Great Lakes Angler Blog

Husband/Wife Team wins New York Walleye Tournament

Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Share |

DUNKIRK, NY – A  fishing team made up of two couples won the AMARA-CAN  Walleye Classic, one of the bigger tournaments on Lake Erie, this past weekend.  The event was hosted by the New York Walleye Association.  Team Innovative Outdoors consists of Jim and Kim Skoczylas, of Sheldon, New York and Jim and Diane Steel, of Alexander, New York. The tournament took place on Lake Erie and ran out of the City of Dunkirk harbor on July 7 and 8.

The team began fishing on Thursday with Jim and Diane's daughters, Katie & Ashley Stanley on Thursday to prepare for the upcoming tournament.  On Thursday, Ashley, 10 years old, brought in a 10 lb walleye. The team fished again on Friday and caught 13 fish.  Whenthe tournament began Saturday, Team Innovative Outdoors was in Group B.  This group was allowed to fish from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..  Each team is allowed to weigh in a maximum of five fish per day with a minimum length of 20 inches each. Their total weight for Saturday was 42.58 pounds,  enough weight tolead the 82-boat field.  Most of their fish were caught using lead core line and Torpedo Divers on worm harnesses, some of which they make themselves. Sunday morning, Group B departed at 7 and had to be back in to weigh at 2pm. The team was excited and nervous going into day two knowing that in a lot of years, the leader on the first day doesn't actually win the tournament.  The team stuck to their same program and same location as the days before.  They ran out East of Dunkirk and were fishing in about 80 feet of water.  The day became even more stressful when they had not caught any fish in the first two hours.  The tension on the boat was definitely higher.  Thankfully the bite turned on and the team caught some nice fish.  The team weighed in another 5 fish for a 2nd day total of 37.72.  Their two day total for 10 fish was 80.30 lbs.  They were unsure if this would be enough to win the tournament. After the teams from Group B weighed in they were still in the lead but still very nervous.  They team kept their fingers crossed and waited for Group A to arrive back at the docks and weigh in a hour after them.  They not so patiently waited for the official results.  The team was ecstatic when they learned they had just enough to take 1st place and $2,350 in prize money.  The team was presented with the trophy and prize money by the City of Dunkirk mayor. This was the team's (and team members) very first tournament win.  The 2nd place team had 79.96 lbs. There were cash payouts for the top 10 teams as well as the biggest fish of each day.  The Wavetamer team lead by Captain Don Ruppert weighted in the biggest fish on Saturday at 10.38 lbs.  On Sunday, Jeremiah Crowe weighed in the biggest fish of the tournament to take the prize.

Jim and Jim are the founders of Innovative Outdoors, a local hunting and fishing supply company they recently started a few months ago.  They are focused on bringing the latest and greatest hunting and fishing products to the WNY area.  They are currently endorsing and selling a full line of Torpedo Products and Traxstech Fishing Systems.  Torpedo Products consist of Torpedo Divers, a full line of snap swivels, trolling wire and roller tips.  Torpedo Products are designed to maximize your fishing experience.  They promise to be innovative and provide real fishing solutions.  Traxstech has a full line of tracks, rod holders and downrigger mounts.  Just this year they revealed their new high-tech downrigger.  Traxstech are focused on outfitting boats to gain maximum effectiveness to fish better.  Having a well laid out boat allows your fishing equipment to improve your technique and presentation.  For more information about these products or Innovative Outdoors, contact them at

In the past five years, Jim and Jim have rapidly advanced their fishing to a new level.  They were fishing mostly for fun in small open boats.  Last year Jim & Jim decided to take their fishing passion one step further and get their U.S. Coast Guard Masters Captain's Licenses so they could take others out fishing too.  Since then they have purchased bigger boats and started the process to take their passion from fun to a part-time business.  They also began concentrating on more tournament fishing as well.  Jim Skoczylas, owner of Ultimate Adventures Sportfishing, captains a 26' Baha.   Jim Steel, owner  of Dream Catcher Sportfishing  captains a 23' Grady White.  For more charter information, you can contact Jim & Jim at the email address for Innovative Outdoors above.

Innovative Outdoors is very proud of this accomplishment.  It took great teamwork to get where they are.  Jim and Jim are seasoned fishermen of multiple species and have been fishing for many years. A few years ago their wives began fishing with them.  Even though Jim and Jim had fished this tournament for years, just last year the two couples fished this tournament together for the first time.  In a predominately male sport, it is exciting to see more women getting involved.  The second place team after day one was also made up of two couples, Chuck, Ruth, Chuck and Casey Mohr of Team Lake Affect.  They hope to inspire more women, more couples and more families to spend their time together out fishing too.


