Vision Quest Tournament Reports

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006




2017 Tournament Summary: SOLID year and triple championship feat to conclude Lake O!!!!
(most reports on the VQ FB page also)

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (stroke-tough event)
Spring King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT (23rd)  
Wilson Harbor Invite-Wilson, NY   (16th)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Wilson/Olcott, NY  (4th Place)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Don Johannes Big Fish Friday (4th Place)

Orleans County Open Oak Orchard, NY   (10th Main event)
Orleans County Open $100.00 Bracket Division (2nd Place)

Orleans County Open Condor Big Fish Friday Event: (4th Place)

June (Spring)King of Kings Tight Lines Event; Toronto, Ont (3rd Place-again)

Erie Pa Sport Fish Assoc. Walleye Summer Slam-Event 1: (9th place)

August (Fall) King of Kings Tight Lines Double Down Event; Toronto, Ont (9th and 10th)

Erie, PA Summer Steelhead Offshore Day 2 winner and (1st place) overall winner Almost another-sweep

Erie, PA Summer Steelhead Offshore Big Trout (1st Place Day 1 and Day 2)

Erie Pa Sport Fish Assoc. Walleye Summer Slam Event 2: (7th place)

Fall King of The Lake Series Main Event-St. Catherines, ONT  (1st Place)

Fall King of The Lake Pat Comerford HP Div. (1st Place)

Okuma Saturday and Trik Fish Sunday: (2nd place each)

Lake Ontario Championship Series: (1st Place)

Fish USA King of The Lake overall (1st Place)

EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (14th Place-stroke-tough water again)

EPSFA Fall Cup Overall Championship (3rd Place-stroke)




2016 Tournament Summary: Team VQ puts together ANOTHER solid tourney season!

(most reports also on our FB page)

Our first event was the EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge. We won in a close event as only two teams managed their 6 fish for the weigh in. Team VQ took a big steelhead late in the day to upgrade and seal the deal. A Silver Horde Dodger and Kingfisher spoon did in a big hen steelie swimming in the wrong zip code... She came off a rigger to us earn earn the first "W" of 2017".

We did not fare well in the following Spring KOTL and Wilson Harbor events. A gamble to start our day at the KOTL did not pay off (Never chase a rainbow), and pt us in the hole to start. The WHI eventw a splague by very spotty fishing for most and a few teams dialed some fish in in small areas to do well. We struggled like many this day.

Next was the 3 day Niagara Pro Am. We finished 11th and never found much to work with always being in the wrong spot and one day behind it seemed with very transitional waters.

Hungry after three tough ones, we drove down to Oak Orchard to fish the Oak Open. We have arguably the best and most consistent record at the Oak since they have been doing the Open and Pro-Ams there-we just do well there ! This year was no different and we took 1st in the $250 bracket and 2nd in the $100 division brackets. Then we finished 2nd in the main event and calcutta.
Friday, we cashed in on 4th place in the Friday Condor event. The OAK was good to team VQ again....$$$$$

Next, we went accross the Lake to Toronto to fish the June Tight Lines event. We had another solid finish there and took 3rd overall out of 50 teams or so and 3rd place calcutta. Toronto has been very good to us over the few years we have been competing over there.

Back to my home port to fish walleyes in our June Summer Slam. We had a great day but just needed a kicker fish. We finished 10th out of 40 teams or so teams despite boxing more fish than anyone we knew of. Just missed a kicker fish that day that would have pushed us near the top.

The next two events (Sodus Pro Am and Oswego Pro Am) were spent with boat issues. We fished on other captains boats in an effort to try something new since the east end was a long ays from Wilson, NYand Erie, PA. THat plan did not go so well this year and we had issues with the boats that prevented us from finishing those events-so we donated) Grrrrrrr....

Then, the next two events, Summer Tight Lines and A-TOM-IK invitational were cacelled due to weather. Grrrrrrrrr More donations to the expense department...We were all drssed up with no where to go..

Next we participated in a small steelhead event in Erie called the Summer Steelhead Offshore Tournament and took it to the fish in BIG LEAGUE (Trump like) manner. We swept both days, big fish and the overall event !
Thats steelhead event no. 2 for the year that we won.

