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


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