Recent Posts


Spreads ChartSelect Lighting Navigation Quantum HELLA Coleman WileyX Bass Pro Shops Four-Person Dome Tent with Screen Porch CMP Global Orca Fin System Wild River series Bug bite relief Bass lure LineSnubber Bristol Bay Holland Mazurek thieves Minnesota Indiana DNR Lake Superior PRADCO Boating Traxstech Tommy Skarlis Silver Horde Volvo Penta Bait Rigs Whale ABT Jerky Apps Brown trout Bait head CLASSIC Boat maintenance Muskie Lure Triton Boats Fish Hawk XD4 Tournament Venice, Louisiana dock lines Bug repellent Sunstream Boat Lifts Ultimate Flannel Shirts Rovermax LR 100 Aqualuma Dave Mull Blog BOLT Padlock Deck Plate Nautical Multi-species Rushton Gregory Fishing bimini top 360 Bob Schmidt Tom Neustrom Brian Brosdahl Manistee USSA Husky Jerk USCGA DSC Innovative Outdoors Vick Z-Man Airmar Macho Minnow Lake Michigan Headgear Aquatic AV Reese binoculars Extended Warranty Trout Unlimited New York Faria Absolute Outdoor, Inc. Storage Costa Del Mar Flat Slider 75 Northland Topwater boat rental Video Autotether mudsnail Mike Seymour TRAC Rugged Shark Soo Locks Lake Ontario Shock Wave Ditch radar Sharpeners Smart Guide to Freshwater Fishing Personal Flotation Device Beckson Marine Wounded Warriors Moisture Muncher thieves trailer tongue Radial VMC B.A.S.S. fitness Blue Heron Communications Electronics Titan Chain Dollahon BoatUS Iaconelli Batteries Patrick Hurst La Mar Gunnison, CO Traditions Media Ultracoat Foul weather gear Buff Free Fishing Weekend JBL Size limits Speakers Odd'ball Fin Spin Turning Point Props Andrew Dordek Hobie Pro Angler Costa USO iPhone Lowrance Louie Stout Yamaha ATV Cannon Shelter Downriggers Boating safety sunglass MWC CUSTOM JIGS 'N' SPINS Chaco TRAC Ecological DuraSafe treestand injury Lake Huron Stabenow Shipping Bass fishing Cliff Pace ABT X-2 Countdown Skarlis Slide Moor Youth Davis Instruments Bro Brosdahl Aqua Vu Kill switch Gary Giudice Fiberglass boat Boat lifts Thermacell tackle storage Scott Glorvigen Fiberglass tiller Bethel University Streams Swim Whizz Marsh Madness Safe boating iPilot hardbaits Normark Milennia MIL-iDock Chatterbait Prosepec Electronics Plano Synergy Trade Shows Weather Buoy Games Brandon Newby Scholarship Lures Grunden's Strike King ice fishing, Bro Show, Traditions Media Pro Polish Green Bay, Wisconsin Lights exotic species Scott Martin Custom Jigs & Spins Rough Weather Ascend Betsy Hevi-Beads Black Velvet Fish America Foundation Home Port Marine Marketing Ryan Wilson Walleye tournament LakeMaster Western States Version Endura Boat Covers New Lures Monel Metal Ranger VS1780 SeaEra QC Power BASSMASTER CLASSIC Safety Kindle book RAT FINKEE Gill NA Telescoping JIggler Long Rod tree stand injury Swim bait Synergy Outdoors Humminbird High school bass fishing Gear exotic invader Tides spinning rod jigs Launch ramp Snow-Shoe Tip-Up redfish Shurhold Mark Chmura Traditions Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel EZ Dock Glorvigen Insect repellent blue marlin Minn Kota SOG Smartfind S20 Personal AIS Beacon Tip-Up Bheestie Bag weather Sportsman's rights Fishouflage Conservation Marathon Aluminum Deep V Series Bristol Bay Salmon Lip-Stix Gary Dollahon Dollohan Onyx Church Tackle John E. Phillips 580P lenses OHIO Wake Fishing Soul5 Tackle Labs Dogs Berkley Kurt Mazurek Side Thruster Olcott, NY EVOLVE FISHING CO Todd Sokolow Oculus Alabama Rig Bait Holder Brite Wash Mack's Lures MULL BLOG University of Buffalo Rapala Marine NewsWire Hamlin Port of Indiana Water Buddies Swedish FireKnife Lakemaster Lake Erie Pharmaceuticals Uncle Norm's Mr. Twister Boat US Ice Fishing Beckson Marine Stowaway Bag Plates and Kits spoon Marcum