cabela’s pro Steve Vandemark, who lives in nearby Linwood, Mich. Even with a deep fund of local knowledge, Vandemark is not exactly sure how the tournament will play out.
“The migration is a little bit behind this year,” Vandemark said. “The ice came off later, and they spawned later. Right now, there are still bigger fish in the inner bay, and there’s still going to be fish there by tournament time.”
Vandemark refers to the inner bay as anything south of Charity Island. When the water temperature reaches 70 degrees, the bait disperses and the walleyes are quick to follow. Vandemark believes many people will stay in the inner bay and several will choose to make long runs.
“You’re going to see some people run. They might go all the way up the west side to Alabaster and Towas City, which is over 50 miles. On the east side, people might go all the way to Port Austin, which is roughly 60 miles. All this depends on the weather and on your equipment.”
Vandemark described the fishery as extremely healthy, both for numbers and size.
“Twelve years ago we had an excessive amount of small fish. It was almost like the ecosystem crashed. We lost a lot of forage. It has taken a long time, but the bait is back, and the walleye fishing has steadily improved. Now, one-day tournaments are taking upper 20s or lower 30s to win. It’s looking the best it has looked in 15 to 20 years. The size of the fish we caught over the winter season was remarkable. There’s a lot of fish in the system too. Thirty or 40 fish in a day is not uncommon.”
The local expert expects most of the field to be trolling, although swimbaits, lipless baits and glide baits could potentially come into play.
“We don’t have the structure that Green Bay has, which means you’re more limited here. Most folks troll, but there are areas where casting is viable. I’m going to say 95 percent of the people will be trolling. We’re already into a good harness bite.”
Based largely on water temperature, Sprengel also believes trolling crawler harnesses will out-produce trolling crankbaits.
“Spinners shine more when you have bug hatches,” Sprengel said. “A crawler smells and tastes more like a bug than anything else we use. Plus, walleyes are suckers for anything that goes by really slow. It has a lot of action, and it has a lot of scent.”
Sprengel and Vandemark agree that the key to winning the tournament could be finding stained water that has bait present. Whether that perfect combination is found in the inner bay or the outer bay remains to be seen.
“The outer bay perhaps has bigger fish, but less numbers,” hypothesized Vandemark. “A lot of those big fish aren’t there yet though, because we’re quite a ways behind in the migration. The 50- and 60-mile runs are possible in the right weather, but even then, they’re a major gamble. The farther away you get, the less crowding there will be. Those runs cut your fishing time almost in half.”
Sprengel said he’ll analyze all the variables, but it might be a gamble worth taking.
“On the Great Lakes, those closer fish tend to get picked on, get abused,” Sprengel added. “So the long runs can pay off. Sometimes it’s about finding fish off the beaten path that haven’t seen baits and are easier to catch.”
Vandemark described a northeast wind as “worst-case scenario,” especially for the outer bay. In good conditions, he predicted the winner would have a two-day total weight of nearly 60 pounds.
“My best guess is that high 50s will win. The winner could even possibly crack 60 pounds. I don’t think you’ll see a lot of high 50s though.”
Anglers will take off each day at 6:30 a.m. Eastern time from Veteran’s Memorial Park, located off John F. Kennedy Drive in Bay City. The daily weigh-ins will take place at Wenonah Pak, located at 111 Center Ave. in Bay City, beginning at 4 p.m. The full field fishes each day with the winner in each division being determined by the heaviest cumulative weight.
The National Walleye Tour consists of three regular-season events and a year-end championship. Each regular season event is a two-day, pro-am tournament and delivers over a 100 percent payback. Pros compete against other pros, and co-anglers compete against other co-anglers.


Hawley Environmental School Fifth Graders Learn the Fishing Basics

Hawley Environmental School Fifth Graders Learn the Fishing Basics


On Wednesday, May 9th, Certified Angler Educator Greg Karch with Learn 2 Fish With Us and NPAA Member #138, Nick Schmal #123 and Mike Anderson #383, hosted a fishing clinic at the Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center in Wisconsin Dells for the Hawley Environmental School fifth graders.  Hawley Environmental school is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The afternoon started out with the fifth graders learning about the skills and equipment needed to fish through our Fishing Basics seminar.  Fishing Basics educated them on: safety while fishing, fishing combos, casting, fishing presentations, knots, bait, fish identification, the environment and the AIS message of Clean Drain Dry.  After the seminar the students were excited to learn that it had stopped raining and that they would be going fishing.  The students got to enjoy the beautiful outdoors along the Wisconsin River while fishing.  You should have seen all the smiles as youth had a good cast or even caught a fish.   Kelsey, one of the teachers from Hawley Environmental School emailed Greg to let him know that the next morning many of the students picked up the camps fishing gear and went fishing!!  Now I call that a success!!


