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BlueEye

New Format Changes for 2012 Pro-Am Tournaments

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*Posting message on behalf of Pro-Am Tournament committee request

New Format Changes Offer Exciting Options for 2012 Pro-Am Tournaments

The Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament Series is taking a huge leap forward as the counties

of Niagara, Orleans, Oswego and Wayne embark on taking tournament fishing to a new level in 2012.

As we concluded the events in 2011, it was evident that we needed to make some changes…and it

was always about what was the best for the teams – bigger and better. There was a serious question

as to whether or not Oswego and Wayne counties would continue in the series, primarily due to

time constraints of tournament directors. Both Dave Turner and Chris Kenyon were serious about

tendering resignations and ALL of the events needed more volunteer support. From a competitive

level, the numbers of amateur teams were dropping off, with more taking the competitive leap into the

Professional Division. The poster child/team was Dave Antenori and Screamer, winning the Lake Ontario

Challenge Cup – a former Amateur Division competitor.

By mid-summer, a group of tournament participants – already volunteers in 2011 – formed committees

in Niagara and Oswego to address many of these problems. They knew what the teams in general

were looking for and what the directors needed for the tournament series to continue and grow.

They worked together to make that happen. They were willing to volunteer their time to support the

tournaments and develop a plausible plan of attack going into 2012. Changes needed to be made if the

four tournament series was going to continue another year. At the request of the tournament directors,

this committee was asked to consider improvements to the event structure itself, from the entry fee

level to the logistics of running a tournament. We needed something that was a benefit to ALL of the

teams, creating more opportunity for recognition and reward, while at the same time facilitating more

boats in general entering the event.

One of the big bones of contention was enhancing the tournament payouts, making it appealing for

someone who has one good day of fishing. We requested that we do this in a professional manner. You

didn’t see any of these discussions on the web boards.

It took the committee six months of effort to reach a consensus. They took all of the issues one by one

and discussed them individually. Committee members involved amateur teams into the discussion to get

a feel for something that would be acceptable to them. At that time, the committee formally presented

to the directors the suggested format changes. From the beginning of January to now, the discussion

revolved around entry fee and prize structure. They also fine-tuned the rules and other format change

discussions. A survey form is now being circulated to determine the final four ingredients to complete

the puzzle, such as entry fee costs, fish totals, rod limits and the like. We are almost there.

We are excited to roll out these new format changes as adopted by the directors and endorsed by the

committee. Here’s a few of those changes:

The tournaments will all offer a two-tiered competition. The first tier is the Recreational Open Division,

offering two single days of fishing which can be entered separately. It will be your best three fish,

no observer, low entry fee and minimum rules. The second tier is the combined Pro-Am structure,

offering teams the opportunity to cash in daily for short boxes (five or six fish) and long boxes (12 fish

maximum). This would make it truly a Pro-Am by uniting the Divisions and creating a level playing field

– two one-day twin division events with an added overall payout. The intent would be to pay out cash

prizes daily for the top 10 in each category each day, as well as the combined overall payout for the top

10 in both divisions together over the two days of fishing. Not counting big fish prizes, teams will have

the opportunity to cash in on some 60 prize-winning checks! Teams can cash in day one or day two, as

well as overall. Once you earn a ranking, it cannot be taken away. Scoring system will still be ten points a

fish and a point per pound.

One single entry fee will cover it all, including anything involving cup prizes (West or East cups or the

Overall Challenge Cup). The short and long box concept will be carried throughout all four events along

the lake, giving teams the opportunity to earn “Team of the Year†honors for each category. And team

points will be earned for both short box and long box each day, as well as for the tournament overall.

In other words, all teams will be allotted cup points based on where you rank in the entire field both

Day One and Day Two, as well as overall in both Short and Long box divisions. The points will be added

together to determine a combined total. Each event will have a total point’s leader in the short box, long

box and overall standings. These cup totals will continue to expand through every day of every event.

Recognition and reward will be given after the two West end events, the two East end events and for

the overall totals of all four events.

