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BlueEye

New Format Changes for 2012 Pro-Am Tournaments

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I was on an Am team the last couple of years and I'll say that I am for this change! I'm for the competition and I see a possibility of placing. With that being said there are some questions and concerns I have though. I wasn't at the meeting so I apologize for any repetition, but first let me cast a vote for the entry fee being $650. At the amateur level we do have limited space for teammates, so dividing cost is feasible among a smaller teams.

As for rods, personally the big boats have the advantage here. So the least amount would be fair, as I see it. Lake Ontario has never been nice to us, especially during tournaments, and a boat with a 13 foot beam can easily run a 10 rod spread in 4-5ft waves and bettering their chances, while the 8 even 9 ft beamers take pride in running 6 in the same conditions without a tangle. That would bring up the question, was is the rule of when would a tournament be called off due to weather? Seriously a disadvantage to us when you hear the words, gale force winds or small craft advisory and we are forced to fish.

The Challenge Cups are confusing also. Are there cups for both short and long for West, East, and whole? If so how will it work if I play the strategic way and place in both short and long? Can I place high in short box and low in long box and win the long box cup when another team places lower in big box in the same events? In the past it would go to the most consistent team but now it sound more confusing.

And lastly the weigh ins. Everyone hates how long the weigh-ins take. If I have to hear "50/50" for longer I'll go postal! They took a long time already and it's understood but now if I have a box of 12, how much longer will it take for me and the other teams to fish out the top 5/6 (which I vote for 6) so they can place in both? Maybe it should be considered 1 prize per day. But then on the other side of things, we would see teams taking their time to weigh-in so they would choose where they would sit better.

Regardless, I plan to do all 4 and hope to see fellow amateurs do the same! Everyone has to admit, there were days out there that you took your single day score and compared them to the Pro's. And you saw your team with a better score then the Pros. You took pride because you did it with less rods and a smaller limit. But then the next day, you sucked and realize that is why they are Pro's and we're Am's. Now guys, we can take that one day and get paid and recognized! No one remembers, who was in second place at the king of the lake in Wilson after day one a couple years back, right? Well that team had to fish day two in horrible conditions for their boat size and dropped to 13th and didn't get paid. Man I wish there was a two day tournament that paid each day back then! I'm in!!

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As someone that has never participated in a Pro - am, This new format will keep me from starting a team and joining. This Summer I was going to fish the Orleans Pro Am as an Am. It is a little much to jump into a Pro Am in the Pro division. From the outside looking in, the am division seemed as a perfect stepping stone to me. The open division looks like the only choice left for the small guys. Cutting out the Am division is like baseball getting rid of AAA, AA and A baseball. Newbies have no where to start. A team with no Prom Ams under their belts are going to get beat down in their first attempt at fishing with the Pros and walk away. When all the competitors of today retire from the Pro Am circuit, who is going to be left? Seems to me like the beginning of the end if this format takes hold. Just like Corporate America, The little guy gets beat up and pushed out by the big guys once again.

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Hi guys I am Capt. Tom Burke from Cold Steel. I am one of the lucky ones who participated on the commitee. I'm just going to go through all my thoughts on these issues.

We saw tourney numbers dwindling and wanted to try and reverse that trend. After lots of discussions We ended up focusing on trying to take what we thought were the best attributes from all the tournaments that were out there. Pro ams, WHI, Scotty's, new Atommik Inv.

We had to do this under word from the county directors that things should also be made easier from their standpoint. Due to less resources & tightening budgets on their end.

Seeing pro am fields shrink last year and the new WHI event get off to a great start caught our attention. Afterall it was a 1 division, 1 day, top place prize loaded event. It got me excited! But to my surprise seemed to excite big, small, pro & am teams as well!!

So we decided to make our top division in the 2012 Pro am series go in that direction. But wanted to keep some of what we had as well. If we were going to get a larger field in the top division we wanted to also increase opportunity. So we added another category. 5/6 fish(fields choice) and the standard 12 fish.

Then we wanted to add prize opportunities. Most tourneys offered between 10(WHI,Atommik,scotty) 20&25(pro am) Some argued for 30 or 40, while some of us pushed for and got 60.

Although that number watered down the payout for some top finishing boats, unless they swept the field. We felt it gave more chances to all, especially being paid out by 20 spots, 3 times.

