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


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