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BlueEye

New Format Changes for 2012 Pro-Am Tournaments

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First legal five for the short box would make it interesting. First five get a zip tie or such attached to them by the observer. Make it truly anybody's tournament to win. The long box stays what it is. I keep hearing target big fish for the short box. There are a lot of guys that don't know how to target bigger fish, only different species and can't catch much more than 5 of any size on a good day. Obviousluy the more you catch the greater chance of upgrading your short box. Forcing teams into the open because of being intimidated by limit structure is wrong and in my opinion is not away to grow. Our team literally learned how to fish in the pro am series as our first day salmon fishing was on day 1 of the first sodus pro am. If the series had been structured in a way we thought we had a very slim chance of competing, I'm not sure we would even be fishing tournaments, or fishing at all today. We always thought we had a chance of placing in something wether it be big brown or hoping for a 10th. If I was a new fisherman I would not enter this tournament as any chance of payout seems slim. Fishing is very expensive. Let's not give teams another reason not to fish.

We are fishing this tournament series as the rules are today, but I hope there will be consideration for the ams as we transition into a new series.

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My concern for the smaller boats is space. As the rules are now, you cannot keep an observer's limit. If that rule continues, then a team will have to have 4 team members as well as an obsever on board in order to keep 12 fish and enter the long box competition. That is alot of people on board for smaller boats with limited space for people and all of the necessary gear. It was nice under the old sytem in the AM division when only 9 fish were allowed because a 4 man team could compete by having 3 members fish while another acted as an observer. I think the cuurent long box limit of 12 fish puts a real burden on teams with small boats that would have ordinarily fished in the amature division. With these rules they will not only have to fish out of a cramped boat, but they will have to come up with another team member as well. I think that is asking alot. If they really want to have a fair competition, then they need to either reduce the long box limit to 9 or allow teams with less than 4 fishing members to keep their observer's limit. If this problem isn't addressed, then the big boats will have a huge advantage in the long box competition.

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Rick and friends

Its not official 850.00 yet it is goin out to be voted on as well as a few other things. everyone will have there chance to vote on these such thing. 850 or 650. no. of rods and so on. When everyone is fishing an invitational for a 1000.00 dollar entry nobody seems to have these problems. There is no pro or am. We are all competing to win a prize. There is no debate on boat size as i seen more than 1/3 of the fleet last yr in 27' or smaller boats. As a group we must try to keep the field as level as possible.Trying to saticfy the majority is hard to do. There is complaints that pay out side of things for the ams was to low or not enough. now they are invited to fish for the big money like they wanted to and you are finding ways to beat down this idea. You will pay a grand and fish against us for the same prize money in an invetational and now your saying you cant compete in this event. doesnt make much sense to me. Your fishing the invitational for less cash payout prize money too. If all goes as planned they will payout over $107,000 cash money In Niagra and Orleans this yr. 60 checks over 2 days. big box or little long or short shouldnt matter. Gentleman please..Nobody is trying to discreditt any such am teams. You all have the same info and the same ideas and the same place to compete. Most teams i see that have a desire to compete and do well are pre fishing on friday and sometimes thursday as well and at the end of the day they have their check in hand for a hard days work. I cant believe some of what i read. its actually quite funny to me. There is tournements to be fun and dollars generated and won, most importantly the great times spent w good people.

chris

chris

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I like this new format because of the oppourtunity. 60 checks being written in 2 days no other tourny on the lake does that. Let me see if I can answer some of the above questions.

No Comm, well I believe the solution was taken care of in Oswego last year and I would look for something like that coming down the pike. With this format I think it takes all the comm out of play and the "AMs" that talked with "PROs" well that wont happen anymore either making for a more balanced tourny. I guess under this format if you talk to anyone you are only taking money out of your pocket. Or gas out of the tank as it may be this year.