Each of the fifth graders received a Future Pro shirt and AIS water bottle thanks to the National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA).

Greg would like to thank his and Learn 2 Fish With Us sponsor’s as these fishing clinics would not be possible without their support.  Sponsors include: Shakespeare, Thrivent Financial, Writing By Design, Mercury Marine, Triton Boats, Badger Sportsman, The Boat Doc, Berkley, Dave’s Musky Club, Off Shore Tackle Company, Plano, Northland Tackle, TTI Blakemore Fishing Group, Maui Jim, MadWraps, National Professional Anglers Association and The Reel Shot.

To learn more about the following organizations check out their websites Learn 2 Fish With Us ,  NPAA at and Future Angler Foundation at




Walleye Jigs For The Job By Chip Leer

Inside The WildSide – Seasonal Solutions

Walleye Jigs For The Job
By Chip Leer


Choose The Right Jig For Every Situation

Jigs catch walleyes. But not all jigs are the same, which means choosing the right jig for the job can mean the difference between loading the livewell and getting skunked.

Dividing leadhead designs into the following three categories can help you get it right every time.


Northland Tackle Slurp! Head and Current Cutter Jigs

JigsForLiveBait.120135Jigs For Plastics—typically feature a line-tie placement on the top of the head, a stout hook, and a wire keeper to prevent plastics from sliding down the hook shank. Examples include Northland Fishing Tackle’s Slurp! Jig Head and Current Cutter Jig, which work with shad, curl-tail and minnow-style plastics, as well as live bait.


JigsForPlastics.115932Northland Tackle Rock-It, Stand-Up Fire-Ball and Fire-Ball Jigs

Jigs For Live Bait—come in several options. Northland Fishing Tackle’s legendary Fire-Ball Jig, built for vertical jigging and ca

Yamaha V8 XTO Offshore™ Outboard Offers the Extreme

Yamaha V8 XTO Offshore Outboard Offers the Extreme

Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System

KENNESAW, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The new V8 XTO Offshore outboard is designed to take Yamaha’s premium quality brand position to a higher level with extreme power and thrust, toughness and reliability, system integration, control, convenience and customer care. Yamaha has achieved many of these extremes by rethinking the outboard and its related systems, and through the application of technologies new to the industry.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:


Yamaha’s new V8 XTO Offshore outboard offers extreme power, thrust, toughness, reliability, system integration, control, convenience and care. (Photo: Business Wire)

“This is an integrated outboard system, designed to push the heaviest offshore boats and yachts,” said Ben Speciale, Yamaha Marine Group President. “The new Yamaha V8 XTO Offshore has 5.6-liters tremendous thrust and 425 horsepower. The V8 XTO Offshore provides extreme performance for the biggest boats. Combine it with the latest generation of Helm Master® and Yamaha’s CL7 Display, and you have benefits offered nowhere else.”

Extreme Power and Thrust

Pushing the heaviest offshore boats and yachts requires driving extreme, large propellers, a massive, rugged gearcase and an extreme powerhead. As the first four-stroke powerhead in the outboard industry to use Direct Injection, the V8 XTO Offshore is already a legend, spraying fuel at high pressure directly into the combustion chamber, rather than the intake track, just before the intake valve. This greatly improves atomization and increases the effectiveness of the fuel burn for maximum power and efficiency.

The Direct Injection system features five fuel pumps and injection pressure up to 2900 PSI. The three-stage fuel pressure system is in part comprised of two independent fuel pumps within the Vapor Separator Tank (VST) that activate at specific, individual RPM. This ensures proper fuel flow and delivery, even at very high engine RPM.

Yamaha’s V8 XTO Offshore also boasts the highest compression ratio in an outboard – 12.2:1. This means more “bang” from every spark, as well as better efficiency and power.

The new XTO OS™ propellers for boats and yachts are made to complement the torque potential of the Yamaha V8 XTO Offshore. These new propellers produce more thrust in both forward and reverse, using diameters from 16 to 17⅛ inches. The increased blade surface area is designed for moving big boats and yachts.

The In-Bank™ Exhaust feature means intake tracks enter the cylinder head from outside of the powerhead, allowing space for exhaust gases to have a direct route to the lower unit and out the propeller hub, improving flow.

Extreme Toughness and Reliability

In addition to an oversized gearcase, hardened gears, a robust, offshore bracket and motor mounts, the V8 XTO Offshore outboard also features proven plasma fusion technology for durability and lighter weight. The outboard also has a two-stage water pump and dual chamber oil pump, each designed to respond to the heavy loads associated with high RPM operation.

