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jason

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To answer the above question, most Pro-Am style events are no cull. This is done to not waste fish, considering how fragile Summer silvers are. Ripping and tearing through numbers and whipping them back into 75 degree water isn't sportsmanlike. If you don't like the size you are catching, you must change your strategy. This could involve moving to new water, or changing your presentation. It would be incredibly unfair to the rest of the field, if one team were not boxing the smaller legal fish, and all the other teams were complying. For example, if just one 3lber was traded out for a 20lber, that would result in a 17 point swing at weigh-in. With todays intense competition, that would be huge. The difference between 1st and 4th can be as little as a few points.

In addition, ripping mortally wounded fish off is wanton waste. Not only is that illegal, it is unethical and super-bad "mojo" and "karma". Not too many of the competitors I know want to mess with that!

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Capt. Vince--

Great reply-everyone that reads it needs to "go slow" and let the message sink in. Have to agree with you that "open comm" is NOT the way to go-no matter what problems enforcement causes.

To all other LOU members,please, comments for or aganist the Pro-Am need to come to an end ! Don't know the right or wrong of whats been posted and at this point feel that future "thoughts" should be sent privately. Our fishery faces many challenges, lets focus on them to protect the " one love" we all share.

Take care, hope the rest of the season goes well for all,

Dick C.

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As for observers, they are the backbone of the Pro-Am format. Problem is, teams often take shortcuts and "buy" or "hire" one. Bad Play. They won't care the same, in fact, they will often end up pulling for the boat they are on! You need to find observers that are your friends or sometimes teammates.

As a "bought" or hired observer I take exception to these statements. To say I don't care it just a bit much. Certainly, I don't have anything invested in these tournaments, but it don't keep me from telling these captains to play by the rules in doing my job. Ask any of the 6 whose boats I observed on. Any fish in question was measured and measured twice most of the time. Even if I was little sideways :puke: the job was done. At no time did I have a reason to suspect foul play at the back of the boat. That for the simple fact most needed fish for the box and they all count. (I have heard the stories of observers knitting a sweater, doing crosswords, or texting their girlfriend from the cabin while a team rode around the lake "losing fish" looking for number "12")

To say you are better off with friends or teammates is a little snobbish and only keeps this thing to an elite circle. Does this help grow anything? My reason for observing in the first place is to learn what it takes to catch these fish and maybe at some point join the fray. I can certainly appreciate the efforts of the captains and crews I worked for letting me fish on their dime. The friendships and lessons learned are immeasurable and it would be foolish not to hope they put a full box of fish in their boat. Nothing wrong with pulling for the boat you are on, either. You hope all do well. Just not as well as MY team.

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C'mon Shadster, of course there are exceptions. Be proud of your diligent service, and don't feel threatened. You will always find a boat to observe for. My opinion, and observations are based on 26yrs of having observers aboard my boats, and I stand by it. There are always people scrambling last minute, and I can't tell you how many of these observers have been enduring a tremendous hangover.

I have never been considered a snob before! Keep in mind this thread started because apparently an observer did not do their job adequately on another lake. My observers have consisted of: Xerox worker, D.E.C. employee, Buffalo biology teacher, fork lift operator, and a salesman. Not what you would call elite by todays standards, and several of them had no Tourny experience prior. Since their involvement, they have desired greater roles, thus reinforcing the growth concept.

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Vince, It was not my intention to offend you in any way. I find myself reading too much into these things and responding to how they appear. I respect your experience and what you have to say on all of the issues. I have read much about the Ludington fiasco and come to the conclusion that the Best Chance Too team knew exactly what they were doing and the observer was either not paying attention or really did not know any better. He may have been one like you have experience with who may have never been on a tourney boat before. To me their quick return of the prizes and money without a fight is evidence enough to a guilty verdict. The observer has to realize that if he allowed them to break the rules and caught that he goes down with them.

The Captain's meeting for the pro/am's do not go far enough into the rules as to what a team can and can not do. It was touched on some in Oswego this year. The very first thing should be a hand out of observer responsibilities and rules when you sign in. It should be read, signed and returned at the end of the meeting. Just by saying the rules are on the back of the sheet or in the captains pack is not enough in my opinion.

