LORAIN — Over 30 of the top walleye anglers in the Midwest will be trolling the waters of Lake Erie beginning today as the AIM Pro Walleye Series makes its first stop at Black River Landing.
Lorain is the second stop of the season for the four-year-old series and the first time the series has fished the waters of Lake Erie.
“One of our top pros, Mark Brumbaugh, is from Ohio and he first brought up the idea of bringing the series to Lake Erie,” series president Joe Baron said. “And the people from the Lorain County Visitors Bureau and the Lorain Port Authority were instrumental in making this happen.”
Baron said the tour stops are scheduled to coincide with the best fishing times in each region and Baron said that there is a good chance the series record 3-day catch of 139.46 pounds set by Brumbaugh, a resident of Arcanum, in 2010, could fall this weekend.
The AIM Pro Walleye Series uses a catch-record-release format that is both environmentally friendly and rewards anglers for all of their daily catches. In some waters, fishermen are limited in both the number and size of walleye they can capture. The catch-record-release system allows anglers to record all of their catches without regard to bag limits or protective slots.
Each competitor will measure and photograph each of their catches before releasing the fish back into Lake Erie. At the end of the day, the top seven catches will be used for scoring purposes.
Each day, the boats will leave Black River Wharf at 7:30 AM and return no later than 3:30 PM to have their catch recorded and digitally verified. The anglers are free to travel anywhere in the territorial waters of Lake Erie in search of the biggest walleye.
“The bigger fish migrate west to east in Lake Erie,” Baron said. “But we’ve heard there are also a lot of big fish east of here as well. Some of these guys have been here 7-10 days already fishing the area waters.”
For the professionals who have traveled from as far as South Dakota to take part in the event, walleye fishing can put food on the table all year long. After winning the first event of the season in Brimley, Mich., current series leader Scott Duncan earned over $46,000.
Although some of the pros have fished Lake Erie in other series, for others, it will be their first time competing in the southernmost Great Lake.
“I got some advice from some of my friends who have been here before. Other than that, I am just going to trust what the guys at Erie Outfitters said,” said Bruce Samson, a 25-year veteran of the walleye circuit from Minneapolis. “The great equalizer is the catch-record-release system because it allows you to count all your fish. So that means the best fishermen will win, not the luckiest.”
The 63-year-old Samson finished 14th in the opening event of the year.
Each day of the tournament, the weigh-in festivities will be held at 5 p.m. at Black River Landing.
In addition, the pros will be on hand to meet the public and sign autographs. On Saturday, a children’s fishing clinic will be held at 4 p.m.
The event can also be followed on www.aimfishing.com.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.