As far as rod numbers some of my best sets are 5 rods so to me rod numbers dont matter. Most of the time on Charters I didnt put out 8 when it was 2 rods per person. Conditions, program and bite pace all dictate rod numbers so I really dont think it matters a whole lot. Some of the best fisherman I know fish in boats smaller then 25 feet and they repeatedly take good numbers and size of fish.

First 5 tagged or zip tied could be a something that is hard to enforce. Every boat I have been on has zip ties on it. And who hasnt had an observer fall a sleep or go below to use the bathroom. Just throwing that out there when you think about rule enforcement from a tournament perspective.

The question on observer counting as part of the fish limit was addressed yesterday in the info meeting. 3 team members and observer with a valid NYS fishing license counts to the 12 fish limit.

As Chris stated have we need to have FUN in these events!!!

Brian

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I find it hard to believe pro fishermen are trying to justify this using a one day event in it's first year.

When you play poker do you find a table full of profesional poker players to play against? Dout it.

Whats being claimed here is there is no difference between a pro and am fishermen. Interesting.

Also interesting is the fact these claims are being made by pro fishermen.

As much as I don't like these changes I was going to fish Oswego to try it out.

I put in for a couple vacation days after the 4th for prefishing and just found out they changed the date to the following week. :rofl:

Guess I'm done.

Looked forward to fishing the proams every year like no other tournament or derby on the Lake.

Sure gonna miss um.

Good luck to the am boats that go for it. :yes:

Glen

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I am excited to fish the Oswego event with my kids and my cousin this coming July on our newly formed team, I had asked a question at the Pro/Am meeting about the philosophies behind the newly formed coordinators "sell" to the teams on short box vs long box. Meaning why should I (as my intentions are to fish short box) feel competitive with my biggest 5 or 6 fish when I'm fishing against the elite's best 5 or 6 fish from their box.

I credit Vince, Tom Burke, Chris L., Pete Alex and Bob for each taking a stab at rationalizing this for me. A few of their points made a valid sense. I still feel way "over-par" when thinking in terms of competing fairly, but am willing to play it out and see how I feel after the event. I feel that particular "issue" is going to be "in the jury's hands" until we get a season behind us.

On a different note: and I say this with an open mind, IMO the Pro/Am is at a point where they/Bob are willing to do what it takes to make this work "now". I feel it would of only took a few much smaller changes in hind-sight, small to us as "players" that is, to achieve a prior success in the Pro/Ams, without the newly MAJOR facelift now being offered.

One of them "back then" changes being CLOSING COMMUNICATION, I actually think if at this point in time the Pro/Ams were to say, "Ok, we are now implementing Closed Communication" that it would still be too late as much of the trust and respect has been lost. As far as why it still remains open is a mystery to many of us all, as 99% of those I last chatted with prior to this major re-structure, were all for closing it. As well as 100% of the same agreeing that the current reasons were 100% BS. (:

In conclusion for all of us we are either in or out, those few choices of gray areas are to be voted on, as far as entry fee, etc. But its looking like the long-time Pro/Am of old will be behind us for now. One thing I’ve come to realize is that any discrepancy in rules that causes a major hurdle in our decision to play or watch from the sidelines, is that we have to respect the entity/ies who is/are making these events happen. Would we rather not see these events at all? or play along even if we do not feel the rules suit our team the best or are within our liking? I can get mad with the best of them, but I like to play !!!!

It will be very interesting to see this play out, and to see if the 5 names I mentioned still feel the same way at the conclusion of the season. I hope this is fun, I can’t wait to compete against my long time hero “Vince†I’ll be rooting my team on while their fighting Oswego Kings and telling them, “Keep that rod up and that line tight, more pressure†!!! All while dreaming and hoping (even though chances are probably thin) that my biggest 5 or 6 fish are bigger than his !! Isn’t that what much of this is or should be about, maybe I am wrong and that’s just my opinion? After all if any of us are in this for the paycheck, we may not be thinking all that straight.