As someone pointed out worst case scenario 4 good boats going on a roll could get up to 24 checks. But do the math. old pro am, 20 payouts I could win 1, leaving 19 more. New pro am, 4 guys win 24, there are still 36 payouts left!!

I don't know if this will be great? No one does. But I do know some of us put allot of time into it with the best intentions, despite what some think.

One reason for the survey is the biggest change we wanted to make is to have people feel the tournament wanted and would listen to their opinions!

Because of that and from what I have read here. My only personal goal left is to work with whoever I can, as fast as I can to enhance the open division in anyway possible. So that any current Am teams and any new teams who don't want to enter the top division will have a division that they will enter, compete and feel comfortable with.

Here are my last thoughts on what has been said:

Entry fee-Wanted to give field a choice(650/850). 95% of discussion i've heard has been $650, I think that will be it.

Rods-8 or 9? To be voted on. Most of what I have heard is 8

Morning start. We really didn't address this and I think some make valid points. I know I would not want to be in a smaller boat during a shotgun start in one of these events! I will bring it up.

Maybe I would get in and just go for the small box. But I would have to compete against a bigger boat which might get 12 then weigh in his biggest 5/6. Again we were looking at other tourneys. Scotty's allow 6 people on board, 8 rods, in canada the limit is 5 per man, and you can cull! A boat could possibly catch 50 fish, keep 30 and weigh in biggest 5 but still many small boats enter each year. Our tourney you are limited to first 12 legal fish boated.

I am not big on the chat boards. I will try and stay on here. Really appreciate some of the good responses and ideas some had. I can be reached at 315-298-2500 and will try to talk to anyone I can.

I hope this all works out well, but you never know. We are going to keep trying to make it better and get the information out there.

Tom

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Hell has frozen over boys and girls! LOL Welcome Burke!

You said one thing that I liked and that was lets try and enhance the open division so the Am teams that don't want to take that step have a place to learn and grow. I feel that would resolve a lot.

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Has there been any discussion on lightning during the tournament? I brought it up after the Niagara event last year as many teams kept fishing depite the rumblings aloft. I know there were some team members and observers that felt uncomfortable staying out in the conditions but felt obligated to not say anything that may effect a team's outcome. I would think for liability reasons it needs to be discussed. I watched a Redfish tournament where tournament directors monitoring the weather directed all boats to the nearest port. After which time the storms had passed, the teams were released to fish with fishing time given back. Seems someone with a laptop could access and monitor the radar loop.

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Gambler, after reading your post, I thought of the movie "happy gilmore"! If your not familiar with the movie let me tell you about what I mean. A none golfer with a baseball swing stroke that drives a ball farther than the Pro's. His putting game sucks in the beginning but later improves by each tournament he is in. The point I wanted to make is that at happy's first tournament he ended last. But he did get a small check, which made him compete more and better his game and eventually winning a jacket! You mentioned baseball, but in baseball there is one winner no matter what division. In golf you could ended up 9th and take home a prize. I understand how you feel, because 3 years ago I start on the open division, did ok. Following year went am. Took home some money. Then last doing am again and placing 2nd in the lake wide challenge. Only 3 full year of tournament fishing. There is 60 prizes in 1 event. I might not win first but sure will try.

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Jesus Uncle Burke I cant believe your on LOU!! Excellent first post I must say.. I like that idea of revising the open division. I know that fishing these tournaments can be expensive I get that, but the friendships Ive gained from these tournaments is PRICELESS. I know for one I cant wait to see everyone and maybe even have an adult beverage with yas!! 3 months men 3 months!!!

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I know for one I cant wait to see everyone and maybe even have an adult beverage with yas!! 3 months men 3 months!!!

Pineapple Bombers! I'll get the first round! :rofl::rofl:

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Maybe this format will make this a no comm event,I mean now that an am can get the$ a pro is fishing for I doubt he will give any inside info and visa-versa you know a pro is not going to put you on any fish that might push your box better than theirs

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Tom Burke! Welcome to LOU buddy!! :clap::clap::clap:

I like the new format and we'll be fishing all of them this year. Time will tell whether or not it ends up being a good move to make such drastic changes, but change comes to everything eventually and we are going to embrace it as a team. I'm very interested in seeing the final scoring system - the further in advance that we have it, the more time we all have to work on our game plans. This new format will definitely make for some interesting team discussions and decisions during the heat of battle! Do we stay put and try to grind out a few more big fish for a good short box? Or do we need to look elsewhere for smaller fish to round out our long box? Do we just try to cash a check on any given weekend or do we roll the dice and go for numbers in hopes of staying in the season-long championship race? This will become a thinking man's game and each boat will have to decide in their own way what their goals are for an individual event and for the entire season. I'm excited about it!