Dual overhead, endurance-driven camshafts on each cylinder bank are connected via a self-tensioning chain immersed in an oil bath for accurate valve timing and long life, delivering quiet and precise connection for proper and consistent valve timing. One sprocket belt engagement means a narrower, more compact overall profile.

Carbon-coated shimless bucket-type valve lifters also increase durability, while a dual-chamber oil pump ensures proper oil flow and delivery at every engine speed.

Plasma fusion replaces conventional steel cylinder liners. The micro-textured surface is 60 percent harder than steel and significantly lighter, contributing to increased displacement without increasing the size of the powerhead. The resulting surface also increases fuel economy by decreasing internal friction.

Spark plugs made from iridium, one of the rarest elements on earth and the second hardest, yield improved throttle response, economy, increased service life and improved power. The new V8 XTO Offshore outboard also features quad thermostats, two thermostats per cylinder bank, for improved flow and better regulation of engine and oil temperature.

A uniquely designed two-stage water pump features a massive rubber water impeller for high pressure and flow. A steel impeller helps provide sufficient water volume even under the most extreme offshore conditions. This configuration provides proper cooling water flow at all RPM and improved temperature control.

Extreme System Integration

The V8 XTO Offshore has integrated electric steering, the first of its kind in any outboard. The integrated steering system has no hydraulic lines or linkages, and responds more quickly than conventional systems to steering inputs. In addition, integrated electric steering means reduced power consumption, clean rigging, and a very orderly bilge area.

The new V8 XTO Offshore outboard also features an Integral Electronic Steering Control Unit that receives signals from the steering cylinder position sensor to carry out joystick and steering operation. Functions integrated into the electric steering system on Yamaha V8 XTO Offshore outboards include: joystick calibration, lever sensor, toe-in/out adjust, joystick thrust, lock to lock, and steering friction set.

Helm Master® and the CL7™ Display have also been updated along with the launch of the new XTO Offshore outboard.

Extreme Convenience, Control and Customer Care

Thanks to an ingenious new exhaust-gas relief system, V8 XTO Offshore propellers bite clean water in reverse, which helps yield reverse thrust up to 300 percent of that developed by Yamaha’s F350. That means easy maneuvering and more control in docking, particularly when the V8 XTO Offshore is matched with Yamaha’s Fully Integrated Boat Control System, Helm Master®.

Boats powered by the V8 XTO Offshore need go no further than the dock for a lower unit service, thanks to a unique gearcase lubricant exchange system that allows fluid change in the water. In addition, the V8 XTO Offshore also has great charging capabilities, providing up to 90 amps of total (gross) power and reaches peak net output around 1,500 RPM where it is needed most.

Backed by the best-trained dealer network in the industry and a five-year limited warranty for pleasure use, the V8 XTO Offshore also has the functionality to facilitate a comprehensive maintenance tracking tool.

All of these benefits—coupled with Yamaha’s reputation for great resale value—assure Yamaha V8 XTO Offshore owners will have an experience second to none.

Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Group, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training and parts for Yamaha’s full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA®’s Customer Satisfaction Index (C.S.I.) Award every year since its inception. Visit

This document contains many of Yamaha’s valuable trademarks. It may also contain trademarks belonging to other companies. Any references to other companies or their products are for identification purposes only, and are not intended to be an endorsement.

Yamaha Adds New Features for Helm Master, Expands Offshore Products

Yamaha Adds New Features for Helm Master, Expands Offshore Products

KENNESAW, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Yamaha Marine announced new features for Helm Master® and the CL7™ Display, and added new Performance 3 SDS™ Propellers and a 35-inch-shaft model of the 4.2-liter V6 F300 (with Digital Electronic Control).

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here:

The new Helm Master SetPoint now includes Pattern Shift, a feature that creates the perfect trolling speed by adjusting how long the engine is in gear versus being in neutral. Time adjustments range from ninety percent in gear and ten percent in neutral, to ninety percent in neutral and ten percent in gear. (Graphic: Business Wire)

“Today’s boaters want to customize their boating applications to make their experiences on the water even more enjoyable,” said Ben Speciale, Yamaha Marine Group President. “These new feature-rich offshore products give boaters more options and versatility when it comes to boat control, maneuverability and propulsion.”