Some of the details are still being worked on. We realize that we are under some serious time

constraints right now. Once this information is finalized, it will be added to the tournament website

at www.lakeontarioproam.net first. We are ready to start putting our magazine together after that.

Thank you for your patience and we hope that you will agree – this truly is a better fishing tournament

concept. We can’t wait to share this with the angling world!

Important Note: The Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Association will be holding their Lake Ontario

Expo and Flea Market on Sunday, Feb. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Cornell Cooperative Extension

Niagara, 4487 Lake Avenue (Route 78), Lockport. A special Q&A session on the Pro-Am Circuit will be

conducted by committee members from noon to 1 p.m. In addition, there will be a special session on

Being a Tournament Observer from 3 to 4 p.m. If you have any questions about the new tournament

format, contact Bob Cinelli or Vince Pierleoni in the Western Basin of the lake; Tom Burke or Rob

Ripka in the Eastern Basin of the lake.

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So if I am to understand this correctly, you have recreational fishermen, guys who can fish maybe one day a week for fun pitted against profesional fishermen who fish for a living in boats that will fish 6 guys comfortably?

Or in other words the amatuer division is being eliminated so you either fish pro or open?

Glen

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I see the entry fee will surpass $550 pro entry fee as it stands.....Tough when your on a fixed income to fish back to back week-ends in the Pro/Am and i am forced to pay for cups that i can not compete in.

Shade

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Ugh. If this year is anything like last year I will have zero prefishing days... What chance do I have against professional charters, no matter the size of the box?

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What are the hypothetical payouts? Entry is up there and with the other tournaments on the lake, people may need to pick and choose. When are details going to be finalized. Vacation can be tough to schedule for some and with the changes, people may want to ad to or change their vacation schedules. Interesting format though, time will tell.

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Under this format you would stand to win some very good money Glen. The format suits your fishing style very well.

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Under normal conditions it would be a challenge Brian.

When that lake gets bumpy the deck is totally stacked. :(

I couldn't compete against those big boats which is the number one reason I didn't enter the pro division previously.

Can't afford to run a boat that size fishing for recreation.

Glen

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I know the guys in charge don't want to see the negative talk, but you need to throw a bone back to the am's. I.e: 6 rod rule or something. Competing against the bigger boats is half of the time impossible. And I've heard the "get a bigger boat" theory. Crap. 3 years ago, yvan took us out in a small craft warning the final day of the Scotty in Wilson! We started the day in fourth. Guess where we ended up? Lets just say we never weighed in and unfortunately bill Ruth should have won. All the other smaller boats in the top 10 dropped like a rock with us. Again, its the majority not the minority that must be helped out to keep a great Tourny moving in the right direction.

Ah what the heck do I know, I'm just a dumb painter.lol

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After talking with some guys at the lotsa it sounds like it may be worth trying, and hopefully the kinks will be worked out by sodus... I do hope though that you have to choose ONE box to enter, short OR long, and not both.... I got talking to people and missed the q&a- anyone know if it is a short OR long box competition or can you place in both on the same day?

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There are a couple of issues that will be determined via a vote. To get a copy of the ballot you may want to get your name, phone number and email address to either Capt Vince or Capt. Bob C.

Here is what was discussed as far as a new format. There will be one division with an entry fee(to be voted on by the fishermen). On day1(Saturday) you will be fishing for a total of 12 fish (first legal 12 fish). Before you weigh in you will tag your best 5 or 6 (determined by ballot), and enter those in the short box part of the turnament. Then you will add the other fish you have and enter in the big box part of the turnament. If you land in the top ten of either or both boxes you are guaranteed a check. Day 2 starts the same senario but a new day. Once again your objective is to box 12 fish and once again you tagh yopur best 6 and enter them in the short box and once aagain you add the rest of your box and enter them in the big box and once again if you end up in the top ten of one or both boxes you are guaranteed a check, however on day 2 there will also be a cash priizes for the day 1 and day 2 total weight and again it pays the top ten in each catagory. Even if you did not finish in the top ten on day one you still take that total and add it to day 2. That makes 6 catagories, or 60 places) where you can win cash and prizes . There is also something about cups for each county event and a grand trophy which someone else will have to explane.