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One chuckle I can never keep at bay is that of the reasoning behind rulings of must have "Open Communication"

We can have a signed "waver" for certain liabilities that cover certain criteria in some events, but yet we can't have a waver that covers potential communication liabilities. OMG

Give me a break that it can not be enforced, however all other rules can, ok whatever !!!!

In one breath certain coordinators in certain events say it must be open, closed case

In the next they can be the first to blat out how they "disagree" a win from a certain team was "due to communications"

Hypocritical of the pot calling the kettle black :rofl:

All rules can possibly be broken, I would give more credit if any coordination from any event was to "be a bit it more honest with us and themselves" and simply say "Hey, I run this show and I want it open communication" Instead of hiding behind falsely claimed potential issues.

As far as BC2 and observers, whether an "optimum" observer or a "sleeper", I like the observer rules and feel they do more good than harm. Camera crews on vessels also are sure to help keep players on track, however most anglers who gather teams are not going to want to take expenses out of potential winnings to carry an added burden of a physical camera.

Tom

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The open comm/cheating topic is touchy (sp??) to say the least. Within our team we speak about it often as we do not condone it OR believe it can not be enforced - here is why I'm going off on this tangent - any captain/team that fishes these prestigious events does so for many reasons including the love of competition, a sense of personal accomplishment, etc. In my opinion among the very top of the list is wanting respect from your fellow anglers. Cheating in ANY form will deny yourself and your team of this and is why closed communication IS POSSIBLE!! Caught once and YOU ARE DONE!! This in itself is reason enough NOT to cheat - whether it be shaking off skippers or communicating in a closed communication event. The series we all enjoy thrived with more boat participation for MANY years without communication!!

That being said, if communication is to be allowed, we as members of Team Thrillseeker need to learn to adapt and use it to our advantage because it IS allowed (currently) - something we have not been able to do as of yet....('cause we just don't get it!!)

Dex

Team Thrillseeker

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Spoken from the heart Dex, and with the utmost truth

Closed Communication could easily work alone for points you pointed out pretty clearly.

You also touched upon a very important key issue that should be openly known and respected. That of which should not draw questions during camera interviews like, "After your last win, competitors and event coordinators alike are staring to question your teams wins due to communication, what do you have to say about that? Tom Burke professionally stated that his team would use all rules to the best of our ability to take a win. His first vote would be not to communicate only if ALL teams were to work under the same rules.

As Dex stated "to learn to adapt and use it to our advantage" is key. Team Cold Steel went from many "No Communication" events into many "Open Communication" events and did just that under the lead of our Captain Tom Burke.

Dex, it is hard to imagine our "many event winner" and leader Vince to start to communicate as you have possibly mentioned, lol. But if he chooses to after "pressures to compete" many teams could be in trouble. If certain coordinators are honestly looking into the future of key events on LO a closer look at the Closed Communication rule should be deserved. As dreaded claims of intimidation by coordination are only going to tighten the top teams of players. Would obviously be an easier selling point with fewer teams in cahoots !!!!

Tom

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TA,

I agree with your takes 100%!! IF communication is allowed, by all means USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!!

There are a few reasons we still have trouble embracing it:

1. Who can you really trust? Who else is he that you communicate with communicating with? ie: We want other boats not knowing how we are doing - we all love to compete, right? Getting in your competitors heads if part of the battle....

2. just because boat 'A' is doing it in at the 27 line directly north of port doesn't mean we will - guys just fish different!! (learned this one the hard way at Niagara this year and still finished 9th) - yeah we tried communicating with a boat!! I admit it!!

These things being said, there are competitors who have embraced the idea of communication and are thriving (moreso than we are). I do not begrudge any of these boats any success they may have due to communication because IT IS CURRENTLY ALLOWED!!

If the last few years have taught us all one thing - the communication age (internet, twitter, e-mail, etc...) have made the competition a lot better....and I LOVE IT!! There isn't a boat who regularly fishes the circuit who isn't capable of winning.

Gosh it sucks the Pro-Ams are over!! ;(

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WOW...I guess I was being nieve when I thought some of the Charter Captains fished on their experience to win. I am appauled to see the amount of teams who are against communications but do it because its a rule that allows it.

Dictionary defines this behavior as Hipocritical. If you believe its wrong ya do not do it. You do not show the ways it can be used. I keep hearing it can not be managed. Sad really sad. If I was BC2 and got caught cheeting, I could not show my face. If the rule says no communication and the cosequences bar you from ever competing again....is it worth the enbarrassment?