Helm Master Upgrades

The latest generation of Yamaha’s fully integrated boat control system has new features that allow greater convenience and movement while in Helm Master’s SetPoint™ modes. These new features are perfect for those who need more precise control of boat position. The latest version of Helm Master includes the following updates:

  • In StayPoint™ or FishPoint™ modes, one forward, rearward or sideward bump of the joystick will move the boat’s position 10 feet; additional bumps within three seconds of each other will move it up to 100 feet total
  • In StayPoint™ or DriftPoint™ modes, one twist of the joystick will move the boat’s bow heading angle by 5 degrees; additional twists within three seconds of each other will rotate the boat by up to 50 degrees total
  • A new feature called Pattern Shift allows the operator to troll below standard in-gear trolling speed by shifting into or out of gear to meet a desired target speed. In calm water, resulting minimum speed can be less than 0.5 mph
  • Thanks to joystick fine tuning, boaters can now adjust position and heading directly with the joystick
  • Prior versions required leaving a SetPoint™ mode, then adjusting, then re-activating the mode
  • The FishPoint™ High Mode RPM setting remains adjustable for fine tuning the power requirements for each individual vessel’s needs or to match conditions
  • The FishPoint™ center mode for quad engines now allows for quieter operation by using the center engines only for thrust and the outer for increased electrical charge output. The result is efficient, quiet charging.

CL7™ Display Upgrades

The CL7 Display is more versatile than ever before, thanks to new functionality and software upgrades including:

  • Command Link® capability added to the CL7 protocol. Boaters can now enjoy the features of the CL7 like gauge integration, mapping, and NMEA 2000® networking on Command Link controlled boats. The CL7 is a complete solution for both Command Link Plus and Command Link systems, which means it is also now compatible with mechanical outboards.
  • The Variable Lock to Lock steering setting on DEC models now offers four phases for RPM. The number of turns Lock to Lock (and the effective steering ratio) can be set at four different rpm levels. That means boaters can have fewer turns Lock to Lock at low rpm and a greater number at high RPM.
  • Updates integrate the new Yamaha V8 XTO Offshore. (Installers must use the updated version of the CL7 Display on boats equipped with the V8 XTO Offshore)

New CL7 displays will be shipped with these upgrades. As before, the CL7 Display features an integrated gateway and comes in two models; one with detailed fresh and saltwater maps, the other without maps, which can be added later. Both models include fuel flow and other monitor functions.

New Performance 3 SDS™ Propellers

The Yamaha Performance 3 propeller has long been a versatile general purpose propeller line, with both fresh water and salt water applications. More durable than aluminum, the stainless steel Performance Propeller offers value along with versatility.

Last year, Yamaha launched an improved Shift Dampener System, SDS. This year, Yamaha brought the two together for the M-T series 4.25” diameter gearcase sizes. These propellers are appropriate for 150 through 300 horsepower Yamaha outboards (four-stroke or two-stroke). They come in right and select left-hand rotation.

35-inch Shaft Model for the F300

This year, Yamaha will offer a 35-inch shaft length model of the F300 4.2-liter Offshore V6 outboards, Digital Electronic Control models only. That means the industry’s favorite family of offshore outboards are available in configurations to meet most every need.

Yamaha Marine products are marketed throughout the United States and around the world. Yamaha Marine Group, based in Kennesaw, Ga., supports its 2,000 U.S. dealers and boat builders with marketing, training and parts for Yamaha’s full line of products and strives to be the industry leader in reliability, technology and customer service. Yamaha Marine is the only outboard brand to have earned NMMA®’s Customer Satisfaction Index (C.S.I.) Award every year since its inception. Visit

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Sportfishing Industry Association Appoints a New R3 Director

Sportfishing Industry Association Appoints a New R3 Director
Industry veteran brings years of experience in working to increase participation
Alexandria, VA – May 22, 2018 – The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is pleased to announce that Emily Beach, most recently with the Archery Trade Association (ATA), is the association’s new R3 (Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation) Director.

Beach has spent the past 16 years developing the Explore Bowhunting (EB), Explore Bowfishing (EBF) and Explore Archery (EA) programs, and assisted USA

Emily Beachemilybirch
R3 Director

Archery in developing their archery instructor certification programs. EB, EBF and EA are found in schools, utilized in summer camps, community-based programs, and parks and recreation associations nationwide. Beach is well known in the outdoor recreation industry – particularly hunting – as well as the fish and wildlife community.

“I’m glad to join the ASA team,” said Beach. “Helping people of all ages find their way to engage in the outdoors is my passion. How can we expect kids to take care of tomorrow’s environment if they’re not engaging in the outdoors today? Playing outside isn’t a punishment. It isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. And I’m eager to start tackling the challenge.”

“Emily will be taking on the incredible challenge of “connecting the dots” between R3 practitioners and our industry,” said ASA’s Chief Marketing Officer Liz Ogilvie. “It will be a multi-year and multi-phase task and she is the perfect person to do the job. I’m excited to have her experience and expertise on board.”