Tom

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How about tweaking the Open division. Let’s say $150 per day per boat. If you were able to get 20 boats (with the proposed changes, I think you will, Niagara has been averaging 10 last 2 years) that would be $3000 in prize money per day. Pay top 4 -1st (50%) $1500 2nd (25%)-$750 3rd (15%)-$450 4th (10%)-$300 based on 20 boats. The $300 in fees that the open boats would pay would actually be cheaper for most teams than entering the old AM division when you take into account the old entry fee($265 plus what you would normally pay an observer $100 for 2 days) The $150 fee per day is a nominal increase over the current $115. The new proposed changes and fees would now cost a team that has to pay an observer roughly $800 to $1000($650 or $850 plus $75 day observer) for the event depending which way the tournament directors go on the entry fees. With gasoline expected to be $5 + a gallon this summer and a lot of people’s financial situations not what they used to be, this could truly be an idea that would appeal to everyone that likes fishing these events. Just imagine 30 boats in the open division fishing for over $2200 in 1st place money a day. If an Open participant was lucky enough to win both days the cash prizes would far exceed the cash payouts of what was won by the 1st place AM teams over the last couple years. This could be a reasonable solution for all. Want to fish big money then plunk down your $800 to $1000 and go for it . If not, fish the open have a chance at some nice money and have a good time. Just a thought for what its worth. The one variable is if the open division is 100% pay back, that ,I am not sure about. I guess someone could clarify.

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Is no communication scrapped........or is it still on the table? I have this really bad picture/scenario in my mind of a team that is hitting good fish for a short box, calling their buddy who might be trying for the big box. There are captains that own and run more than one boat that could have a competitive advantage over the field as they go after different categories.......divide and conquer. These changes would smell a lot better with a NO COMMUNICATION rule.

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I was not able to get away from our booth at LOTSA, and missed the seminar, so I am just piecing this together but I am intrigued by the proposed changes. A lot of the Ams make some valid points though and having fished the Am up till last year I totally get how they feel. The new format makes for a real "thinking mans" event, and I really like that aspect, but the Am's feel like the rug is being pulled out from under their feet and trust me...they have just as much (if not more) passion about the Pro/Am series than the Pro's do.

Rick and friends

Its not official 850.00 yet it is goin out to be voted on as well as a few other things. everyone will have there chance to vote on these such thing. 850 or 650. no. of rods and so on. When everyone is fishing an invitational for a 1000.00 dollar entry nobody seems to have these problems.

IMHO, $850 will be too much. The big money events already exist...It's been done already and we have 4 of them in place for 2012 between the Invitationals and Tightline shootouts....8 seams ridiculous. However...with the KOTL Big Jon shrinking each year (this year it will be down to two events in St Catherines), that sector is more wide open than it has been in years and I think the Pro Am abandoning it would be a big mistake! I think $650 is max!!

I will fish one or two Pro Am's no matter what, and I hope to see a bunch of my former Am compadres as well, because I know a bunch of you will finish towards the top in each event....and it would be awesome to watch the former Am's take over the top 10...it could happen, you guys are great fishermen!

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Isn't the observers responsibility to verify length, species, and record coordinates. I guess these are also unenforcable if the observer is sleeping or is in the bathroom. I'm simply trying to provide an idea that may help keep some of the boats who are leaving already and maybe convince a few more to enter. I'm done. See everyone there.

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I have participated on the committee involved with suggesting many of the changes placed on the table. I can say, that none of the people involved (including myself) are looking at these changes to better themselves personally or to allow the pro boats to make more money or gain an edge. A lot of people felt that the Pro-Ams needed a face lift and that the Am participation was weakening.

A new concept was suggested along with a variety of changes we felt were for the benefit of most if not all. These changes, concepts etc... took some time to fine tune and a lot of people put some time into this newly proposed tournament format. Pro's/cons were laid out by everyone involved in an effort to minimize negativity and to make an event where Pro and am can compete side by side.

