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Ultimate Angler – Aaron Weibe

Aaron Weibe:

“Fishing is like a 10 hour full body massage.”

Different people have different ways of relaxing. Some folks like a full body massage. Twenty-year-old Aaron Weibe, who calls

Winnipeg home, calls fishing a full body massage. “It’s like full time relaxing, spending all of my resources getting myself outside into nature, enjoying myself a lot. It’s like a 10-hour massage on my whole body. If I can work it, I am always doing what I want to do.

 

“I have a lot of trouble keeping a real job,” said a laughing Weibe. “If an employer doesn’t agree with my fishing schedule, I’m forced to quit the job.”

Weibe is not a fishing guide, although he has tried guiding as a profession on different bodies of water in Northwestern Ontario, northern Manitoba, and

Saskatchewan. “Things weren’t going as well as I would like them to have in the guiding (business),” says Weibe. It could be that his clients didn’t have the dedication he has to the sport. He decided to try tournament fishing this summer.

Weibe earned the Ultimate Angler honors in the Bounty Fishing Tournament, pocketing almost $20,000, fishing almost full time for six weeks; he missed the first three weeks while making up his mind that guiding wasn’t his thing.

“I am always going, going, going. I rough it pretty hard. Sometimes when I am fishing pretty hard I am not thinking about eating, sleeping, that kind of thing.”

He describes a normal fishing day. “I come back home, enter my fish (in the tournament), go to the tackle store, stock up, and do whatever else I need to do.” Then it’s back out on the water. It might be 11:30 p.m., midnight, when he backs his boat into the water. “It doesn’t really matter what time it is. I throw my lines out and fish. If I fall asleep, I fall asleep and sleep for a few hours in my boat.” Once he hooks another good fish, he comes home, enters the new fish and starts the cycle all over again.

When not catching a few winks in his boat, he sleeps in his vehicle wherever he is fishing. “It’s not like I need a motel; it doesn’t matter to me. I finish where I want to finish on the lake after dark. I have a short sleep and start fishing wherever I want to be. I don’t have to drive all over the lake, go find a hotel.”

Weibe, who is not married, is also a solo angler most of the time. As he says it’s not that he doesn’t want to fish with friends, but they can’t keep up with him. “They slow me down. They couldn’t handle a whole day on the water, handle bad weather, not eating regular meals, not sleeping in normal places…that kind of thing. They are just not hard-core fishermen the way I am. It takes the focus off what’s going on. In a tournament you need to put in the time to get it done. I work hard and it pays off.”

The Bounty Tournament’s diverse fish categories are the exact fit for Weibe. “If I wasn’t fishing the tournament I would be fishing for something different on every single trip. I like to try different things on different bodies of water. It’s like I done it and now I want to try something else. It’s not like I’m bored with it, but I like to see new water, new species. In the tournament I have to get more focused, what’s makes the most sense to fish.”

Aaron and Greg , Two Serious Competitors

Aaron Wiebe and Greg Amiel, consistent Bounty collectors in the Salmon, Catfish/Carp, and Panfish categories share some of their ideas on what has made them successful.

Greg Amiel, 34 years old, lives in Richmond Hill in

Ontario. Before he became hooked on Bounty Fishing he fished once or twice a week. During the tournament he fished almost every day. He says there are 50 lakes within three hours of his house that he knows like the back of his hand.Greg Amiel

You would have to call Amiel a “salmon master.” On the last day of the summer tournament, Amiel caught a 31-pound salmon that brought in an additional $1,000 Bounty reward to the money he has already won over the past weeks.

“I was by myself and had two fish on at the same time. So, I fought the bigger one first, of course.” The other fish stayed on the line long enough to land it later. “That was still a nice fish, 15-20 pounds.”

Amiel’s key to success: “Really important to be at the right depth, right color to catch fish.”

“Just like us, humans, some days you want to wear blue jeans and other days you want to dress up nice. The fish are the same way. Some days they want to eat green flies and some days they want something else. Depending on the pattern, water temperature, depths…everything makes a difference. If you clue into these little patterns you end up picking up a lot more fish.”

Greg Amiel Musky

His confidence rig for salmon is a combination of a Dipsy Diver, flasher and a fly. “The Dipsy drives your line down deep. Salmon are a deep-water fish. The flasher rotates creating a lot of flash and disturbance in the water, attracts the fish. The fly is what they actually hit on. It’s a long eight-foot trolling setup. That rig has won me a lot of money.”

 

 

Aaron Wiebe has made his money in the Catfish/Carp (channel catfish) and Panfish (black crappie) Bounty categories. Wiebe, 20 years old, makes his living guiding and fishing tournaments. His biggest channel cat, a personal record, measured 41 inches.

“I use more natural baits,” for the catfish, “such as cut bait from the natural bait fish that are running in the lakes or rivers that I fish,” says Wiebe. “Frogs work really good in late summer. Shrimp works all year too, those big tiger shrimp you can buy in grocery stores, fished right on the bottom.”

He explains how he catches black crappie, weeding out the bigger fish from the smaller fish. “I use a lot of small plastics, hair jigs, feather jigs. I have been doing better on bigger fish with small crankbaits. They (crankbaits) have really been good for weeding out the bigger fish. If you get on a “super” school you could sit there and catch crappie all day, or you can use something bigger and key in on the bigger fish. It just saves a lot of time.”

He uses an open face spinning rod and reel to catch his crappie. “Right now they are moving into wintering locations and are in deeper water.” The fish are anywhere from 8 – 12 feet deep in 25 -30 feet of water.

“You can’t get small cranks down real deep, but you can get small cranks down 8 or 9 feet,” continues Wiebe. “When I am trolling or casting I lean over so the whole rod is in the water right up to the cork. Your tip of the rod is already down five feet into the water and the crankbait will go down another 4 or 5 feet; you are in the money. That makes a huge difference.”

Aaron Wiebe and Greg Amiel…super Bounty anglers. Look for them again in the fall tournament.