If you still do not want to enter in this event the OPEN Event is still an option.

The ballot which I told you is for 3 or 4 catagories:

Entry Fee - vote for $650 or $850

Number of Poles - either 8 or 9 per boat max

Size of small box - either 5 or 6 fish max.

Start Time on the west end - either 5:30 or 6:00 am

If I said something wrong I appologize, also for my mispelled words :lol:

Shade

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If you can cash in on both classes both days, then it seems to me that it is a veiled ploy to get the 20-30 ams per port to fish and get their money (850 dollars?!?) taken by the bigger, more equipped and sponsored charters... The top 10 12 fish boxes will almost always cash in on the short box too...I don't mean to be a pain but do I see this wrong?? Am I alone on this?

I will keep my trap shut from here on out but I just hate to lose something that I really enjoyed.

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I know the guys in charge don't want to see the negative talk, but you need to throw a bone back to the am's. I.e: 6 rod rule or something. Competing against the bigger boats is half of the time impossible. And I've heard the "get a bigger boat" theory. Crap. 3 years ago, yvan took us out in a small craft warning the final day of the Scotty in Wilson! We started the day in fourth. Guess where we ended up? Lets just say we never weighed in and unfortunately bill Ruth should have won. All the other smaller boats in the top 10 dropped like a rock with us. Again, its the majority not the minority that must be helped out to keep a great Tourny moving in the right direction.

Ah what the heck do I know, I'm just a dumb painter.lol

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That was a wild tournament day :o . My little boat went from 9th place on day one to a 3rd place finish in the wind and waves on day two :lol: . Qestion With this format do you need to register for the 6 fish box or the 12 fish box prior to the fishing day?

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Any changes to the Recreational/Open division discussed? Maybe a little longer to fish now that there isn't both a Pro and Am separation? Maybe up it to 4 fish? I think $850 is a bit rich for my team's budget.

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If you can cash in on both classes both days, then it seems to me that it is a veiled ploy to get the 20-30 ams per port to fish and get their money (850 dollars?!?) taken by the bigger, more equipped and sponsored charters... The top 10 12 fish boxes will almost always cash in on the short box too...I don't mean to be a pain but do I see this wrong?? Am I alone on this?

I will keep my trap shut from here on out but I just hate to lose something that I really enjoyed.

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No, you are not alone. I am seeing it the same way. There are parts of this I really like, and other parts which really don;t sound so great. I will wait and see what the final rules look like before we decide if we are in or out, but it isn't looking good. Too bad too, I really enjoyed these events!

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No you do not need to specify your box size before you leave the dock. We are all under the same 12 fish long box format as before. Only now we have a short box or 5/6 fish at the same time. If a team chooses to fish 8 hrs for a big short box than so be it. If a team chooses a long box format for 8 hrs than so be it.. But here is something I like.. If I am fishing and I have 4 good fish by 9 am I don't have to run and grab 8 little ones if I choose not too. I can stay and grind out my last 1or2 out for a big short box and still make a check for my good fishing.. Now if by chance I grab 4 or 5 smaller fish while I'm looking for my last fish of the short box than so be it. Maybe they will push me into a paycheck in the long box as well.. It's all left up to us as individual teams to discuss our own strategy.. Do we go for 12 or do we grab our 5/6 big fish.. It's also a time management discision as well.. Leave ?? Stay?? Either way it will be interesting to see who fishes were each day. Also the AMs now have the same prize structure as the pro.. We all no that am boats have the same ability to catch us pro boaters.. There have been many a time were the AM earned a bigger check than a pro.. Also they should have collected atleast a check.. You guys don't give yourselves much of a chance. Be proud of what you do.. Believe in your team !! And yes you guys can compete w the pro's.. I no for a fact that nobody's goin to be sharing any info either . Everyone has the same chances to pass up the pro's and get paid. I think you guys are going to enjoy this new format. Especially when you are rewarded at the end of each day accordingly.. Big boat or small boat doesn't matter anymore. We can all be beaten at any given time by an aggressive team who implements a well designed well deployed scheme to get to the cash.. Good luck to everyone and remember if you believe you can achieve.. Don't give up on yourselves your all dangerous at tourney time!!!