Many of the Charter Captains have helped many members on this site and I applud each of you who have given us the tools and direction that has helped put fish in our boxes. I thank you for that. I can understand you guys communicating each other to keep your clients happy, but to help other compettitors box fish during a tournement or recieving information to help you because you out a network together is appauling.

I guess it is true...IT IS NOT WAT YOU KNOW..........IT'S WHO YOU KNOW :(:no::no:

Howie

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I got to agree with Shade somewhat on this one. Over the years I have met many Pro contestants and even consider them friends, however, I have NEVER asked where they are fishing, what they are using, or placed a call during a tournament about location of another boat. The reason I enjoy these tournaments is the chess game. For me it is matching wits with the fish with the current weather conditions and the time of year. I don't chase pro boats, because to me finding my own fish is SOOOOO much more rewarding. Live or die in the standings, I know the decisions made are mine and mine only.

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Much of this input is the very reason I have been the strongest sole advocate of a Closed Communication policy from the beginning, there is no single entity that has tried harder to make it happen. Others who have been as adimate have either gave up or moved on without future tourneys in their sights

All of which would create a much better feeling with a win among other things.

However maybe to look at it in another twist would shed some added light:

We are competing because we love to compete, we love to rank ourselves amongst the competition, the ultimate goal is to achieve this upon the levelest of playing fields. A very high majority of the "elite" anglers of today are communicating, we have to for the most part as a huge majority of everyone around us certainly are. You can pick out the few that are not very easily, the "THRILLSEEKER" or Prime Time Pete's of the crowd, just so happens these team have been around and experienced it all, right from the beginning.

We deal with cheaters in all that we do (hence the original topic of this thread before my hijacking) to play one on one in a level atmosphere would lift many attributes of our praised tourney fishing. Without a doubt I feel all would agree with that.

But with having to deal with cheaters, working within a wide range of rules and bringing many attitudes together all breed various attempts to still remain on top and achieve that ultimate goal in a win.

I have often felt I would rather come in 10th place under Closed Communication than come in 1st under Open. But coordination does not offer that chance under the current rules. So we play within the rules as is allowed.

The speed limits on highways are 65 mph, if we were to drive 40 we would get run over, just as in a tourney. I even think you could possibly get a ticket for unsafe driving at that slower speed.

As much as it is drawing near a time for Tom and A-TOM-MIK to back down and quit crying all over the internet, it is also drawing near a time for coordinators "of certain LO south shore prestigious fishing events" to realize some bad choices have been made, time to regroup, save face, cut the losses and see the light.

The betterment of these events still have a chance as BC2 may not have. Wake the **** up coordination !!!!!

Tom

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Tom,

I have had to get some cheeze and crackers for my wining in response to some of these threads but this one surprises the s..t out of me.

Since coming to Lake Ontario we have fished the Niagara Pro/Am 4 times and had the honor to fish with Bob Buck, thanks to Rod, to fish the Pro Division in the Orleans and Oswego Pro/Ams. My son Howie, friend Dale and myself have been together on the lake since 2005. We have learned alot from the members on this site and the 6 charters we went on.

We have upgraded our electronics, purchased boats to help to fish in some tough weather conditions, purchsed tackle from a variety of manufactures, read fish reports and put together programs based on the advise from LOU members.

Its only been after the past Niagara Pro/Am have we now put programs that are putting fish consistantly in our box and I am talking 15 - 30 fish and we do not fish past noon. We now enjoy personal pride when we hit the water.

Thats how I feel even in tournaments. We want to know that we either failed as a team or achieved as a team regarless where we finish.

We as a team have only fished this lake since 2005, but we where determined to take what we learned and purchased to have catch quality fish and have fun trying different things. Most important we have FFFFFFUUUUUNNN. :yes::yes:

Howie

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Food for thought, for BC2 and the rest of us...

Integrity is a concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes.

In western ethics, integrity is regarded as the quality of having an intuitive sense of honesty and truthfulness in regard to the motivations for one's actions.

Integrity can be regarded as the opposite of hypocrisy, in that it regards internal consistency as a virtue, and suggests that parties holding apparently conflicting values should account for the discrepancy or alter their beliefs.