“We’re all happy that there has been an uptick in recreational fishing, according to the most recent report from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes. “For our industry to stay strong, every sector, from manufacturers to retailers to state fish and wildlife agencies to other organizations, needs to play a role in increasing participation.”

Hughes concluded, “We are glad that Emily Beach, with her years of experience, will be working with the ASA team and our members to help us do our part to see those numbers continue to climb. Welcome aboard, Emily.”

Beach started May 21, but her first week will be spent with ASA President Glenn Hughes and Liz Ogilvie at the National R3 Symposium in Lincoln, Neb.


The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association committed to representing the interests of the sportfishing and boating industries as well as the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry and anglers a unified voice when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. ASA invests in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous, as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic, conservation and social values of sportfishing in America. ASA also gives America’s 46 million anglers a voice in policy decisions that affect their ability to sustainably fish on our nation’s waterways through Keep America Fishing®, our national angler advocacy campaign. America’s anglers generate more than $48 billion in retail sales with a $115 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for more than 828,000 people.

Ottertail Lake Gives It Up For Baker, Lura Who Used Chubs To Take AIM Warrior Boats/Kovash Marine Open Sunday

Ottertail Lake Gives It Up For Baker, Lura Who Used Chubs To Take AIM Warrior Boats/Kovash Marine Open Sunday


Rigging chubs and jigging shiners was the hot ticket for Dan Baker and Shawn Lura to take the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Warrior Boats/Kovash Marine Open on Minnesota’s Ottertail Lake, earning them $6,500 for 25.23 pounds of walleye.

“This lake’s flats seemed to be the place this early in the season to find the fish,” said AWWS National Tournament Director Denny Fox. And Baker, from Frazee, MN, and partner Lura, from Hawley, MN agreed, as the pair concentrated on the breaks on Ottertail’s north side to put together the winning pattern.

Most of their fish came on rigging chubs, Baker said. “We caught a couple of fish jigging but none that stayed on our card. It seemed the smaller fish were biting on our jigs with shiners.” So when they tried rigging, it was the way to go.

“Our best fish came from 11 feet and out to 15 feet. We tried five spots, and we had a 27 and a 26-incher five minutes apart out of 12 feet of water,” he said. “Only one of us was fishing at the time because we had loons under the boat, as Shawn set the hook on the 27-incher. I think the walleye and loons were working together. He caught the 26-incher about five minutes before that, and he said that the second was a bigger fish.”

Their other fish, he said, ranged from 19 to 23 inches, all from those flats. “The break lines of the flats on the north side of the lake. There’s a lot of flat water there before it breaks into deeper,” he said.

True to the lake’s cold temps and a late ice-out, the fishing seemed to turn on around noon when the water warmed, Baker said. “It would take off, and we caught more of our fish as the day went on.”

“Coming in, we were confident we had a good bag, but didn’t know if we were going to win. When everyone was waiting, we heard about a lot of 16, 17, and 18-pound bags but never heard of anything over 20.”

That’s what’s great about AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ format. “The one with the biggest bag is the winner and there’s no loss of the fish. That 27 we caught at 11 a.m., if it had to sit in the live well four or five hours, you hate to see fish getting stressed out like that,” Baker added.

Baker’s only regret? Not signing up for the Warrior Cash optional to Warrior Boat Owners. That extra check would have been his for winning this tourney in his 2090 Warrior. “That’s one of the things I didn’t get done. It was also my sponsor’s tournament (Kovash Marine), so he was pretty excited about that,” Baker added. That may be remedied in the next three tournaments. Both Baker and Lura will be fishing all four Minnesota qualifiers.

Finishing in second with 19.96 pounds and earning a $2,200 check were brothers Travis and Jake Owens, both of Wahpeton, ND. Not bad for their first AIM tournament.

“We fish a lot of tournaments on Ottertail, and it being there, we wanted in,” Travis said. “Pre-fishing, we had a little wind and fished Friday and Saturday, and then it switched to non-existent, so we knew some spots that would be decent,” he continued.

“We started setting up deep and pitching jigs and minnows, then went to rigging shallow with chubs, and had five fish on the card by 11 a.m., but we needed to upgrade, and decided to check one area that’s good later, and they were there,” he added.

They caught two, a 24 and a 21-3/4-incher. “We really didn’t think we’d be in the top 10. We didn’t know what we had for weight because we were fishing up to the last minute. We added up the card and we then figured we’d be in the top 10 because 19 is pretty good weight for the lake, but that 25.23, that’s a dang good weight. If you have 20 pounds or so you’re sitting pretty good there,” Travis added.