From what I'm reading and hearing as I talk to people about this it sounds like consistency will still pay off in the long run, and that's what we're most interested in as a team. Don't get me wrong - It'll be nice to be able to cash a check if we have a good box one day but not on the other. At the end of the day we'd like to see that two days of good, consistent fishing counts more towards the season championship than a few hot days mixed in with some not so hot days.

We would like to see the entry fee at $650 too. I'd like to see the entry fee kept as low as possible to encourage as many teams as possible to enter.

While we have been competing in the Pro division for a while now, we're definitely not full-time fishermen and probably fish less than many of the Am teams do. A full-time job and a family at home will slow down even the most dedicated fisherman! To those Am teams who are on the fence about competing against the best of the best I'd say this: Give it a try. What do you have to lose? It's been proven over and over again that the fish don't care whether you're a Pro or an Am. The fish don't care if you fish out of an 18' trailerable boat or out of a 42' Viking - each has it advantages under certain circumstances. The fish just don't care. The team with the best presentation and game plan typically wins. Many of you have regularly out-fished the Pros in these events for years. For those of you who are worried that you won't fare well against the best tournament fishermen on the lake, so what? These events are IMO the very best way to become a better fisherman and are undoubtedly the highlight of our season every year - win or lose. We all get our butts handed to us at times - that's part of the game. You can go home with your tail between your legs and never come back again after an experience like that or you can hold your head high, learn everything that you possibly can from it and come back the following event and be better than you were the time before. Imagine the sense of accomplishment your team would have in working your way up the leaderboard over the course of a few seasons. Suddenly you'll find yourselves catching more fish on a regular basis, having more fun, having a lot more friends from all over the lake, and enjoying our sport more than you ever thought possible. Isn't that what it's all about?

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Hi guys I am Capt. Tom Burke from Cold Steel. I am one of the lucky ones who participated on the commitee. I'm just going to go through all my thoughts on these issues.

We saw tourney numbers dwindling and wanted to try and reverse that trend. After lots of discussions We ended up focusing on trying to take what we thought were the best attributes from all the tournaments that were out there. Pro ams, WHI, Scotty's, new Atommik Inv.

We had to do this under word from the county directors that things should also be made easier from their standpoint. Due to less resources & tightening budgets on their end.

Seeing pro am fields shrink last year and the new WHI event get off to a great start caught our attention. Afterall it was a 1 division, 1 day, top place prize loaded event. It got me excited! But to my surprise seemed to excite big, small, pro & am teams as well!!

So we decided to make our top division in the 2012 Pro am series go in that direction. But wanted to keep some of what we had as well. If we were going to get a larger field in the top division we wanted to also increase opportunity. So we added another category. 5/6 fish(fields choice) and the standard 12 fish.

Then we wanted to add prize opportunities. Most tourneys offered between 10(WHI,Atommik,scotty) 20&25(pro am) Some argued for 30 or 40, while some of us pushed for and got 60.

Although that number watered down the payout for some top finishing boats, unless they swept the field. We felt it gave more chances to all, especially being paid out by 20 spots, 3 times.

As someone pointed out worst case scenario 4 good boats going on a roll could get up to 24 checks. But do the math. old pro am, 20 payouts I could win 1, leaving 19 more. New pro am, 4 guys win 24, there are still 36 payouts left!!

I don't know if this will be great? No one does. But I do know some of us put allot of time into it with the best intentions, despite what some think.

One reason for the survey is the biggest change we wanted to make is to have people feel the tournament wanted and would listen to their opinions!

Because of that and from what I have read here. My only personal goal left is to work with whoever I can, as fast as I can to enhance the open division in anyway possible. So that any current Am teams and any new teams who don't want to enter the top division will have a division that they will enter, compete and feel comfortable with.

Here are my last thoughts on what has been said:

Entry fee-Wanted to give field a choice(650/850). 95% of discussion i've heard has been $650, I think that will be it.

