OutdoorsFIRST has been fielding questions regarding the the AIM Catch, Record and Release (CRR) format and it's implementation.
Here's our take - and explanation.
Fish for length, but think in weight. Forget worrying about the accuracy of the converted weights and girth, etc. You are not fishing for the outwardly heaviest fish any more - you are fishing for inches, and the formula weight of that fish based upon the length measurement. Not total inches, but inches on a fish-by-fish basis.
That is because each fish length is converted to weight according to a standard walleye weight curve (WI DNR), and overall scoring is based upon the cumulative weight. However since the conversion is based upon a length measurement, the conversion will guarantee that longer fish will always weigh more, thereby scoring higher. I would not be surprised to see anglers using calculators or conversion charts in future AIM events to keep a running tally of their converted weights.
In reading some of the reactions out there it appears that some fans have just been over-thinking the system. I have read how some question the system because the conversion does not take the girth and status (pre vs post spawn) into account. Again, in the past you have been fishing for absolute weight. One could actually argue that the "old" system was unfair, because you could catch a fat 22" fish that weighed more than a longer 23" fish. It's all about perspective.
The system doesn't change the type of fish you would target in a non-slot tournament. Because the length is converted to a weight, you will still value the one 25-inch walleye over the three 14 inchers, because the three small fish, even though they total 42", won't weigh as much as a single 25 incher.