He agreed with the winners that C-R-R is the way to go. “I think every tournament should be that way. It’s easier on the fish and the fishermen because you’re not stressing out trying to keep fish alive, and it’s good for the system.”

In third place with 16.94 pounds and $1,700 richer were Dave Bonsack, Gibbon, MN, and son Jake Bonsack, Royalton, MN. Fourth went to Dave Longtine, West Fargo, ND, and Brian Halvorson, Dilworth, MN, with 16.80 pounds, good for $1,300. Fifth place went to Tyler Wolden and Nate Leininger, both of Miltona, MN. They carded 16.75 pounds, for $1,200.

The next Minnesota gig will be June 10 on 132,000-acre Mille Lacs. Next up, however, is that big payday for one team June 1-2 during the AIM/Warrior Boats National Championship Shootout on Wisconsin’s Chippewa Flowage at beautiful Treland Resort, with that Warrior 1898DC powered by a 150 Yamaha four-stroke and with a Garmin electronics package at stake.

Follow all the action next week, and on June 10 and the remaining Minnesota events at AIM’s Facebook page, and Prochattrr.

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™) is a unique tournament organization created and owned by many of the most accomplished and recognizable professional walleye anglers, along with others who share the mission of advancing competitive walleye fishing and making it sustainable into the future. AIM is committed to marketing excellence on behalf of its tournament competitors, the tournament host communities, and the brands that partner with it. AIM is also committed to maintaining healthy fisheries across the nation by the development of the exclusive AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format which is integral to its dynamic events and unparalleled consumer engagement. For more information about AIM™, AIM Pro Walleye Series™, AIM Weekend Walleye Series, AIM sponsors and AIM anglers, visit

AIM Presenting Sponsors: Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. and Warrior Boats, LLC.

AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, Gemini Sport Marketing, Treeland Resort, Anglers Avenue, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, Fox River Lures and Rods, Bismarck Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau

Slidin’ Into First: Paddletails Win It For Hetletved, Schuck At Devils Lake AWWS North Dakota Divisional Qualifier

Presented by Yamaha Motor Corp USA and Warrior Boats LLC.

Slidin’ Into First: Paddletails Win It For Hetletved, Schuck At Devils Lake AWWS North Dakota Divisional Qualifier


A ball player doesn’t usually slide into first, but for Kyle Hetletved and partner Aaron Schuck, Slider paddletail plastics got it done on Devils Lake Sunday, as the pair slid into first and a win worth $4,000 in the AIM Weekend Walleye Series Warrior Boats/Woodland Marine Open.

“Devils Lake lived up to its name, and the predictions that this would be a pretty shallow bite did too,” said AWWS National Tournament Director Denny Fox.

That was confirmed by Hetletved, of Langdon, North Dakota and Schuck, of Bismarck, who stayed all day in Pelican Lake, at Devils Lake’s northwest end. Hetletved is pretty familiar with Devils and has a camp on the west side. This was only his second AIM tournament. They had a mixed pre-fish, with some days very good, but on the Saturday prior to the event, not so much. “We got only one walleye,” Hetletved said. “It was slow because of that cold front and I think there may have been a bug hatch too.”

The pair turned their Mercury Verado-powered boat into the bay and began casting the rocky shallows with jigs and those Slider paddletails, keeping their boat in eight to 10 feet of water. “We got a 24-incher first, then a 21, I believe, and two 20s in a row, then went to our other spot and got a 24, and went to our last spot and caught two 23-inchers,” Hetletved said.

“We caught them pretty quick, within a couple of casts. I caught one and then Aaron caught one. I thought we’d need a 26 or 27, and I caught one pre-fishing,” he said. Then the excitement of potentially finishing in the money got in the way, he admitted.

“We started working our jigs way faster than we should have been and didn’t catch another one. That turned out to be enough but I didn’t think it would be,” he said, at least at first, until they mentally added up their card back on land. They ended officially with 26.14 pounds.

“Aaron was up getting the trailer and was talking to a few others and it didn’t sound like people were doing that great, and he came back and said ‘I think we might have a shot at this.’”

“I didn’t talk to a whole lot, but once we heard that fifth place was about 18 pounds, and I knew one boat had 22, I thought, well, maybe we do have a shot,” Hetletved said.

Devils Lake’s water level, which was down at least four feet from last year’s AIM tourney when they finished sixth didn’t bother them too much. “You just had to slide out a bit deeper. But it seemed to work okay, the fish were still there,” he said. Hetletved also praised AIM’s Catch-Record-Release™ format. “Other contests on the lake aren’t and I wish they were. I really like how this is set up, let the big ones go and hopefully you can catch them again.”