Rods-8 or 9? To be voted on. Most of what I have heard is 8

Morning start. We really didn't address this and I think some make valid points. I know I would not want to be in a smaller boat during a shotgun start in one of these events! I will bring it up.

Maybe I would get in and just go for the small box. But I would have to compete against a bigger boat which might get 12 then weigh in his biggest 5/6. Again we were looking at other tourneys. Scotty's allow 6 people on board, 8 rods, in canada the limit is 5 per man, and you can cull! A boat could possibly catch 50 fish, keep 30 and weigh in biggest 5 but still many small boats enter each year. Our tourney you are limited to first 12 legal fish boated.

I am not big on the chat boards. I will try and stay on here. Really appreciate some of the good responses and ideas some had. I can be reached at 315-298-2500 and will try to talk to anyone I can.

I hope this all works out well, but you never know. We are going to keep trying to make it better and get the information out there.

Tom

Tom,

My suggestions for the Open:

1. Leave the entry fee as is.

2. Increase the fishing time. With no separate Am division it should easily be able to be pushed out without interference at the weigh-in.

3. Possibly bump the fish up to the best 4.

Thanks for considering.

Pat

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As I posted before in regards to the Open Division, my opinion:

1. Raise entry to fee to $150 day

2. Love the idea of a little longer day. Be in line by say 12:30 or 1 pm. That should not be a conflict with other weigh in.

Thanks

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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.

I like this idea a lot. The guys on smaller boats have an easier time catching 6 big fish than boxing out with 12 fish. That levels the playing field for us Ams with smaller boats.

I like the solution above but also think it would be really easy to just weigh in all of your fish and let the chips fall where they may. The only Caveat is you can only cash in one or the other not both. If you come in 1st in the big box and 3rd in the small box, you cash the big box and are eliminated from the small box contest and everyone below you moves up a spot. That way, if 30 places were paid per day then 30 checks would be cut to 30 separate teams. As far as the "cup" challenge etc each place would be assigned points and a points system could be used.

Either way, I'll fish in it if my team mates are in. I doubt they will be if the fee is $850 though. Even $650 is a bit of a stretch to fish all four events. Will probably have to cut back to 2 events at that rate.

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Thanks for all the suggestions guys. I am investigating as we speak what can & can't be done. One thing that is already a plus is that some sponsor prizes were being divided up between the Am & Open divisions. Now they will all go to one division, along with the 100% payback of the entry fee. Are guys generally ok with keeping the open format of it essentially being 2-1 day tourneys? Although I'm hoping we can add an overall for teams that get in both days.

One more thing on No Comm. The counties still want no part of this issue. What we did last year was to have a No Comm calcutta to help solve this. Our thought this year was again to have a No Comm calcutta, but make it small. Possibly a $100 to encourage most if not all teams to get in. Teams that also want a bigger calcutta, can do another on their own.

Tom

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Hats off to the committee members for a thankless effort. No matter what you guys come up with as an end result you will have controversy.

My question is if you're trying to level the playing field and draw new blood or more boats, why would you raise the entrance fee to a point higher than pro's paid last year. It seems like you are pricing out alot of the little guys.

Since you merged the fields together wouldn't it make sense to split the cost of entry? Say maybe to $400-$450?

We were trying to put together a team for this year and I had a hard enough time trying to get 3 guys to come up with $265 and money for an observer.

To me it's not a matter of playing with the big dogs, just costing so much to do so.

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I think the open division should be set up just like the am was set the entry at 275$ fish the same ports as every one else not be able to leave from any where set the limit of fish to whatever the small box is this way you can sum what compare you self to the other division and see were you stack up this way you won't hesitate to bump up to the (big money ) its just to much money to throw in the ring .this will be my first year fishing the pro/ams and I would love to fish all four but even at 650$ its just to much I would never be able to get a team together I truly hope the open division is set up more like the ams were thanks jerry

TEAM TANGLEWEED!!! I hope

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AMATURE CHALLENGE CUP? Trash or Rectify. My suggestion. Upon entering teams will designate whether they are Pro or Am teams. Same guidelines as before. After each segment (west, east and overall) recognize the Amature teams that do well along with the Pro teams. This will give something for the Am's to compete for. It's better than throwing it in the garbage.