I myself felt like I was always at a disadvantage (and still do) coming from Lake Erie and traveling to fish against local Pro boats with a day or two of practice and not being tuned it to your lake. So, I can understand the disadvantage feeling. However, I continued to do so because I love to tournament fish and love to fish against the local Hero's and love it even more when we do well against them. I also loved the tourney atmosphere, seeing the guys and the rush of the event. Most of us feel the same.

This new format allows a lot of strategy from day to day and a lot of ways to win some $$. It is an exciting concept. It also allows one to compete after a stroke first day, where before, if you stroked day One, your chances of a pay check were pretty dim. This alone will help prevent team info. sharing from one day to the next cuz everyone is still in it on day two with just a smuch money to win. This will also help prevent Am and Pro from sharing like they did in the past. Now everyone is competing against each other.

As far as rods go, Brian hit it right on the head. Its not all about how many rods but how effective those rods are. There are days when 15 rods aren't gonna help you much and there's days when 6 rods can get you 40 bites...

Whether its 4,5 6,7,8 or 9... It comes down to OUR ability to make em go...

The WHI, Tightlines and KOTL events are littered with smaller boats who dont care about whether we have big boats. In fact, the guys with small boats take pleasure in it when they beat the guys with big rigs... I recall The original Prime Time team (Pete Lahosky and the boys) taking it to everyone in a smaller open center console rig. I dont ever recall them loading more than 8 rods on the boat either. They fished what they had and made it work. No argument that big boats have some advantages but that does not make them better fishermen or make fish jump in their coolers !

VP also touched on some good points... Small boats have their advantages also... Like lower fuel bills, more stealth, able to run longer and faster under the right conditions... Its not all bad to have small boats..

I read a lot of LOU and Spoonpuller posts from guys who have no problem getting their fish in boats under 23 feet.

Entry fee: everyone will have a say in it. However, I would say based on what we have heard, $650 is the number.

Short box or long box... Wow, what a choice we will have to make based on our practice results and thinking about what the other guys strategy will be???. If the majority of the field is looking for a long box (12) and your on a decent big fish bite, you may find yourself competing that day against way fewer teams and way better odds to cash a check.. (strategy)

Think about this scenario with 50 teams. If half the fields goal is long box and other half is short box, your fishing against just 25 teams and have pretty good odds of getting a paycheck. Unless some teams can capitalize on both that day?

No Comm. As Tom mentioned and I agree. I would like to see it but I don't see that changing. There are ideas being mentioned to address this again, just like in Oswego last year. I think we will see a no comm. calcutta with some added cash in it to promote NO COMM. However, NOT everyone wants no comm. and guys spoke out against closing comm. Maybe some day?

I see guys short selling their abilities here and condemming the proposed changes before they try it. I think its worth a try and believe that folks who really enjoy TOURNAMENTS should give the new format a chance first. There is a lot of good input on this thread and its being seen.

Capt. Pete

Vision Quest

Erie, Pennsylvania

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"I credit Vince, Tom Burke, Chris L., Pete Alex and Bob for each taking a stab at rationalizing this for me. A few of their points made a valid sense. I still feel way "over-par" when thinking in terms of competing fairly, but am willing to play it out and see how I feel after the event. I feel that particular "issue" is going to be "in the jury's hands" until we get a season behind us."

Tom, how do you think I feel when I voluntarily fish an event on Lake O or in Oswego? in your home port against your pool of Sharks????? Like your event in August? What are my chances when I toss my walleye rods aside, load the salmon gear, load my salmon BRAIN into my skull, load the 27 on the trailer, drive over 200 miles, practice fish a day and one half (if Oswego isn't boiling with 10 footers) and have to figure it out against you and the other Oswegian Sharks??? Probably not good. However, I do it often or would do it cuz I love the events first and foremost not because I a thinking of a paycheck...

Heck, you and many others (pro or am) fish more days in a season that I do/have in several years combined... I still do it because I love to fish the event !