Chris

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Hookup -- no you are in all invents

Unsub - no changes to Open Division

All of us AM's need to get our email addresses to Capt. Vince or Capt. Bob C. and vote to keep the entry fee down to $650 and have the Pros to have a Calcutta to make up their prize fund. This new format throws out going out and putting a box of nine or 12 fish out the door. This event becomes a stratagy event where you either fish for a box or fish for weight.

If we do not want to participate help the guys that do and cast your vote. Remember we still have the OPEN Event and we could request a change in entry to inhance the prize fund. I believe righjt now it is $115 for each day. We still can have the option to fish one day or both days. There still is the option to fish out of any port at anytime from east end to west end and enter any of the four OPEN events as long as you weigh in by 12:30 PM. Time is running out and there is a lot of work to get the new structure for the pro/am in order so do not try to reconfigure the OPEN event but maybe the entries can increase to turn it into a fullfilling and fun time.

Shade

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Our team is in favor ot the new set up. It seems like a win win for the weekend worriers like us.

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WELL SAID MAVERICK!! :yes::yes: ANY BOAT AT ANYTIME CAN WIN!!! ITS REALLY LIKE ONE EVENT WITH 2 TOURNEYS EACH DAY FOR 2 DAYS.. MORE PRIZES AWARDED AND MORE STRATEGY INVOLVED. TIME AND TIME AGAIN AMATUERS COME IN WITH A BETTER 9 FISH BOX THAN THE PROS WOULD HAVE WITH A 9 FISH BOX. HELL DEL CASTERLIN BEAT ALMOST EVERY PROS BOX OF 12 WITH 9 FISH ONE TOURNAMENT. SPOON FED HAD LARGESST KING CAUGHT DURING THE WHOLE PRO AM SERIES A COUPLE YEARS AGO.. BOAT SIZE?? LOOK AT THE SCOTTY OR BIG JON EVENTS, THE CANUCKS ARE OUT IN 18FT TIN BOATS AND CASHING CHECKS. TOURNAMENS ARE WONT BY THE SIZE OF YOUR BOAT, THEY ARE WON WITH SKILL, KNOWLEDGE AND MOST OF LUCK!!! CANT WAIT TO SEE ALL YOU GUYS IN WILSON!!

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This new Yatzee-format definitely involves more stategy but also more opportunities to win from what I can see.

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Some great posts guys. First off, now you can all see why this was painfully slow to roll out. Secondly, it was absolutely NOT a "veiled ploy" to grab "20 or so guys entry fees in each port."

Keep in mind what is going on with the Tournament culture around the lake. Guys in 18fters are gleefully putting up a grand to fish against 55fters. Yes, there is big money at the top and that is exciting. The fact is, relatively few will cash in on any winnings--what comes in goes out--it's just a matter of how it's distributed.

When the "Pro-Am" style Tourny came here in 1985 from Michigan, the Ams primarily ran 18-20ft boats and some even had to be taught how to rig a downrigger before an event. Mis-identification of species was rampant. The Lowrance electronics staff(paid by their bosses to run and teach how to run a Tournament) said that the AM division should be huge, many more contestants than Pros. What they saw in Michigan was AM teams winning or placing a few times, and then moving up to the Pro division. Well, that did not happen the same way here. The AM divisions were smaller, and the hope that teams would move up(much like in Softball) voluntarily in the Pro division after a win or a few placings, rarely did either. ENCOURAGING NOTE*- Last years "Screamer" team, did exactly what the Pro-Am founders envisioned. They honed their skills in the AM division for a few years, winning and placing multiple times. When they moved up, they were competitive right away. In recent years they have become winners in the Pro division, capped off with winning the Challenge cup overall championship.