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As someone pointed out worst case scenario 4 good boats going on a roll could get up to 24 checks. But do the math. old pro am, 20 payouts I could win 1, leaving 19 more. New pro am, 4 guys win 24, there are still 36 payouts left!!

Now that explanation sounds pretty good Tom.

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AMATURE CHALLENGE CUP? Trash or Rectify. My suggestion. Upon entering teams will designate whether they are Pro or Am teams. Same guidelines as before. After each segment (west, east and overall) recognize the Amature teams that do well along with the Pro teams. This will give something for the Am's to compete for. It's better than throwing it in the garbage.

:yes:

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AMATURE CHALLENGE CUP? Trash or Rectify. My suggestion. Upon entering teams will designate whether they are Pro or Am teams. Same guidelines as before. After each segment (west, east and overall) recognize the Amature teams that do well along with the Pro teams. This will give something for the Am's to compete for. It's better than throwing it in the garbage.

I agree with Jim. In fact, I discussed this with Bill Hilts breifly at LOTSA on Sunday. I think all who have worked hard to win the Amatuer Challenge Cup would like to find a way to continue this tradition for those who are willing to put in the considerable effort to fish all 4 tournaments. All those who enter the pro am should declare their Am status on the entry sheet.Their total scores for the season could be tracked and a winner of the cup could be announced at Sodus.And it doesn't have to be as difficult as the Pro Cup rules have been in the past. In fact, the AM'S will be helping to increase the overall prize structure for all and the cup will give those who have tried for many years to win it the opportunity to still do so.I truly believe that if the cup is most points win it- more AM's will join the fun.

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Tom,

My suggestions for the Open:

1. Leave the entry fee as is.

2. Increase the fishing time. With no separate Am division it should easily be able to be pushed out without interference at the weigh-in.

3. Possibly bump the fish up to the best 4.

Thanks for considering.

Pat

I like the sound of this idea :yes:

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If any of the amatures have doubts about fishing against the pro's take a look back in time to the 2010 Oswego Scotty.

!st place team The Crazy B's were on Popeyes Charter boat but the 4 women did all of the work in the back of the boat.

2nd wasTeam Fishhawk an amature team in a 24 ft Grady.

3rd was Liguid Plumber an amature team in a small 21 ft Arima.

4th was Trouble Shooter an amature team in a 24 ft Thompson. Yes Ace was on board but they don't listen to him.

5th was team 2 fish an amature team and I believe he has a 23ft Sportcraft. He was also Thne Scotty King of the Lake in 2010.

6th Fishsanity and 7th Hideout i am not sure what the makeup of these teams are.

8th was Sea Devil a big boat and I believe they had a mixed crew aboard.

9th was Praying Mantis a pro team but I believe his boat is 25 or 26.

10th was A-TOM-MIK and I believe it was the Screamer Team.

Many of the Pro teams are weekend fisherman just like the rest of us. They ussually have bigger boats more and better equiptment and a bigger team than the amatures but some amatures fish the same or more than they do. Billy v has a bigger boat but he does not fish every day and splits his time between the Finger lakes and Lake Ontario. Yankee stepped up to a 10 meter last year and before that I believe he had a 25-27 ft Bayliner and when he sold his boat last year he posted that he did an average of 15 charters a year. I believe he has done better as a pro than he did as an amature. Pete Alex has a lot of expieriance as a charter captain and a tournament fisherman and does very well but some of the amatures that do the Proams fish the lake more than he does. We have fished the same water ThrillseekerII for 2 and easilly boxed out with 18 and he struggled to box 12 in 2 days. Are the Pro's better fisherman than you? Maybe or Maybe not.The only way to find out is to fish against them.

Don't worry about who you are fishing against. Take your expieriance Your confidence and your team and show everyone you can fish.

Chris Pervere

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There's no reason the entry fee has to be so high alot of people are posting that there only gonna fish 1or2 tournaments.the entry fee should be set at a reasonable amount you would have more teams able to fish all the events and MAVERICK you stated in an earlyer post that teams are fishing 1000$ tournaments and there's no complaints Then I here your not even fishing all four tournaments because you don't want to front the money and then not be able to put a team together so if you can't put a team together how can us guys do it let's be reasonable with this entry fee gentleman you can set the calcutta at whatever the you want but please don't stop us new guys from fishing these exciting events just because of an entry fee thanks

Jerry

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