Fall shark time ! My favorite. We headed to fish the Fall KOTL in St Catherines-hungry from a sucky spring showing. This time, would be different and we put a beating on big sharks and took 2nd overall and 2nd in the Scotty High Perofrmance Div. A lil sweet revenge !

That strong finish allowed us to take 2nd place in the Canadian Cup and 3rd overall place in the FishUSA KOTL overall Championship. Cash Cash Cash !
Not bad for a walleye guy and a part timer on lake O. :) LOL

We came back to fish "THE" MOOSE CHALLENGE and won that small event. LOL... It was tough fishing but most importanty we beat Mother Moose and his challenge to us !
The big plastic foam core check and his wifes food was worth it.

Lastly comes the EPSFA Fall Trout "dismal challenge". We all were stuck fishing pea soup due to weather and waves... Inbetween fish runs and we stroked missing our only two bites. The winner was 2 for 2 and many zipped or one fished this day. DISMAL fishing ! I would have rather mowed grass that day ...

*However, our strong spring event allowed us to win the second annual Fall Trout Cup=another trophy and big foam core check headed our way. LOL (Love the big checks)
I can say we fished our butts off that day trying to catch fish that were not there. Fortunately, the other struggled also and allowed us to maintain our lead in the TROUT CUP and still take it home :)

FINAL RESULTS: 2016

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (1st place)
Spring King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT (18th)  
Wilson Harbor Invite-Wilson, NY   (23rd)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Wilson/Olcott, NY  (11th Place)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Don Johannes Big Fish Friday (8th Place)

Orleans County Open Oak Orchard, NY   (2nd Pace Overall) (2nd Place) Calcutta
Orleans County Open $100.00 Bracket Division (2nd Place)

Orleans County Open $250.00 Bracket Division (1st Place)

June (Spring)King of Kings Tight Lines Event; Toronto, Ont (3rd Place)

Sodus Bay Pro-Am-Sodus Point, NY (Boat Issues)

Oswego Pro-AM (Boat isues)

August (Fall) King of Kings Tight Lines Event; Toronto, Ont (Cancelled)

A-TOM-MIK Invitational (Cancelled)

Erie, PA Summer Steelhead Offshore Day 1 and Day 2 winner (1st place) AKA-sweep

Erie, PA Summer Steelhead Offshore Big Trout (1st Place Day 1)

Fall King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT  (2nd Place)

Fall King of The Lake Scottty High Performance Div. (2nd Place)

Canadian Cup: (2nd Place)

Fish USA King of The Lake overall (3rd Place)

Moose Challenge; Erie, PA (1st Place)

EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (8th Place)

EPSFA Fall Cup Overall Championship (1st Place)

Despite some frustrations with cancelled events and boat issues, we had a good overall year and were competitive. A missed bite or tow in a couple events seperated us from placing first in 2 more events but we never seem to catch em all.... Sure try to tho..

We shall see what 2017 brings... I have a good feeling...

God Bless,
Captain Pete




2015 Tournament Season Results: scroll down



2015 Summary: Team VQ has great 2015 season ! and compiles their highest $$$$$ win total to date $ 59,910.00


Team VQ has went over the century mark for top 10 finishes in various tourney events on the Great Lakes

Below you will find a list of the events and outcomes.

I want to thank all of the people involved with making tournaments happen, the sponsors, volunteers and the participants. Without all of them, events would flat line. I would like to thank all of my team mates for a great season and the fun we had together.



Featured Win: Team VQ wins $40,000 at the 2015 Tight Lines King of Kings event.  This was the first time they participated in the Summer Event.

Tight Lines

Team VQ takes second in the 2015 Spring King of the Lake event.

King of the LakeScotty

Team VQ takes second in the 2015 Niagara County Pro-Am.

Niagara Co Pro-Am

 

As of June 15th, Team Vision Quest has put together a solid tournament season to date finishing 2nd in the Spring King of The Lake, 2nd in the Niagara County Pro-Am Olcott event, 10th in the Wilson Harbor Invitational and 4th in the Orleans County Open. In addition, they have took 1st and 2nd and 3rd in some misc. events associated with the main events which include the Big Fish Friday events. The only sour note to date was a decision not to run far to the east at the Niagara/Wilson event which ultimately cost us money in that event but also a big pay day in the West Cup Overall ! The guys that ran 25-35 miles were rewarded that weekend...