The boat size thing works both ways. In choppy water, sure, the big "lead sleds" have an advantage. Should the lake be a mirrior or a slight chop, and the advantages of a small rig are many. 1) more economical 2) usually MUCH faster 3) smaller profile or shadow 4) quieter 5) more agile in heavy traffic.

As stated in an earlier post, I have seen some huge Tournaments won on the North shore out of 18fters. Last year 2 big events were won out of a 27fter, even though there were at least 3 over 40 foot in the events.

The time has come and gone when an everyday Charterboat Captain always has an advantage. We have to produce action for our clients, even if that means losing valuable scouting or pre-fishing time. For at least the 3rd time, last years KOTL series was won by a team fishing out of a 25fter. It is NOT a charterboat.

Yes, there will be a few times where the best 12 fish catch will also contain the best 5/6 fish catch, but there will be just as many times where it won't. I would imagine some teams will decide to fish for certain species, and they won't always be in the same locations or on the same programs as the other species. STRATEGY CENTRAL!

The commitee members, and the County coordinators knew their would be some who may choose to go with the "open" division. There's nothing wrong with that. The best way to bump up the payout in that division is to encourage more participation. The Pro-Ams have ALWAYS paid back at least as much as comes in , and due to some great sponsorship concepts and sponsors, probably more!

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totally a money grab for the larger boated - more equipped boats... i do really well fishing out of a small boat and win often.. but way too much for an am team to fork out with obvious disadvantage.

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After reading the new format changes and the above statements I would like to share my feelings. For years I fished all of the ProAm's in the Amateur division to see how I stacked up against some of the best Amature teams on the lake. When we placed and and received prize money that was secondary to the fact we were competitive to our fellow Amature teams. That has all been taken away. I have a good feeling as to where we stack up against the Pro's. And it ain't a good feeling. Oh on a certain day, when the stars are aligned right, we may place and receive some prize money but it won't be in the same competitive spirit I had before.

I don't want to be perceived as being negative, just disappointed. We will get into some of these ProAm's (need to change the name) and I'm hoping some of the rules will be set to satisfy the Amatures thinking of entering.

One rule would be is to set a 6 rod limit. This is the main reason we get into the Invitationals in Wilson and am hoping for an invite to the Oswego one. A 6 rod limit does level the playing field. More than 6 rods gives an advantage to the larger boats (my feeling but I'm not alone).

Another rule is NO COMMUNICATION. I need not say more here.

Another rule would be no shotgun starts. We go from a flat lake to 5 footers before we're out of the starting gate.

I'm also hoping to get one of the survey forms being handed to help give an Amatures perspective to this new format.

In closing, I'm 70 years old and feel fortunate that I had many years of competition against my fellow Amature teams. I was hoping to get another 5 -6 years of the old format but its not to be. See you all at the Wilson Invite.

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We will get into some of these ProAm's (need to change the name) and I'm hoping some of the rules will be set to satisfy the Amatures thinking of entering.

DEFINITELY agree with you there IF this new format takes place.

Another rule is NO COMMUNICATION. I need not say more here.

Probably THE ONLY RULE that needed to get changed over this Winter.

Personally, I like the format, but I am not a fan of chopping the Amateur division out and forcing them to join the Pros or fish the open division. So what if there was an average of 12 boats in that division throughout the 2011 season. It's a grass roots/weekend warrior/cheaper alternative for the teams that NEED it.

As for entry fee. If it's $850 I know you take teams out of it, and that's not the purpose of these changes. Big entry fee tourneys are working, but they are not directly connected to a series. When you make a four tourney series out of it that's a little rich for the average Joe. I'm not crazy about putting up $850 with a chance to win $10k vs putting up $1000 with the chance of $25k. However, this does spread the money out a lot better with this 2 day (60 check) format.

As far as the amount of rods a boat is able to use I hate only being able to deploy 8 rods. I'D VOTE FOR 12, which is now the 4 man limit of rods! Although, I guess I could settle for 9.

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