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


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