For the second-place team of Travis Clemens, of Velva, ND, and Jason Ramberg, also from Langdon, it was a two-peat in Clemens’ Nitro ZV21, powered by a 350 Verado a boat/motor combo that he only got the Tuesday before the tournament. They also finished second last year. Having lived in Devils Lake about 15 years, he knew where to go, and that too, was Pelican. This year, their 22.64 pounds of ‘eye was good for a $2,000 check.  The winds, which blew up to 40mph earlier in the week, made a tough pre-fish, he said.

“The weather was cold and the water dropped 15 degrees beginning the Wednesday before. I knew the wind was going to switch so we knew it was going to be a tough bite,” Clemens said. “Last year we had around 29 pounds for second. I fish Devils a lot and usually first is around 30 pounds. And, we only weighed four fish. We caught five but one was too small, only about 10 inches. Our first fish came about 10 a.m. and was about 23.”

Pelican Lake, he said, is a water body he describes as “having a lot of places to wreck a boat.” Especially that new Nitro. They fished five to six feet of water with Berkley Gulp splittails, which totally out-fished the live leeches they also brought with them. Crank baits didn’t do it, either.

They concentrated on the lakes’ cattails. “It’s mud and we felt a lot of the fish were eating small minnows and laying in the mud when there’s a cold front because the bottom will warm up faster. We caught our first weigh fish after 10 a.m. when the water warmed a bit,” he said.

One more run to their second cattail spot had them scrambling until they found fish. “We caught our biggest fish, a 28-1/2-incher, and then our last fish was about 21-1/2.”

Clemens says he plans to enter the remaining North Dakota AIM tournaments for a chance at heading to Bismarck for next year’s National Championship Shootout. “I fish the Missouri so I’m looking forward to it. That’s where the new state record was caught so there could be some good fishing there,” he added. That 15-pound, 13-ounce hawg walter taken May 18 near Bismarck’s Fox Island boat ramp hopefully has a cousin or three willing to be caught and released next June.

Here’s how the rest of the top five fared: Third place and $1,500 went to Scott Larson, Mayville, ND, and Jason Anderson, West Fargo, ND, for 18.83 pounds. In fourth, Jeremy Sandvik, Devils Lake, ND, and Forrest Balvitsch, Grand Forks, ND, close behind with 18.55 pounds, for $1,250. Fifth place and $1,000 went to Kyle Olson, Cando, ND, and Brandon Moren, Pierz, MN, for 17.82 pounds.

Next up in North Dakota is Lake Sakakawea at New Town, on the west end of that giant water body, on June 17. But, not before June 1 and 2, and the 2018 AIM Warrior Boats National Championship Shootout, taking place on Wisconsin’s Chippewa Flowage at beautiful Treland Resort. Watch AIM’s Facebook page and ProChattrr for complete daily coverage to see who goes home with that $50,000 Warrior V1898DC/Yamaha four-stroke/Garmin electronics package. Stay tuned.

Anglers Insight Marketing LLC (AIM™) is a unique tournament organization created and owned by many of the most accomplished and recognizable professional walleye anglers, along with others who share the mission of advancing competitive walleye fishing and making it sustainable into the future. AIM is committed to marketing excellence on behalf of its tournament competitors, the tournament host communities, and the brands that partner with it. AIM is also committed to maintaining healthy fisheries across the nation by the development of the exclusive AIM Catch-Record-Release™ format which is integral to its dynamic events and unparalleled consumer engagement. For more information about AIM™, AIM Pro Walleye Series™, AIM Weekend Walleye Series, AIM sponsors and AIM anglers, visit

AIM Presenting Sponsors: Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S.A. and Warrior Boats, LLC.

AIM Supporting Sponsors: Mercury Marine, Nitro Boats, Garmin, Navionics, Power Pole, Worldwide Marine Insurance, AirWave Pedestals, Off Shore Tackle, Vibrations Tackle, Pro Chattrr, Gemini Sport Marketing, Treeland Resort, Anglers Avenue, Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow, JT Outdoors Products, Fox River Lures and Rods, Bismarck Mandan Convention and Visitors Bureau

Invitation to Participate in Starry Trek 2018

Partnership Opportunity

University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) are again planning a coordinated, statewide search effort—Starry Trek—to identify new populations of the invasive green alga starry stonewort. We are also partnering with colleagues from University of Wisconsin Extension to make this a two-state effort. This is our second year organizing this event and we hope that you will join us as a local coordinator for volunteers in your area. This year Starry Trek will take place on Saturday, August 18th, 2018. If you would like to join us as a local host this year, there is a link to a form to complete at the bottom of this message.


