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.

GlAngler Subscription

Recent Posts


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