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brucehookedup

Tournament format opinion

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What has happened to the Pro Ams is an absolute travesty....I have fished them on and off since 1995. The original rules included No communication, Friday and Saturday tournament days (Sunday as a blow day), and no open division....Just a Pro and AM division....

Now we have "Big box and small box" nonsense...just about every port has a pro am, open communication, Lawyers deciding if we can compete or not, Saturday and Sunday competition with no room for a Blow day......

Well lets look at the main issue with the Pro Am....Attendance.....If there is more Pro Ams available throughout the lake, that's more tournaments to choose from. Lets face it, with today's economy there are not many guys that can afford to fish all of them... its all about supply and demand. If there is a large supply of something, then the demand will be lower....Why not go back to the way it was....Niagara, Rochester, and Oswego? The biggest ports on the Lake....Niagara and Oswego at each end and Rochester right in the middle of the lake....It kinda makes sense.

No communication has been a TKO'ed horse for some time now.....

Now we have the Big box Small box......uuuh...who won? I understand that guys wanted more payouts...how can the payouts work if the attendance sucks?

Lawyers.....Well now that they have their grubby paws and opinions involved in saying when its OK to fish, maybe it should go back to the Friday and Saturday competition ( Sunday blow day). Most guys take two days off to pre fish anyway.....Hypothetically if there are two days of small craft advisory, wouldn't competitors want a chance at fishing with an available third day? You guys need to understand that you will NOT GET YOUR MONEY BACK if the tournament is cancelled. The Counties will hold your money hostage till the next years tournament ....even if you can't fish the next year....Pretty much stealing your money. Lets face it...now we have desk jockies and "oh so accurate " weathermen making decisions about if we should fish. I would like to see the option of the third day rather than see my $690.00 sitting in an account (gaining interest no doubt).

The Dissolving of the Am division has really made an impact.....lets look at the numbers for the Oswego Pro am.....27 boats.....compared to a relatively small and new Sandy Creek Shootout....42 Boats.....Most of which were not Charter boats. It kinda proves my point that if we deny the regular guy a means to compete, then the Pro Am is basically cutting thier own throats. Its cultivating the competitive nature in newer players is whats going to advance the tournaments.... A guy doesn't come right out of High school to play in MLB....he goes to a Farm team to compete and gain confidence and the skills to compete in the majors.....

Just my opinion....and we all know the saying about opinions......Basically I will not be competing in any of the pro ams again....I commend the guys for trying to make things better. Noble intentions or not, the Pro Ams re headed down a slippery slope.

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Thie subject is getting interesting replies and opinions, i like it and hope the right people are reading this as well.

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The pro/ams were the most prestiges tournamnet on the lake. Period

I remember a friend of mine, Brian from Tall Tails said during a proam bashing session on here "The proams are not for everyone and thats OK"

The tournaments were being bashed mostly by guys that never even fished one and wouldn't have the balls to fish them anyway.

This was a very true statement by Brian and seeing what was happening to the Am division was terrible.

The guys who fished the am division were mostly weekend warriors who were willing to make some pretty major sacrifices in thier lives to do so.

The expense, the travel and the time off of work and away from the family was something not alot of guys were willing to do.

The guys that were willing, made for a great tournament and the entrys for the Oswego and Niagara were twice what it is now and thats only considering the amatuer divison boats.

Hell, I remember early on our team took in a grand cash for a seventh place finish in Niaqara with 60 + boats fishing the am division.

Changes were made in an attempt to increase participation with no regard for what the majority of guys that were already fishing them wanted.

Instead of increasing participation the plan back fired to the point of what they have now.

The guys who were willing to make the sacrifices to fish the pro/ams were alianated and little by little just stopped fishing them.

When the anouncement was made this year that ams would be pitted against the pros I finally had enpough.

I don't care what kind of prize structure was created or what anybody says on this message board thats plain and simple bull_hit.

As far as the open division, if I want to fish that type of tournament structure I can do so all over the lake alot closer to home port.

From the awards ceremony at Sodus I looked forward to next seasons pro/ams.

Not anymore and I got to believe alot of other am teams feel the same way judging by the entrys this year.

Still no amatuer fishermens input will be regarded.

Frustrating to say the least.

Good luck

Glen

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One big problem The Pro Am has been faced with for years....ever since these message boards got popular, is constant and unrelenting public criticism. I guarantee you if the Pro Am would appoint a public spokesperson, or Cinelli and or Hilts would pop up once in awhile, a lot of the public slander would not take place.

People speak openly and negatively without any hesitation on the Pro Am subject because there is no fear of rebuttal from the committee. If I ran my mouth about ANY other tournament on the lake I'd get my a$$ chewed out by someone associated with that event. Knowing nobody (except for Paul on occasion) will retaliate has made Pro Am discussion a free for all.

