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Hi - I know you asked this question at the Salmon School social Friday night this past week and I was hoping to address it when we got to the Tournament/Derby Considerations section Saturday but unfortunately we were short on time.   Here's my feedback for anyone who is looking to do this.


Most times the guys or friends you fish with become your tournament team - try just taking people out and if they seem like they would be a good fit maybe ask them to do a small tournament.  Keep it low-key at first and see where it goes.  Chemistry is really important because depending on expectations and level of competitiveness of the folks involved things can sour in a hurry.


Have a discussion up front about expenses (entry fees, fuel, bait, ice) and possible winnings - how do you split it and if there are tax implications make sure you talk through that.  Also - sometimes its common for the boat to take a share if there are winnings - just to replace lost gear, kinked wire, maintenance, wadded coppers and whatnot.


What is the goal?  Derby Fishing or tournaments?  Lots of smaller east end tournaments to cut  your teeth on.


Make sure there is a pecking order - need one Chief and some Indians for most situations.  


Reliability - nothing worse than someone who is a no show on tournament day - stuff happens but make sure your team is committed.  Discuss pre-fishing plans so everyone is on-board


Walk the docks, make friends at marina's, bring people out who don't fish but who's job might just be to reel in fish. Don't neglect kids and women.  My wife and kid are core to our tournament team (we have another guy who joins us) but we are very competitive in any event we fish, we usually cash a check,  and we don't have a stacked team with multiple captains and mates. 


Join ELOSTA or another org in the area - lots of member and could be a place to find some folks to fish with.


Realize it takes time sometimes to get the right mix of people and get things off the ground but the more you fish with those folks the more comfortable you become with them - ideally your "team" fishes together more than just tournament day.


Good luck in your search



Edited by AnglingAddict
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All good advice. I am ready to make it happen this year. Last year I fished with 6 new friends. A combination of chemistry and availability are hard to find. Thank you so much for your time and information.


A note to anyone that reads this I have a fully equiped boat with Garmin panoptic. I need full and partime team members. We will be in Wilson for the Spring LOC derby.

10 days of fishing is a great primer for a team.


If you are in need of a substitute I am retired and ready to fish the south shore of Lake Ontario 

Edited by Earl28
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One piece of advice i can give from my experience is to make friends with new guys. Most guys want to learn new techniques and want to improve there catch rate and jumping on an experienced boat during tournaments brings the best out. You sacrifice in rod handling but they can only improve. Most of all try your best to keep it laid back and fun. Best way to keep them coming back and you may end up making a good friend and expand your network when they’re out there as well. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another thought I had - it might be useful to post the events you plan to fish this season - that might help lure some folks in or maybe someone can join you for a few events but not all.   Instead of taking the blanket approach it's possible a direct approach by putting a post up and say "looking for two guys to fish the Fair Haven Challenge on this date" etc.  might help.  Also consider putting the same post up on some of the FaceBook groups as well...Facebook is an active medium - it will put your post in front of people who belong to that page - forums like this one are passive - the person needs to find this thread.    



Edited by AnglingAddict
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2023 West End tournament dates from video:  

West End Cup:  Combination scores best 4 out of 5. Spring/fall Big boy, WHI, Niagara Pro Am, Orleans CO Open $250 entry fee. Contact Craig Hajecki

Big Boy #1 May 13th.  Olcott/Wilson Port, best 6 fish Salmon only.  Captains meeting May 12th, 6pm @ the pavilion in Olcott. $250 entry fee plus Calcutta.

Starting same day as big boy and running until May 19th is the Wilson Harbor Salmon and Trout Slam and 1K a day.  Salmon Slam is $300 to enter, 1k a day $150 to enter.

WHI: May 20-21. 6 fish per day per team
entry $400 per day plus $200 over all...based on last year

Niagara Pro Am June 2-3 Wilson Olcott Ports
Entry: AM $300 Pro $1200. Separate captains meetings with own set of rules.  Pro 12 fish/day Am 5 fish/day,  Checks must be postmarked by May 15th and cash in person upto Nay 31st. Contact Penny Hartman for more info 716-628-2361.

Orleans Co Open June 10-11. Oak Orchard Port 
Entry Fee Pro$500 Am $250

Lake Ontario Triple Threat Championship: Consists of combination points from Monroe Co Offshore Classic, Sandy Creek Shootout and the Bald Eagle Beatdown. Contact Tim Skrip or Rob Wescott for more info.

Monroe Co. Offshore Classic July 1st Monroe County Water Only. 5 fish combined only 1 can be lake trout.

Sandy Creek Shootout 7/21 Big fish Friday $50 to enter 7/22 Main event $150 plus optional calcutta , $50 for optional 2 fish challenge.  More info to come as date approaches

Bald Eagle Beatdown: July 29th $150 plus calcutta.  More info to come

Twin Counties by Route 18
July 30-Aug 20, Pro $300 7 fish locked in, AM $150 5 fish locked in. Weigh in stations: Wilson Boat Yard, The Boat Doctor, Ernst Lake Breeze Marina and Route 18 Tackle.

Big Boy #2 Sept2-3 captains meeting on Sept 1 @6 at Boone & Crocketts  Entry Fee $250 plus calcutta

Also King of the Oaks...based on previous years we know they run June July August September, waiting on set dates!  

Remember to like share and comment the video Tim and John to be entered in the giveaway! Lets have a great season! FISH ON!!!!!

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