Pro Am 2006 Press Release and Results



Posted June 6 2006

Results Here

June 5, 2006                                                  PRESS RELEASE

Dear Niagara Pro-Am Tournament Competitors:

       The 2006 tournament is now history but the emotions still linger as we put the pieces back together for the final results. This year's tournament was painful in more ways than one. We struggled to tighten the rules up and we truly felt that the final version was what the teams were looking for. We still do. However, a combination of team representatives not understanding what we were looking for, team leaders failing to take the required responsibility to follow through and this committee failing to adequately convey the necessary information through example led to several problems with tournament paperwork.

       First was the requirement to adequately log in each catch through "exact" GPS coordinates. A majority of the teams handled this without a problem. However, others "assumed" that we would take the N and W main coordinates for the Wilson/Olcott area and only include the last four or five numbers. Others were a bit more vague that didn't give us an exact location. In meeting with many of the 22 teams in question on Sunday afternoon/evening, it was evident both sides were at fault. With the Niagara County Sheriff Investigator at our side, we were able to weed through the information at hand to determine that the border was not the issue. While some teams were disqualified for failing to produce any GPS coordinates at all, a majority were allowed for tournament acceptance.

         That being said, another major blunder was discovered. Another tournament rule (Rule 7) was violated, requiring the team leader AND observer to sign on the line immediately following the final catch of the day. It was very explicit and it even gave an example in the rules. Of the 77 teams competing in the event, only nine teams managed to follow the rule correctly. The percentage works out to be something like 88 percent of tournament competitors in violation.

           Adding the two infractions together would mean 69 of the teams would have to be disqualified! These new rules were not intended to be underhanded or deceiving. They were designed to protect the integrity of the event and the teams fishing the event - had we adequately conveyed their importance and concept. Maybe teams need to listen more closely at the Captain's Meeting. While the tournament is a time to renew acquaintances and have some fun, it's also a time to be serious about competition angling because over $50,000 in cash and prizes were on the line riding on these outcomes.

          For those of you that feel we aren't serious about the rules and enforcing them, please consider the fact that these rules were changed to make them more strict. We hired an investigator to be on hand should problems arise and he was a big help in getting us through this past weekend. Several teams were disqualified for rules violations throughout the tournament and everyone recognized their mistakes and were very accepting of the decision involved. We want this to be the best tournament on the Great Lakes, but we need some help. We can't do it without you. You need to play a greater role in abiding by the rules. Bottom line, captains need to be totally accountable for your actions. You need to read the rules and if you don't understand them, ask questions. And we need to do a better job communicating what we're looking for. Together we can make this the best darn trout and salmon tournament on the planet - giving you fishermen the recognition you deserve.

          In the meantime, final results will be posted on Tuesday on the website, and a press release has been issued to the media. The awards ceremony will be held on Friday afternoon following the weigh-in of the First Annual Orleans County Pro-Am Tournament, set approximately for 4 p.m. June 9th. Once you check the standings, please respond to Bill Hilts, Jr.  and let us know if you can make it. If you can't, please send us your address so we can send you the check and/or prize.

Thank you for your patience, understanding and your competitive spirit.


The Niagara County Pro-Am Competition Committee

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PRO-AM 2006 DERBY RESULTS                   Posted June 6 2006