More about Starry Trek

After new discoveries of starry stonewort in Minnesota lakes in 2016, UMN Extension and MAISRC organized the first Starry Trek in August 2017 to engage community volunteers to meet at local hubs, undergo a brief training by local host coordinators, and then be sent out to area lakes (public accesses) in pairs or small groups to implement a standardized shoreline search protocol. While this effort primarily targets starry stonewort, it also provides an opportunity to locate new records of other AIS as well; therefore, training materials cover other AIS that volunteers may be likely to come across. At the end of the day, volunteers return to their rendezvous point with completed datasheets and specimens of possible AIS where local hosts process these materials and report findings through the online portal EDDMapS. Last year volunteers participating in this event discovered the then 10th known infestation of starry stonewort in Minnesota enabling the local lake association and DNR to begin a rapid response control effort.


What Extension/MAISRC will provide

  • AIS monitoring kits: Rakes, rope, free tote bags for volunteers, boot brushes for AIS removal, waterproof labels for collected specimens, etc. [note, if you participated in Starry Trek last year, you will be expected to use the same equipment provided to you then (not including consumables)]
  • Local host coordinator training: Detailed information on how to coordinate local rendezvous sites and volunteer protocols will be presented via webinar and accompanying handouts.
  • Logistical support: We will work with coordinators ahead of time and be available on the day itself for questions that arise.
  • Standardized monitoring protocols for volunteers: These have been developed jointly by University of Minnesota and University of Wisconsin Extension programs focused on AIS.
  • Statewide promotion of the activity: We will use our networks to help recruit volunteers and refer them to local hosts in their areas and will manage statewide sign-up and registration of volunteers.


What we ask of hosts

  • Attend host training: Either by attending the live webinar or by viewing an online archive.
  • Commit to be available August 18, 2018 (and hold August 19th as a rain day): To train volunteers, staff your rendezvous location, and handle intake of specimens/datasheets. We anticipate the day starting by 8 AM and ending by 1 PM.
  • Provide input on search locations: We will use existing lake datasets and input from local host coordinators to prioritize locations for volunteers to search.
  • Communicate results: Enter information from volunteer datasheets into EDDMapS,  identify and/or ship specimens to Extension/MAISRC/DNR
  • Miscellaneous hosting duties: Perform some printing of materials to provide to to volunteers, offer modest refreshments (e.g., bottles of water, snacks).
  • Local promotion of the activity: Use your networks to recruit and engage volunteers.


Would you be interested in helping to coordinate this Starry Trek enterprise?

  • If so, please follow this link to provide further information: Starry Trek local coordinator form to provide us more information about yourself, your organization, and sites you feel should be targeted during monitoring efforts.
  • Please complete the form by June 7, 2018.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have.


Thank you!!


Major Update to Bahamas Charts Released

Major Update to Bahamas Charts Released

Major Update to Bahamas Charts Released

With the acquisition of Wavey Line Charts, Navionics gained a large amount of valuable data for the Bahamas. Our expert cartography team went right to work, as part of ongoing product enhancement, to analyze and process Wavey Line’s extensive surveys and proprietary charts. After applying cutting-edge technologies and specialized processing skills to integrate the new data with other sources, the results are being released within Navionics’ high-quality chart coverage of the area.

The result of this effort is amazing and is already available as updates to the islands south of the archipelago, including Turks & Caicos, Ragged, Mayaguana, Samana, Plana Cay, Crooked & Acklins, Inagua, Jumentos, Long Island, Exuma, Conception, Cat, Little San Salvador and Eleuthera South.Additional areas will be released in the coming weeks.

Updated content includes, but is not limited to, spot soundings, obstructions, bathymetry, coastline adjustments, reefs & rocks, shallow waters, wrecks, dry areas, depth contours, and navaids. Reefs are now more clearly visible due to a new presentation designed specifically for this type of chart feature.

See the improvements now

Browse your areas of interest on our Chart Viewer and check out some examples here below and judge for yourself:

How to get these updates and enjoy Navionics advanced features

• On plotter: choose Navionics+ US & Canada or Caribbean & S. America, or Platinum+ 906P+, 908P+, or 699P+. If you already have an active subscription, plug your card into a PC (learn more). If you have our Boating app, you can update your plotter card wirelessly with Plotter Sync.
• On mobile: download free Navionics Boating Marine & Lakes app that provides a 2-week free trial or the paid apps US & Canada or Caribbean & South America! If you already have an active subscription, open the app and tap Menu > Update All.

Renew your subscription

• On plotter: choose one of the available options to easily renew, by simply clicking here.
• On mobile: open the app, tap Menu > Charts & Upgrades.


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