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BlueEye

New Format Changes for 2012 Pro-Am Tournaments

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Just wanted to thank the commitee for working so hard at this.. the more i read and think about the format i realize how awesome this is. i agree with certain reconigtion for "am" teams keeping the same rules that qualify a non pro team. i Fished the Niagara Am division last year because my mentor and friend capt Matt Yablonksy was out of town. well with my wished washed team all the fish we needed to win hit the the transom of my boat but with inexpierenced people things happen and we didnt put up our limit...thats on me!! we would have finished top 3.... there are way more things that will beat yourself that we need to focus on ... improve.. get good ... practice ... practice ... and kick some ass.... were in for at least the Niagara and i look forward to whats ahead there are good people working on it and i believe they will have the best things in place... see ya there!!

---Mike Barry----

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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:

I like that a lot. Due to not being able to commit to the whole weekend, we have fished 1 day each of the last 2 years for the oak pro-am open division and really enjoyed it. We finished 2nd both times and I thought we were rewarded nicely for what little you had to put into it. :yes: Just need to move the weigh in to maybe 1pm. The guys I had on the boat last season said they were going to fish it out of their own boats this year. :yes:

As far as the voting goes, 8 or 9 rods? Not much of a difference their, just give me 9. 6 or 9 would have been a better idea and for the entry fee, why can't it be $400-$500. I don't see any reason to pay 60 spots at each event unless you want people to get $100 and a $50 gas certificate to the local AM & PM for 10th place.

Either way I'll be fishing an event on the west end in another captain's boat or in mine if he doesn't like the rules, kicks me out or our music is too loud and they kick the whole boat out.lol. Overall I like the short/long box format, but with the counties wanting to see more participation, I just don't see it unless the open division catches fire and it could. :clap:

All the gentlemen in charge are doing their best and it's time to drop the keyboards a go fishing!

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

With statements like this your never going to pass a random drug test program!!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks for the compliment Chris, I was just joking,too!!1 And your right. Sometimes the don't listen. LOL!!!!!!!!!!

Hope you guys have a great season.

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Few notes

Hopefully we will be posting the Guaranteed Niagara payout on here shortly. I think it might surprise some!!

2nd despite what some think, some of us worked very hard on trying to make a better Pro Am going forward. Despite what some Am boats think, some of what we came up with even many Pro boats weren't happy with. What got them to go along with a more spread out payout was the hope to keep Pro Am fields growing. And realizing they could get together on their own with something like a seperate, higher calcutta to make up the difference. My point is that Am boats should think about this as well. Yes you can get together and start a tournament. Many of us Pro boats had the same thought.(40 boats, $2000 a piece) But we realized that isn't the best for the communities(lodging,restaurants,stores, etc) More people equals more money!! Due to financial constraints the counties can't due as much for us as we would like. But they do allot behind the scenes that can't be measured! Organization,paperwork,logistics(weigh in,scoring,rule enforcement, advertising,staging, etc!!!) Immeasurable stuff!

What I'm trying to say is were all in this together. Get in the new Pro Am. Short box/Long Box, or Open division(and work to make it what you want)

On the other hand this is America and were all free to do what we want. Just take a reasonable look at it all before you make a decision.

Capt. Tom

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As a guy thats been wanting to get back to tourney fishing for a few years now (ex bass federation tourneys) and finally has the opportunity to this year, I'm very excited to see the payouts and have no worries about competing with the bigdogs in the open class. I think it should not only give the ams a great chance for a payout, but they also have the opportunity to out fish some of thie top guys and I would think that would be more of an accomplisment than out fishing other ams teams (though I do get the competitiveness). I would love to be able to say "we outfished (any big guy) this weekend and won money for gas and more tackle!" I've been fishing next to the bigdogs for years outta my 16'-17's and I'm sure put more fish in the boat on certian days and have caught just as big of fish, and if one of those days is during a proam,,, their would be some happy campers on the boat. Yes, the guys that fish every day will have a slight advatage to the patterns, but as we all know the lake can change overnight and at that point, the knowledge of what worked yesterday is useless.The only way the bigger boats really have any advantage is the weather in my opinion. They can also run a few more rods, but I dont believe in more rods catching more fish. Thats just their program. A 6 rod spread dialed can fish just as good as a 10 rod spread. Its all about dialing it in.

With that being said, I never fished the previous format and really dont know all the changes. Just wanted to give my 2 cents from a am thats hasnt fished it before and say thanks to all that worked to keep things running.

