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NPAA Member Mike Gofron Wins AIM Oahe Tournament

NPAA Member Mike Gofron #93 rode a consistent main-lake pattern to victory in the Anglers Insight Marketing (AIM) Pro Walleye Series tournament on Lake Oahe and the Missouri River at Akaska, South Dakota, August 13-15. It was the fourth major tournament victory for the decorated touring pro known as “Mr. Consistency.”

“I've always enjoyed the Missouri River system, and after a few days of pre-fishing knew I needed to catch good numbers of fish to be consistent,” said Gofron, of Antioch, Illinois.

Though Gofron’s favorite presentation is walleye finesse jigging, he dialed in a bottom-bouncer program on a series of fish-rich main-lake points in 15 to 30 feet of water. True to form for reservoir walleyes, the fish forced him to move around in search mode a bit each day. After marking his quarry on sonar, Gofron pulled a half crawler impaled on a Tru-Turn hook at .4 to .8 mph. A 4- to 5-foot leader of 10-pound-test Berkley Trilene XT with 10/4 FireLine mainline rounded out the go-to rig.

One of Gofron’s key techniques was after marking what he deemed a “good” fish, he would slow down to entice the bite. The strategy helped him put together a total of 407 inches of walleyes in AIM’s innovative Catch-Record-Release format, good for 61.18 pounds and a $30,000 first-place check. His sponsors include: Lund Boats, Mercury, Motorguide, Carhartt, Halings Marine, Glyde Ryde, Triangle Sports Shop, Plano, Navionics, Lowrance, Northland Fishing Tackle, Rapala, and Berkley.

NPAA Member, Todd Riley #19 placed third with 400.75 inches and 58.08 pounds. Riley’s consist pattern was similar to Gofron’s, contacting big numbers of fish each day. In all, NPAA Members claimed nine of the top 10 places—yet another impressive showing on the AIM trail. Association members dominated the Saginaw Bay tourney in May, capturing the top 24 spots, and took nine of the top 10 places at Green Bay in July.

Another highlight of the Akaska event was the youth clinic presented by AIM and the NPAA on Saturday at 4 p.m. NPAA members Dennis Gulau #504 and Jesse Buechel #711 conducted a seminar attended by roughly 65 enthusiastic young anglers and their parents.

Next stop on the AIM circuit is the International Walleye Championship on Lake Winnibigoshish out of Deer River, Minnesota, September 2-4. For more information, visit The NPAA is dedicated to improving and bringing professionalism to the sport of walleye fishing. Membership is open to all anglers wishing to become affiliated and learn more about tactics, sponsorships, the industry, youth events, and to help grow fishing participation. NPAA supporting partners who share the same goals include Northland Fishing Tackle, Navionics, Mercury Marine, Evinrude Outboards, Lund Boats, Ranger Boats, Off-Shore Tackle, Fin-tech Tackle, Berkley, Bartness Industries, Walleye’s Inc., Greater Insurance Services, Masters Walleye Circuit, Anglers Insight Marketing, and FLW Outdoors. To learn more about the NPAA and its members go to

Top 10 AIM finishers with their NPAA number:

1. Mike Gofron #93

3. Todd Riley #19

4. Gary Parsons #24

5. Chase Parsons #806

6. Mike McMaken #97

7. Dave A. Anderson #509

8. Mark Martin #226

9. Mark Brumbaugh #70

10. Tom Kemos #913


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