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


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