Walleye anglers test waters in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Walleye anglers test waters in Dubuque

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Professional walleye anglers test the Mississippi River waters Tuesday, before the tournament kicks off Wednesday. Professional walleye anglers test the Mississippi River waters Tuesday, before the tournament kicks off Wednesday.
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

More than 120 walleye anglers will be dropping their lines in the Mississippi River Wednesday for an AIM Pro Walleye Series pro-am tournament.

Anglers from all over the country have come to Dubuque days before the tournament to scope the river, including professional walleye angler Marianne Huskey.

"I'm the only female that fishes a pro-am format, which is one professional and one amateur," Huskey said on her boat Tuesday morning, as she canvassed the Mississippi River near Schmitt Island in Dubuque.

"When I first started doing this, people said, 'You're getting involved with the Good Old Boys sport,' and, 'You know, Marianne, I don't know how well this is going to go, good or bad,'" she said. "Actually, it's been the best experience of my life, and the guys that I fish with are some of my best friends."

She and her fellow anglers won't be keeping any of their fish this tournament.

"We were actually able to fish the Mississippi this time of year because of our format," Huskey said. "We do what's called CRR, which is catch, record, release."

Anglers snap a photo of their catch next to a measuring stick before releasing them. Pictures of their seven biggest fish make the weigh-in at the end of the day.

The catching, however, is proving difficult, professional walleye angler Scott Duncan said Tuesday, while on the river.

"I was expecting the bite to be a little bit better than it was. It's been tough, with the high water coming in. As it's been receding, we've been getting a few more fish. Not a lot," Duncan said.

These pros said the locals competing in the tournament may have a leg-up.

"They know this river better than anybody, which gives you a little bit of confidence," Huskey said. "I have a very big feeling that we're going to get schooled by these guys."

That, however, only seems to further propel the competition.

"We're all after first prize," Duncan said. "Second place is the first loser, so we're all here to win."

"I wish everybody the best of luck, and we're going to have a great time," Huskey said.

The tournament spans Wednesday through Friday.

The Dubuque Convention and Visitors Bureau said the economic impact on the Dubuque area for hosting this even is nearly $600,000.

To watch the weigh-in online each evening, click HERE.

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