Build a tournament and I will come... LOL :D

Captain Pete

Vision Quest

Port of Erie, PA (long way from Lake O)

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up until a few years ago our team was an am team...although we did well we never won the challenge cup or a tourny for that matter in fact our best finish was third a couple times, yet in the last 5 pro/ams on the pro side we've placed in 3 of them...it just goes to show that any team can compete. With the boxes many of the am's bring in i know for a fact they would be in the money.

When it comes down to it the tournament committee has done a great job leveling the playing field to the best of their ability so every team can be competitive and have a good chance to get a check during the weekend.

For the am teams... You guys can definitely compete you need to be confident in yourselves and be decisive with your decisions. some days you will definitely get your butts handed to you but that happens to everybody. Plus with the new rules you can go out the next day and redeem yourself and still get money out of it. For teams that pull out now it’s not a fairness issue …its just an excuse.

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I think a big sticking point is that you can place in both size "boxes" both days, and in both overall categories as well... so if 3 or 4 guys are hot they are getting potentially 18 to 24 of those checks (2 checks for each division per day and potentially 2 overall checks for each team). I think that is what really bothers most am teams (though I could be wrong). After thinking ALOT about it, I dont really mind the mixing the teams aspect, but I think that you should have to use that same strategy mentioned above to decide which box you will compete in that day... then a pro or am team could place in either category either day. Everyone wins, and it guarantees that 20 DIFFERENT teams a day cash checks. The consistent teams then will have changes at the overall checks in either division.

Is this up for debate or is it set in stone? Can this be something that we vote on, like the buy in? Please feel free to tell me if my thoughts are way off.

I really want this to work and also want as many guys as possible involved.

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If the primary reason for the new format was to address dwindling team numbers, I think the changes will have the opposite effect in the short term. I truly believe more teams could have been added simply by having closed communication. If you polled the AM teams, they would have voted (probably 100%) for keeping the same format. Since it seems the PRO division wanted the change........it comes across as some have suggested, that the goal was to tap into AM entry fees. The commitee can try to explain all it wants as to the reasons for change, but to the AM teams we will see it differently. If the goal was to move/shove/kick AM teams to the PRO division then you should have LOWERED entry fees for the AMs thus reducing the payouts. AM teams would be more likely to voluntarily move to the PRO side if it makes financial sense. If the goal was NOT to hijack the AM division teams then why not leave us alone with the current format? I understand the reasons for changes in the format from a PRO perspective. There has been a "cold war" with pro teams getting bigger boats because of the current buyers' market eventhough fuel prices will continue to rise. Having multiple opportunities to cash-in makes sense for the pro field. THE AM DIVISION SHOULD NOT PAY THE PRICE FOR THIS COLD WAR!!!! My vote would have been for keeping the AM division format the same with a lower entry fee and lower payout. Make the proposed Yatzee changes to the Pro Division and have no communication. That is my rant. I am sure I will suck it up and get over it.

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I’ve fished the pro-ams over the years, mainly as a member of an am team and I feel very disappointed with the elimination of a separate am division. I got into these primarily for the friendly competition and to meet some of the best on the lake with the intention of upping my game a little as a weekend fisherman. Although I consider these events as one of the highlights of my year, I have always been a “donator†and have never walked away with a check. I’m ok with that, to an extent. The thrill of the am division for me is to try and compete with a similar rulebook as the pros without breaking the bank. It’s tough enough coming up with gas money most weekends as it is. I considered entering the open division when it started because it offered a somewhat “easier†route in regulations and possible money. I decided against it because in reality I thought in time I would be able to “move up†in competitiveness. I understand there comes a time for change, but this new setup sure doesn’t seem conducive to encouraging and developing new blood. Let’s face it, most of the teams in any tournament, don’t walk away with money. That’s the name of the game. Where I feel this new setup went off track is that is was put together by people who were already money contenders. If I was a money contender already, I can see where this new change could be exciting. I’d be willing to bet the committee putting this together wasn’t 75% comprised of people who have never won anything, which are the likely stats of most of the tournaments. If that were the case, I think things would have been different. High priced elite tournaments are fine and if that’s your deal, more power to you. I just felt that the pro-ams were different than that. Making changes to the open division might make some happy, but in reality I think most of the am teams that are feeling “priced out†of this new setup would really just like to have the am div back, with similar rules to the pros even with significant changes.