Say what you want, but IMO that has hurt the numbers as much as the open communication or unpopular rule changes.

The Pro Am needs a spokesperson! Then...we can engage in a useful and productive conversation.

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The hard part about a thread like this is its really only maybe 15 guys. There are a lot of opinions out there that never make the board really the other side of the coin. I would agree with just about everything that has been said in the thread so far. I was asked to be part of the committee to help reshape what we had. Did I agree with all of it? Not all of it. I talked in depth with various people about what they wanted to see and also what they thought of the format. Was it perfect by no means but there are no perfect large tournaments. We have a lot of choice now as as anglers on the lake when it comes to big money events. I am not talking about the Saturday 50 to 100.00 fun runs. I am talking about the 500 to 1000.00 entry tourneys. 6 fish, one day, salmon tourneys have caught on here, do they have there place? Sure do! They fill a niche! We have our 12 fish, 2 day tourneys. Do they have there place? Sure do! They also fill a niche. I think the structure of the pro/ams was trying to appeal to both of those. Was it perfect? NO Can we work on making it better? SURE CAN!! There is not a perfect tourney on the lake everyone of them is open to improvement and constructive disscussions will help.

When I was asked to be on the committee I looked into the michigan tourney scene a lot. I looked at there rules, the formats and so on. They have been doing this a heck of a lot longer then the organizations here in NY. Google some of those major events and take a look at there formats and rules. Some of them maybe eye openers to you. Example of one that they have that we dont: "If you win the am div in a tourney the following year you are fishing it pro". Just an example of a rule that may have helped us over the years.

One thing we have with our series that they dont is an overall season champion and I happen to think that sets us apart!

I dont want to be considered the LOU spokesman but I can tell you the committee is reading all the forum threads and are looking to the future in 2013. I will be sure to pass along any and all concerns that are posted.

:beer::beer:

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Last I checked Michigan is one f***** up state with a screwed up fishery. I went to school in Detroit......I don't want anything from that state! We are Lake O fishermen who had an amateur format that was popular with the contestants. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". As far as I am concerned the only thing broke is the communication rule.

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One big problem The Pro Am has been faced with for years....ever since these message boards got popular, is constant and unrelenting public criticism. I guarantee you if the Pro Am would appoint a public spokesperson, or Cinelli and or Hilts would pop up once in awhile, a lot of the public slander would not take place.

People speak openly and negatively without any hesitation on the Pro Am subject because there is no fear of rebuttal from the committee. If I ran my mouth about ANY other tournament on the lake I'd get my a$$ chewed out by someone associated with that event. Knowing nobody (except for Paul on occasion) will retaliate has made Pro Am discussion a free for all.

Say what you want, but IMO that has hurt the numbers as much as the open communication or unpopular rule changes.

The Pro Am needs a spokesperson! Then...we can engage in a useful and productive conversation.

The guys who fished the series were hardcore fishermen and had the guts to do it Rod.

No message board bullsh_t was going to put them off.

The non stop rule changes was what pissed people off.

The start of the decline was when the fourth event was added.

Alot of ams that wanted to fish the series just plain couldn't

The open communication and disregard for what the fishermen wanted was responsible for a big drop in participation.

I'll let this latest change speak for itself.

Glen

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Captain Bruce post a legitimate issue and I just followed up with my observations.....This is whats good about this site....Public forum for opinions and Ideas....Just because a guy doesn't have a popular view on a certain topic doesn't make it wrong to post up. Its called freedom of speech and the last time I checked it was what our country was founded on....

I would hope that the tournament officials would view this thread more of constructive criticism and some changes take place. I would love to see the pro ams prosper and return to the original rules.......

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The guys who fished the series were hardcore fishermen and had the guts to do it Rod.

No message board bullsh_t was going to put them off.

Was not really speaking about guys that were already fishing them Glen...my "opinion", which I might add I am entitled to, was pointed at growth and new blood. You will always have people dropping out over the years...but they need to be replaced by new teams. All the bad mouthing puts the series in a negative light....and it's been going on for years on this board.

I don't know who you are referring to about "having guts" to fish it? I sure hope that wasn't pointed at me?

I am getting out of this thread and letting you guys have at it....I got a tournament to prepare for ;)

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There is need for change, however i disagree that it is too late for the pro/am. This tournament still has a lot going for it. It is well run and it seems like we finally have guys on the rules committee that are willing to work with the teams. Also sponsorship seems to be better as there was 40 grand from sponsors put towards prizes for the four events.

A few changes that i believe are need for positive growth are:

1. Bring back the AM division, I admit i was for combining the two divisions. As a previous AM team i saw the division constantly shrink and moved to pro for that one main reason. However, we have all seen that it has backed fired and saw maybe two AM teams partially competed this year.