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Capt. Tom,

Great post. I know that we have disected the pros and cons to both the so called amateur field and the professional boats. Vince along with others have pointed this out very well. What I would like to add is the "feel" of these tournaments. I have fished in PWT events on Erie, major tournaments on Lake O and others in between and can say this series has always been a test of strategy, stress and wits. The format is like no other, what to target, can we get our twelve, if the bite is hot how do we attract bigger fish, when do change tactics and scamper up some cohos or browns. This is the draw. It's what makes us salivate in February and March waiting to cross the pier heads and lay it all on the line. Everyone who fishes these knows exactly what I am amping on. Don't let the term am or pro fool anyone. When it comes to this we are all competitive. In older formats I have seen am teams out score the entire pro field and take a fraction of what the pro check was. Who was the pro on that day? But no one remembers that stuff. However, carrying a box to the scale on Sunday that takes it all against of all of um, well that is the stuff dreams, hard work, skill and even a bit of luck are made of. If this is in you, you owe it to yourself to give it a try. You just may find out you can go toe to fin with them all and be hooked to hi stakes big time tournament action in the process. Good luck to everyone this season and hope to see familiar faces again this year.

Keep your rod up, and make sure it's tight.

Capt. Tony

www.reelthrillcharters.net

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so I suspect that if you suck @ fishing you're probably pretty happy about these changes ...

Classy post! For what its worth, these "changes" were worked on by some of the best fishermen on the lake. Those of us that "suck" appreciate what they did. :o

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Introducing such parity in a tournament filled with HUGE egos will bore & frustrate the crap out out the Pros who go out here & pre-fish for three days & then watch another boat cash a check for getting lucky one day ... I'd rather they pay out $ to the teams who bust their ass & grind for two days & produce big boxes, ... there is such a thing as integrity in losing, ... not everyone can be a winner, ... I learned that 45 years ago when I was a kid, too bad they don't teach it any more; it's the kind of thing that forces competitors to make better decisions, refine your techniques & be more competitive. I don't agree that these changes are good for the tournament and in my opinion, they'll likely dilute the talent & competitiveness, a sure means to the end of a once great series.

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No. Exactally the opposite. What I'm inferring, is that anyone is good enough. This new format reminds of my kid's t-ball games where everyone gets to hit & nobody keeps score & thre are no losers. My argument is that if your team can't put together a competitive box, you shoudn't cash a check. In my opinion, if you go home pissed b/c you didn't cash, it ought to motivate you to improve so you will next year, you should not be rewarded for a sub par performance.

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The added payouts come from adding an additional format(small box) already used elsewhere successfully. And from paying each day. Still only pays top ten. So you will need to be competitive to cash a check.

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Actually, I completely understand your point (and sincere frustration?), believe me the whole process was a challenge. Remember, some of us were invited to take on the thankless task of saving the SERIES. The Niagara Pro-Am is an institution, and is always well attended. Why is that? One reason for sure is tradition, but another is probably because the fishing is usually good. History has shown better participation when fishing is good, even though it really doesn't matter competition-wise.

The other 3 events needed a "shot in the arm", if the series concept was going to live on. Still being run and overseen by the various Counties, participation was very important, even more important than what the committee members thought. We took on the task of merging the prior 2 divisions and took it seriously. The majority felt it important to create one division but offer a dual format that would allow teams to fish to their strengths. The "Classic" format hasn't changed one bit, and winning it won't be diluted one bit. Of course, if a team "gets cute" and tries to win both(which is certainly possible) they may blow what they had going. Teams with several tournaments under their belts have said that this dual format will only add strategy and make decision making even more critical. At the same time, however, a newer competitive team may have a species they are well versed in pursuing. By employing the K.I.S.S. principle, that team may cash checks both days, and we all know what happens in that circumstance--they continue to "play" and the sport grows.

Some significant sponsorship is in place and there is a very good chance that the events will be BETTER than 100% payback, can't beat that. There will be opportunities to increase your exposure and "play for more", much more than before.

So, if you really enjoy a multi species, multi strategy, multi format, ultra challenging event, this is for you. It is also for a newer team trying to hone their skills and be able to be recognized and rewarded should they put it together-even for one day.

This certainly was not what most of the longtime competitor/committee members wanted for themselves, but it was agreed that it was the best format to grow the sport and look to the future.

Keep in mind, there are plans to vastly improve the "open" division, as once again it is important to the counties to have participation.

Your point is well taken, and actually has helped the committee's position. The biggest criticism thus far has been that it wasn't spread out ENOUGH, that somehow we weren't looking out for the upstarts enough. Thank you and good luck on the water.

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