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I've only competed in one event last summer but here's something I was thinking about.

Why not require the team to decide if they will enter their catch for the long or short box upon returning to port.

1) If they box out/12 fish, they are automatically weighing in as the long box.

2) If they have 6 or fewer, they are automatically weighing in as the short box.

3) If they have 7 to 11 fish, the team would have to decide if they have a strong enough box to weigh as a long box or do they want to discard/omit/not weigh up to 5 fish (at 10 points each plus weight) to enter their box as what they feel will be a strong short box. The reduction of points would not be a penalty, just omitting them from the long box total to compete as a short box.

The team decision can be marked on the log sheet before arriving to the dock and before communication with any other teams.

If there is no communication between teams, the individual team wouldn't know how they stand when making the long/short box decision. If they decide short box, they may be giving up fish and points that may have placed them in the long box standings or they might still get beat in the short box. It'll be a gamble the team will have to make.

Just some thoughts...

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To answer a few questions out there...

-Teams with 3 members will be allow to keep 12 fish based off the fact the observer has a license. So teams with 3 members will not be at a disadvantage from the start because they can not catch their 12 fish.

-no communication. My understanding of this rule is that it will never be change as long as the events are run by the county. Whether its liability and lawsuits, or whatever it is will not be changed. The majority (including myself) would like to see this rule changed but the way it looks it will not be changed. Hopefully the "no comm calcutta" will give us a no comm tourny provided all who enter the calcutta will not be able to communicate or otherwise they will sacrifice their possibility of cashing.

-all teams entering the pro/am will automatically be entered in the lakewide challenge cup. no additional fees to enter.

Important things that need to be considered by the participants...

-I support the Ams and their fight to provide a level playing field. Any possibility of this can only make the outcome better. Any suggestions in regards to this should be entertained as long as its not at the expense of the pros or suggests an advantage to either or. It should always be in mind that the growth in this tournament is certainly with the ams

-the change doesnt bother me at all. I think that if it is good for the tourny then it needs to be. What ever it take to provide a solid tourny and promotes the fishery is a good thing.

-the format change is here to stay but details are not. voice your opinion!

-honestly the new format does not affect the pros as much as it does the ams, in my opinion. The concerns the ams have need to be considered more because they essentially "have more to lose". Something to keep in mind is the am division is certainly competitive but lacks real financial reward. The am division is not self supporting and is subsidized, in part, by the pro division. A necessary evil but an also an unfair one. I hope the changes will prove to be good overall for the tourny. The new format was introduced not to spread the wealth to the winners but to provide more opportunity for teams who have done well on only one day. The new format gives just as much opportunity day 1 as day 2 and if a team is taken out of the event because of 1 bad day they will still have a second day to cash.

-short box/ long box format. Lets be honest... on day 1 everyone is out to win the event. Thats why we are all there and chances are you will need 12 fish both days to do so. The decision to fish for a short box/long box wont come to mind until it is late in the day, and your sitting on some good fish in the cooler and its decision time. Do i make a move for numbers or do i stay here and hopefully put a few more "good ones" in the box. Or the decision to fish for a short box/long box wont come to mind until its day 2 (and you may be out of the overall event) but the team is looking to cash and the decision to pursue big fish. Let there be no mistake... every team fishing for the lakewide challenge cup will be fish for their limit.

Important things that need to be considered by the committee...

