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


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