Tournament Grade Circle Hooks Clay Dyer Catch & Cook Mag Light Lock Costa Sunglasses Dave Mull eZSplice Earth Day Michigan GPS Speedometer Ranger Frabill Footwear Clam KVD PFDs Honda ATV Ryan Kleckner Walleye PulseTech Mark Zona Evolve great lakes 1675 Pro Guide Crankbait Net ONIX Line Recycle Bin Mystery Tackle Box spreader light inReach Marine General Okuma Team Aqua-Vu Multitools Dan Egan Alaska Knives Rig'N Tails Forage Minnow News/Social Mary Snyder Tim Popfinger Plano Tackle Boxes Interlux marlin YUMphibian YUM Ranger Aluminum Deep V Series Green Bay Optima Michigan City, Indiana On board trailer tongue splice Practical Sailor Rain gear KVD Speedbag Wormfile Angler 175T Coleman cooler Homeport Marine Marketing Tackle Bag Larson Electronics JVD Angler InvisaSnap Keep Kool Grand Rapids Ultimate Outdoors Show Lake Assault Ranger Boats award Raritan Reef Runner PLB Barry Brown Marine Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo Wildlife Forever Accessories Lake of the Woods Kevin VanDam Air show Hobie Niagara Falls Catfish Jack Links Smart Guide Publications Izaak Walton League iPad Muscle Squared 65 cruzin Gene Larew Beckson Marine Deck Plate Bass Pro Shops Gift Card AmVets Army Corp of Engineers Matt Straw St. Croix DuraSafe Electronics Lock Brian "Bro" Brosdahl Great Lakes Troller Sphaera Fort Wayne, Indiana ASA Baitcast Fishing Pole BBQ Lighter MATE USA Marine Speakers Chargers Goby Lake trout Plano Dave Genz Audio Marine Radio St. Croix Rods Spencer Yachts clubs Invasive species F-Series Storm Gear Soft Jigwobbler Oakley Sunglasses Black Earth Creek Radio Knife sharpening Wisconsin MUSHING Chicago barrier Full Throttle ODNR Tournaments Technology U.S.S.A. ShowSpan River Fishing Salmon Unlimited of Illinois Sunglasses Jeff's Tackle Shop IGFA McMurdo Corey Schmidt Masters Walleye Circuit Glacier Glove Micro-Mobile Pro Viewing Case New Zealand Skamania Mania Chronglobal Alaskan WeatherStation Whale Pumps Martin-Flory Bibs Oshkosh Lead Shoes Boat names Matt Serbenski Insurance BoatUS Angler Wedding Ring Andrew Semprevivo Brad's Lund Boats Ethanol iPilot Link Blue Collar Outdoors Global Spectrum Rods Northwest Indiana Steelheaders Boga Bass Salmon Ravenswood Media Deep Sea Diver Princecraft Grab Rail Pop-Up LED Bowlights Camera mount Hunting Bass Pro Torpedo Divers Mustad Tight Lines Jewelry METS Aqua-Vu Tools Wind Power NMEA Acme Coast Guard News Personal Flotation Devices Jonathon VanDam Contest Dogwood Canyon Trail Runs Promise Keeper FLW Kayaks Side Imaging theft YUM Dinger Delorme Dunkirk, NY Evinrude Legend Extreme Accon Marine Serious Shine Yamaha Magnum Flow-Troll Ice Features RedHead South Haven, Michigan EZ BoatPort STRATTEC Records The Harry Lure Big Bear Products SeaLife Cameras Walleyes Simrad Cabela's LCWCC NAIFC Championship Bass Pro Shops WFN toilet Whistler Spoon Rubrail Balog Up Stream Hydration Back Pack Rippin' Lips Lund Conservation Owners tournament Ned Rig Beckson Marine Stowaway Bag Plate Tracker Marine Jeff Wenzel Fishing Clubs Jeff Gustafson Gull Lake Marine National Guard Sheldon's One-Handle-Does-It-All System AKOYA Ditty bag KVD Speedbag LOTSA Bad Elf Beckson Michigan DNR Sport Shows Boats USCG The Conference & Event Center Niagara Falls Line LineGrabber Sun protection Rescue Grady-White South Haven Mercury Marine Rain suit Gravity Mack's Lure Kevin Van Dam Steve Wood Tyee GPS for Lightning Connector Asian carp Marine Lighting Swanson-Russell Kayak Future Fisherman Foundation Contaminants Shoremaster Mosquito repellent BASSMASTER EZ Splice Fasteners Fuel Legend Gold Extreme Baitcast Reel Seakeeper gyro Slender Spoon Frigibar Rippin Lips FRIDAY FUNNIES