-I believe that the "prestige" of the name, Pro-Am, needs to stay. Every team entering should have an option on their entry to check a box for either "pro" or for "am". This would certainly not be a legally binding choice but rather a tag. On all of the scoreboards it would be noted and i think it would be a great way to see the professional captains vs nonprofessional captains. Its probably the only way to decipher a pro team from an am team from the outside looking in.

-Number of rods. Currently Pros run 8 and Ams run 6. My vote would be for 8. There has been mention of 9. In no way would 9 rods help a smaller boat compete. There will be boats who dont normally run or that struggle to get 8 in the water. Anything more than 8 will be looked at as an extreme advantage to bigger boats and i think the compromise would certainly help level the playing field.

-entry fees. I think most will choose the lower entry fee of $650. A lower entry fee will seem more feasible to those teams who are "on the fence" about competing. Most teams that compete are not there for the money. If that was the case people need to rethink their strategy. Most are there for the sport of competition. Those who desire a larger payout (a larger risk/reward), they always have the Calcutta to enter.

- the start time definitely needs to be made earlier on the east end.

-It should be made mandatory that all observers are required to have a valid fishing license. Another compromise for the Am teams.

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I have waited for this as there was a lot of talk about proposed changes. I believe the intentions are great and the committee has worked hard to try to find a "solution" Before I continue though one might ask if there was a problem? If dwindling teams are the problem, this is a problem with every tournament that has been around for more than 9 yrs. This 9yr explanation is the average longevety of a tournament and the Pro ams ave been around for over 20 if I can recall. Changes have to made to keep it fresh. Fresh is what people want, look at the one day tournaments, they will dwindle over time as well specially when teams realize the same teams win there as well!! There are excuses not to fish events all over the lake, I been hearing them for 15yrs why teams dont fish this . If your a tournament competitor and you have the drive to fish for money, new formats, different formats, one day two day, whatever it is and whatever the rules go compete!! its a great time and a good time to see buds you don't the rest of the yr.

We have changed formats over the yrs and some were good and some were not so good, Time will tell on this as a group but why not give it a chance, why not go with it, you might be pleasantly surprised!

The thing on some certain points are valid from both sides. Smaller boats have been at the forfront of topics. Let me tell you a little about this. In Wilson a few yrs ago and also in St Catharines about 5 yrs ago we were faced with the decision to go or not go. Very borderline, In discussions with our committee at the time and some captains the larger boat are rarely the ones to push to go. The smaller boats have always pushed us to go. I mean the 17,18,19 ftrs not he 23,24,25. This being said they beleive to have an advantage if you talk with them. Please dont put words in their mouths. "i always hear the little guys wont like that" No they llike that its maybe the person saying they wont like that trying to rally the troops.

No Comm: I have to tell you for many yrs I believed that it could not work with out observers, boy was I wrong!! The absolute best decision we have made to enhance the competitveness amongst teams. I have to say it was nice to come into Niagara for the Pro AM last yr fishing against teams that wouldn't sign the sheet for no comm as I believe they feel they NEED it to compete and do our own thing and conquer. There must be a lot of teams out there imo that look at this format and think " ok not only do I have to fish against the pros now but I have to fish against the pros and their buddies!!" Wow!

In Conclusion to my writing session, lol. I like all formats! I love to fish tourneys and love the different strategies involved. Give it a chance and go fish.

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Some good threads voicing opinions. First off I take my hate off to the committee that put this together. As an Amature there are some changes we want to see that we believe will level the field a bit but it is time to take all the advise and learning that the members of this site has provided and go for it. Yes the big boys have better equipment, bigger boats, a lot more experience but it is time to cut the apron strings and get with your team and agree to a program that you all agree on. Make sure everyone has a responsibility. You need to make sure your hooks are sharp, poles and reals are in working order, you electronics are functioning and whom ever is driving the rig is in coinstant communication with the team. We can not afford to drop a fish but lets make sure as a team you do the one most important thing of all......HAVE FUN....