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I only fish the Sodus Pro-Am, but I like the open communication. I fish out of Sodus regularly and so do a few other boats from my marina and we usually talk thoughout the day. I guess that social network is part of the fun for me. Also, two weeks ago at the pro-am I got about 5 calls asking if it was too rough for them to come out and fish.... I'd hate to have closed communications and not be able to tell them "go back to bed, the 8 footers aren't fun" :)

Nick

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Shade, I don't know why you would be appauled that anyone would use open communication when that is a rule allowed by the tournament. It is no diffeent than any other competion such as football, baseball, or racing. You understand the rules and you work with in them to give your self the best chance to win. Having said that open communication is a two edge sword, you have to know who you are working with and be able to trust what they tell you.

Another side of this is some of the captains have paying charters in these tournaments and have to catch a few fish to save face. I participated in a tournament earlier this year and a captain friend of ours called us because we were doing well and he had a skunk and needed some fish for his clients. We had not intended to share info with anyone but sometimes friendship comes first.

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Squid,

Because it is a rule does not make it right. I do not condone communicating outside of tournements but to help someone win or get on the board because they put the wrong program together is not right no matter how you slice it. Evgery Charter that I have talked to or read their website contends they have 25 - 30 years of experience. In that amount of time you should know where the fish sre on any given day even with weather changes. I am not saying that every time a charter captain goes out he fills his box but they put fish in the box. These guys help each other out and I would to, this is their living.

I would rather catch fish on my own DURING A TOURNAMENT, then to have someone catch fish for me. Thats just me. I would always help a friend but not during a tournament if he was a participent. To ME it is not right.

Shade

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So I guess there is now two set of rules. The first is what the tournament comittee deems to be right and wrong and the second being what Shade and other indivuals deem to be right and wrong. Where are the second set of rules published so we can all be sure to follow them?

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I understand it is ok at this point to use open communication and I do not put down the people that do it because it is a rule but come on guys it has become a joke especially when you have a bunch of boats covering a lot of water all communicating. I agree with Shade go out there read the water and go from there. When we came to the east end this year we had no idea what to expect, we pre fished and figured out our own program. This is our 3rd year in the Pro am's and love the competition and will continue to fish them but this "rule" needs to go.

Rob

Team Hideout

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I have always sided with Tom and all advocates of the closed communication rule. Unfortunitly, I think most of us know it ain't happening. I hate open communication...absolutley hate it!! It just seems like open communication is here to stay...like it or not.

Can closed communication be enforced...no. But, where any more than one person is involved in a deceitful activity, it is a conspiracy. Any conspiracy is only as strong as its weakest link. Any more than two people involved and the strength of the conspiracy weakens exponentially as more people are added. In other words, if a team "talked", word would get out sooner or later. Most of us would comply just because it's a rule....end of subject. No "enforcement" is really needed and not every rule has to be policed. Just the fact that it is a rule is in most cases enough.

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I have one question.....I keep hearing the closed communication rule can not be enforced.

Then why is there closed communication in the Monday events in Niagara and Oswego and how is it enforced? You must be a participant in the Pro/Am to fish the Monday event. Same participants different rule.....WHY????

Rule as it is written......Rule #7 paragraph 2

OPEN COMMUNICATIONS WILL BE IN EFFECT THROUGHOUT THE TOURNAMENT "EXCEPT OF THE MONDAY EVENTS IN NIAGARA AND OSWEGO"

Am I reading this wrong? Definition of EXCEPT -" exclusion of "

Shade

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Howie there has never been a big boys event on Oswego and the big boys tourney in niagara this year was cancelled due to a lack of interest.

At the first (and only) niagara event last year, I proposed a gentlemens agreement for closed communication. Greg Gehrig and I were the only ones that abided by it....lol.

[ Post made via Mobile Device ] mobile.png

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It does not matter wether the tornament took place or not, I was just pointing out the rule. I would be really shocked if you needed to be associated with a communicating network to catch fish during a tournement.

Really impressed with the last couple of your reports...nice kings... :yes:

Howie

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Shade,

To get the facts straight the Big Boys is promoted as Closed Comm. but if I remember correctly we were told by the tournament officials that they couldn't do that. So there was an offer to have a gentleman's agreement to not talk and the 10 teams voted and the majority was they didn't believe it would have been adhered to.

BTW Paul we didn't talk to any one either ;)

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