Stalker, Cold Water Affair Win Niagara Pro-Am Comebacks

Two teams that sat in sixth place after the first day of action came back to win the 22nd Annual Skip Hartman Memorial Lake Ontario Pro-Am Salmon Team Tournament held June 3-4 out of the ports of Wilson and Olcott in Niagara County. A total of 79 teams were registered for the event. This year's headline sponsor was Health Imaging, Inc. out of Rochester who donated both cash and a PET Scan to each tournament. For the Niagara event, the Scan is being donated to the Niagara County Department of Social Services and will be presented to them later in the year when a recipient is found. In the Professional Division it was the Stalker Team led by Capt. Kurt Driscoll of Lockport that came storming back with a huge 11 fish catch that scored better than 220 points (based on 10 points per fish and a point per pound) to give him a total score of 417.40 points for the two days and his first tournament win. Other team members included Jeff Herman, Matt Yablonsky and Tim Tuccio. They won a $10,000 prize package that included a check for $6,200, Maui Jim sunglasses, a top-of-the-line Lowrance Electronics unit, Northern King spoons, Michigan Stinger spoons, Dreamweaver spoons, a $500 Jack Pulah print and four Walker Downrigger rod and reel combos. Second place in the professional grouping also staged a huge comeback, but fell short of the Stalker catch. Runnerup Prime Time/A-Tom-Mik led by Capt. Kevin Jerge of Gasport reeled in the single biggest day catch of the tournament (238.65) on the second day of action to leap from 14th place with a two-day score of 408.21 points. They won a $5,000 prize package that included $4,250 in cash, Fish 307 rods, N&D Tackle and a gas card from Reid Petroleum. The Prime Time team also came up short representing their home port as Wilson Town Supervisor Joe Jastremski challenged Newfane Supervisor Tim Horanburg to produce the top boat in the tournament. The top boat came out of Olcott. Third place went to the Maui Jim Fishing Team led by Mike Gustin, the "eye guy" of Webster with a score of 398.61. They won a $3,500 prize package that included a check for $3,100 and four Fish307 rods. Fourth place was a $3,000 package that included a check for $2,600 and that went to the Hot Reels team lead by Dave Sullivan of Canada. Fifth place went to Vision Quest led by Capt. Pete Alex of Erie, Pennsylvania with a score of 378.09 points. They won a check for $2,500. Rounding out the top ten for $2,000 checks were: Sixth place - Thrillseeker, Capt. Vince Pierleoni of Newfane with 373.67 points. Seventh place - Top Gun, Capt. Greg Gehrig of Oswego with 368.74 points; Eighth place - On The Rocks II, Capt. Mike Johannes of Ransomville with 355.04 points. Ninth place - Shirley B, Capt. John Bogdan of Medina, Ohio with 335.26 points. Tenth place - Rebel Charters, Capt. Jerry Felluca of Hilton with 324.42 points. Big fish prizes were worth $100 from Lighthouse Grill and Spirits in Olcott. In the Pro Division it was a 25.63 pound king salmon caught by Lord of the Kings. On Sunday, it was a 25.34 pound king caught by Royal Flush. Top Steelhead, worth $350 in the pro division from Hunter Insulation and Alex Roofing, was Top Gun on Saturday with a 9.39 pound trout; Prime Time and Clueless tied with an 8.99 pound fish on Sunday. The Sigg's Rigs biggest comeback award when to U-Betcha. In the Amateur Division, Cold Water Affair led by Jeff Zimmer of Ontario, NY, scored a two day total of 280.68 points to take their first title on Lake Ontario - with a consistent two days of fishing meeting the challenge. The team was in sixth place after the first day, but when they came in with virtually the same catch on day two, they made the jump into first. They won a $5,400 prize package that included $2,100 in cash, Maui Jim sunglasses, a Lowrance Electronics unit, Northern King spoons, Michigan Stinger spoons, Okuma rods and reels, Dreamweaver spoons and a Muskie Joe fishing charter. Second place was Double Play II led by Tom Letcher of Newfane with 265.34 points. They won a $2,900 package that included $1,700 in cash, four Shakespeare ugly sticks with reels, Dreamweaver spoons and a Muskie Joe Charter. Third place went to the Twister Team led by Chris Fisher of E. Arlington, Vermont with 263.40 points. They won a $2,000 package that included $1,400 in cash. Fourth place was the Screamer/Atomik squad led by Dave Antenori of Peckville, Pennsylvania with 254.84 points and earning a $1,600 package that included a check for $1,100. Fifth place was Team Spoonfed led by Glen Gervais of West Springfield, Massachusetts with 254.82 points and winning a $1,600 total that included a check for $1,100. Rounding out the top ten for $300 each were: Sixth - Silver Fox, Scott Bengsch of Webster with 246.76 points; Seventh - Wizzard, Larry Goehring of New Brighton, Pennsylvania with 219.70 points; Eighth - Triple J, John Jankowski, Sloan, NY with 216.70 points; Team Fish Chopper, Kevin Keller of Liverpool, NY with 199.07 points; and Tenth - Aquaholics, Matt Piatt of Canonsburg, Pennsylvania with 172.96 points. Big Fish in the Amateur Division went to Satisfaction on Saturday with a 26.43 pound king and to Lit'l Bit Cra"Z" on Sunday with a 21.06 pound king, each good for $100 from Lighthouse Grill and Spirits. Big Steelhead, good for $150 from Hunter Insulation and Alex Roofing, was won by My Turn on Saturday with an 8.58 pound trout; Lit'l Bit Cra"Z" on Sunday with a 6.72 pound trout. The A-Tom-Mik Trolling Flies Big Fish Award went to Amateur Team "Satisfaction" with a 26.43 pound king salmon. They won a $200 check and $200 in A-Tom-Mik trolling flies, as well as a $100 check from Lighthouse Grill and Spirits. For a complete list of winners, check out the website at Next up is the Orleans County Pro-Am set for June 9-10.

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