Personnaly I have to make a decision do to my financial status with a fixed income. I am entered in the WIT for $1000 and 3 - 4 weeks later a possible $650 entry to the new Pro/Am not including we, like most who dock there boats have dockage fees due, gas costs and some minor boat repairs duen this season. My team going to wait and see how this unfolds after all the ballots are casts on some loose ends and the prize stuctures are in place.

A plee to all my Amature competitors lets not throw in the towel just yet.

Shade

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Good posts from all.

Shade, thanks for your post, I know we talked in depth about some of this.

Captain Rob-to clarify: Your short box or long box points will have "equal value" in the standings and payout. They also go toward the east/west and overall cups. So, you can win a Cup or the Overall Championship with combination of good long or short box placings or if you dominate one or the other. (This should make it even more appealing to teams that traditionally like to catch kings and land BIG fish regulaly)

Captain Pete

Vision Quest

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Nice post , Howie. I can assure you, you are not alone. There are many excited "AM" teams that are contacting commitee members from both ends of the lake. I feel they may be refraining from posting on here because this become a little heated.

Wow, a "cold war" of boat acquisitions? For tournament fishing? No, it has more to do with the maturation of this fishery(we are 10 to 15 yrs behind Michigan), business depreciation, and the most important point of all--comfort of the clients. Anyone who has been in the Charter Industry for at least 10 yrs will tell you the client base is aging amongst the men, and growing with more women. Neither group has any interest in "roughing it" in any way. Big, heavy, fuel consuming boats are more comfortable and offer more amenities of interest to these groups. The "buyers market" did allow some of us that are actually deriving our sole income this way, to provide this to our clients. The same way some Drs and Dentists are now purchasing homes and buildings to house their practices, due to the "buyers market" rather than put up with costly dead end leases. The economy presents both opportunity and challenges and we all have to adjust.

Whether you are disappointed or excited, you have to refer back to the original post. There was a very real possibility that the Pro-Am concept (county run, multiple day,multiple species) was going to go away forever. Now some of us can fully appreciate why. Volunteering is thankless. When the Pro-Am concept was resurrected this winter, the initial thought was 2 days, one division, big entry fee, a few big prizes for the best 2 day 12 fish catches. There was an incredible amount of work and time that went into the finished format, with much of the emphasis on spreading out the prizes and building an attractive format for all, even if it meant taking a step back in the short term. In the meantime, the "open" remains a very real option for anyone who wants to grow in tournament fishing.

It is the feeling of the committee members to now concentrate on the positives and on the players who want to play. The ballots will be going out soon from the counties, the areas up for vote finalized, and lets go. The proof is out there on both sides of the lake, small boats and non Charterboats win and win big.

Lets just be grateful the Counties still see a value in running these events, and Lake Ontario is one the most exciting places to fish in the world. As Spring approaches, we are going to get busier and will have no time time to address misinformation.

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Just couple of things before I shut up. I think it was Legend who said we still need to recognize the pro teams from the ams and I agree. Maybe with red flags and blue flags and something after the team name to identify where each finishes in each catagory. One more thing. It was also stated here about shotgun starts. There has to be seperate times to leave the docks if fo any reason safety. You big boats with the 454 turbo charged engines kick our buts when ya leave and talking about 5-6' foot swells. Even my boat that only has speed of 20-25 was a rocken at Wilson. I am not talking a big lead but a few minutes to get some seperation. Think about it on a safety value.

Shade

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Reguardless how it shakes down, we're looking forward to the events! Maybe the changes will be better, maybe not - won't really know until we all go through one at the Niagara, and then we can start looking at the pro's and con's, instead of hypothetically guessing what it will be like. I think the higher reg fee would be tourney suicide given the current economic impacts and forecast gas prices. Otherwise, I say BRING IT ON!! Figuring out what is going to get our reels singing is what we find fun and challenging! 8) If we cash a check - that's just gravy... :P

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