2. Bring back the original rules, this 60 payout BS will never work as there isn't enough teams interested to make this worth fishing. By making this rule you took away the one thing that made the pro/ams special and different from every other tournament and that is two day big box tournament. (and no comm)

3. Lastly although probably one of the most important but the toughest to do is that the tournament should be directed by someone other than the counties. If rules are truly dictated by county influences, such as communication and decision to fish or not due to weather, then have a third party source take over. I’m by no means saying to not include them in helping put the tournament on. They do an amazing job and put a lot of hours in to make these tournaments run. Let them keep doing what they do but take the liability away from them so rules aren't dictated by them. In the end the counties would still benefit from tourism and the tournament would benefit by finally having a set of rules that most fisherman would like to see.

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I'm all for the rules of 8-10 yrs ago. No communication on both ends, pros and ams, Friday, Saturday, ect...no open!

Whatever they are, we need to know for vacation purposes prior to the start of the year. Having to plan vacations and other things around a tournament in which the format and the rules are unknown is very frustrating and unfair. Had vacations and time off from work not been scheduled prior to this years format and rule changes, my participation may have not occurred. Take the uncertainty out of the tournament.

As far as eliminating tournaments, Sodus should be far from the top of the list as it has been seeing the second highest turnout for the past couple years and is very fun and popular place.

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agin i'm new to all of this so please bear with me.. but why is there not a rep to discuses matters like this here. i would think it would have to be a must for the pro/am. where better than here on the lou site. sure there might be what maybe 2 other sites that talk about fishing in the great lake's as a hole . i know of 1 other that i glance at here and there but it doesn't come close to all the info that can be given and received about fishing lake ontario as a hole. if it happens on lake ontario you are sure to hear about it on here. why not have someone on the committee as a liaison. and i'm not saying 1 person that could change every year i mean set up a name i.e. pro/am rep. that way if someone like me had a question about the pro/am i could ask the rep and i could get an answer and know it to be true because the rep whom ever they may be would answer it. on the other side seeing this i.e. pro/am rep. in a thread like this would tell every one that the committee is without a question is hearing our voice about the biggest thing going on out there on the lake.

again this is a question from some one trying to learn so ...

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God darn it...I got sucked back into this conversation .... :D

One thing I totally don't get Jeff. I would like some type of reform, but why would you say get rid of the open? Am I actually hearing this right? The first time In years we have seen dozens of new teams and you want to get rid of it ??? I am almost speechless...lol

I missed the am this year, but just bringing it back with no solutions in place to cure it's yearly decline In participation won't work. We keep hearing the decline was due to rule changes, or whatever bs excuse you want to give it. Some of that is absolutely true, but there are plenty of other factors involved. Some we can't fix and some you don't want to.

Times change. The observer is a big sticking point when trying to grow the am division. A few of us want it, but most don't. It deters families too. If I fish it with my kids and my observer doesn't show, what do I do.....I have to drop out because I have nobody to send. That creates a lot of stress and anxiety. Lots of small teams don't want 5 people on their little boat ( 4 man team plus observer) but if you go with a team of three and your observer doesn't show, you send a teammate and you are down to two....

If you want it to grow, you need to look at it from other perspectives...not just your own. I like the kotl format, where they provide observers for the top boats going into day two. There has to be an answer that works for the majority. Lots of big game billfish tournaments are now all catch and release with photographic proof and polygraph.

Just sayin....all right, now I am done :D

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I think the open was successful this year in getting new blood for two reasons, no observer required (that was always a pain) and only three fish. Most newer people arent going out there and catching 6+ fish a day. And I'll add a third one... cost.

Keep those 3 things and pretend to care about the division and I think it will grow. I'll let the big boys talk to the pro division...

[ Post made via Android ] Android.png

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All I was saying Rod is that two amature divisions will water it down. If no observer is an issue, address it. Two days of the open is exactly the same cost of the old am. The argument of not being able to catch 6 fish is weak at best. When we started the pro ams, we couldn't catch 6 fish regularly either. If all you ever do is catch three and head in you will never catch more fish. The compition will help you become better fishermen. If guys want the option to try a tournament out, let teams fish one day in one tournament to see if they like it for a reduced fee. Have a prize or two for the best one day team.

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I agree with you Jeff...I don't like the 3 fish either. Needs to be more. I liked 9, but I realize that won't happen so 5 sounds like a good in between number. Make it the same as the Trophy box for the Pro's.

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I think the the thoughts of fishermen who participated in the pro/am are important. Maybe somebody with importance will see this and make something happen. Keep it going guys, i am on the same page as captain matt said, freedom of speech.

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