We are at the half way mark in the tournament season and if things continue, we will be pushing our personal best for tournamnet winnings in a single year. We will be departing this Thursday to Toronto and the BIG King of Kings event, an event we won in 2012 (1st year for that event).

FINAL RESULTS: 2015

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (9th Place) :( Tough bite that day !)
Spring King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT   (2nd Place for Main event) (2nd Place Scotty High Performance)
Wilson Harbor Invite-Wilson, NY   (10th Place) (1st place Captains side bet for Friday-weigh Best 2)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Classic Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (2nd Place)
Niagara County Pro-Am- Trophy Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (7th Place)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Big Fish Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (2nd Place with 19# King)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Best "3" Big Fish Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (10th Place)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Classic Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (11 Place)
Niagara County Pro-Am- Trophy Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (7th Place)

Niagara/Wilson West Trophy Cup (12th Place)

Niagara/Wilson West Classic Cup (4th Place)

Orleans County Open Oak Orchard, NY   (4th Place Overall) (3rd Place) Calcutta
Orleans County Open $100.00 Bracket Division (1st Place)

Orleans County Open Big King "overall" (1st Place)

June (Spring)King of Kings Tight Lines Event; Toronto, Ont (13th place)

Sodus Bay Pro-Am-Sodus Point, NY (10th Place)

August (Fall) King of Kings Tight Lines Event; Toronto, Ont (1st Place)

Fall King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT  (7th Place)

Fall King of The Lake Big Fish Friday (2nd Place)

Canadian Cup: (2nd Place)

Moose Challenge; Erie, PA (CANCELLED due to wind)

EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (8th Place)

Bay Harbor(Paul S) Dock August Tournament No. 1 (1st Place)

Bay Harbor (Paul S) Dock October Tournament No. 2 (1st Place)

Tournament Fishing Thoughts:

Well, MY motto is "Every Fish Counts" proved itself in 2015 ! We all could say this but I empasize to my team the importance of landing every possible fish. In some events, one more does not make a diffeence in placement but in some it HURTS. And it hurts the pocket book $$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Being one fish short cost us 1st place for the Canadian Cup-lost by 4 points. Settled for 2nd.

Being one salmon short in the Oak Orchard Pro AM cost us 2nd place. Settled for 4th.

Missing (1) larger fish in the sprig KOTL cost us 1st. Settled for 2nd.

Missing (1) larger fish in the prop wash at the Wilson Harbor cost us 7th place.. Settled for 10th.

Next years another season!

 

 

 




2014 Tournament Season Results:



2014 Summary: Team VQ has great 2014 season ! and compiles their 3rd highest $$$$$ win total to date.

In 2014, we had a very good season overall ! We concluded by winning the EPSFA Team of the year in Erie, PA. This goes to the most consistent team that fishes the 4 events in Erie, PA. This was our second win in the 5 years it has been held and are the only team to win more than once. We also have had (3) 2nd place finishes as well in this 5 year period!

We took our second 1st place finish (3rd counting VQ 4's 2008 year) and 8th top 3 finish in the 9 years of the Erie Pro AM. A feat unmatched or even close to being matched by any other team. It's nice to fish events in your home town ! We did this with a BIG box of walleyes on Day 2 after trailing by 10 points on Day one. Our move from 3rd to 1st was huge and we did it by weighing 12 HAWG Eyes !

Our team had 13 top 7 finishes out of the 17 events we participated in !!!! A solid and consistent year despite traveling out of my State to fish many of these events with little practice and intel. I owe a big hats off to our team members !

2014 Summer Slam

"Team Vision Quest Wins the 2014 Summer Slam"

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (7th Place)
Spring King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT   (5th Place)
Wilson Harbor Invite-Wilson, NY   (23 Place) :(

Niagara County Pro-Am- Classic Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (1st Place)
Niagara County Pro-Am- Trophy Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (1st Place)

Niagara County Pro-Am- Big Fish Division Wilson/Olcott, NY  (1st Place)
Orleans County Pro-Am-Wilson/Olcott, NY   (19th Place) :(
Orleans County Big Fish Friday –Oak Orchard, NY  (3rd place)

Sodus Bay Pro-Am-Sodus Point, NY (2nd Place)
EPSFA Walleye Challenge-Erie, PA   (3rd Place-"fishing an all kids team")

Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout (20th Place)
EPSFA Summer Slam-Erie, PA  (1st Place) *8th top 3 finish in the 9 years event has been held, inc. (2) wins and (4) 2nd places

EPSFA Big Catch Friday (3rd Place and 7th Place)

A-TOM-MIK Invitational-Oswego, NY (12th Place)
Spring King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT  (7th Place)
EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (3rd Place)
EPSFA Team of Year (1st place)





Tournament Fishing Thoughts:

Rule #1:Don’t chase rainbows
Rule #2: Don’t leave fish to find fish
Rule #3: Every fish counts

Fact #1: You can’t catch fish if they’re not there. Really? So, don't stick around and beat "dead" water.
Fact #2: If you don’t land your bites when tourney fishing, you usually won’t do well.
Fact #3: 10 for 20 may be a great % (50%) in baseball but won’t win you many tournaments with a bite percentage like that!
Fact #4: Its better to be lucky in tournaments than good.  You will win more.
Fact #5: To win a tournament, everything must click your way on game day. Just ask the teams that won, hear their stories.
Fact #6: You can’t win unless you "pay to play".
Fact#7:   Why is there always a guy that says he would have won the tournament with his monster box “if” he would have fished it that day. YEAH, right !!!
Fact #8: The weigh in line “IS THE LINE OF TRUTH”   for most fishermen.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2013 Tournament Season Results:

Summary:

We had some highs and lows. Tourney fishing can be flat out frustrating and so very rewarding. It is also addicting if you love competition and adrenaline. In 2013, we had a variety of results and ended on a good note by winning the EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge by doubling the competition.

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (4th Place)
Spring King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT   (11th Place)
Wilson Harbor Invite-Wilson, NY   (21st Place)

Niagara County Pro-Am-Wilson/Olcott, NY  (17th and 23rdPlace)
Niagara County Big Fish Friday Wilson/Olcott, NY  (1st place)
Orleans County Pro-Am-Wilson/Olcott, NY   (1st place and 15th Place)
Orleans County Big Fish Friday –Oak Orchard, NY  (1st place)
King of Kings Event-Bluffers Park, Ontario   (14th Place)
EPSFA Walleye Challenge-Erie, PA   (12th Place)

Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout (6th Place)
EPSFA Walleye Challenge-Erie, PA   (3rd Place Youth)
EPSFA Summer Slam-Erie, PA  (7th Place)
Great Lakes Tackle Shop Invitational-Erie, PA  (9th place)
Spring King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT  (8th place)
EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (1st Place)
EPSFA Team of Year (2nd place)

Tournament Report 2013:


EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (4th Place)
Fishing was tough once again.  A.K.A. “another” Trout Challenge in Erie, PA and conditions certainly did not help. Our Lake was muddy and rough and kept all of the teams fishing inside the Presque Isle Bay.  The Bay normally was a great place to spring trout fish but in recent times, the Bay has not been productive.  This year was no different and to make it worse, we were balls deep in dead shad from a massive shad die off.
Most teams produced a zippo for a score but we were able to go 2 for 3 (brown and steelie) for the grind of a day and finish in 4th place.  The winning team landed 3 fish to earn the “W”.

2013

All the fish were in the creeks for this event, thats why no one could catch any. We all should have been fishing droppies.. :)

Spring King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT   (11th Place)
Off to catch Kings at this fun annual event on Lake O.  It starts the salmon tourney season there.  Fishing was tough, water cold and most of the fish had yet to arrive.  We started by pre-fishing part of Friday after arriving to Lake O a day late due to engine issues encountered crossing Lake Erie.  We were able to fish but could not power the boat up full throttle and run as much as needed to check out our pre-fishing spots.
The tourney was tough and most boats scored 0-2 fish boxes each day.  We were fortunate to catch a few more fish and finish in ___ place.  We missed a few bites on game day that could have easily boosted us up higher.
We finished in 11th place for the 2 day event.

2013

Wilson Harbor Invite-Wilson, NY   (21st Place)
With the big boat starboard motor dismantled and not ready to fish, we ended up having to pull the 2700 Tiara Open up to Le O. in order to fish this event.  We charter fished Thursday and had a good box when most boats flat out struggled.  Friday we went out pre-fishing and experienced just what most had been talking about on Thursday=grind fishing.  Hmmm, Just like the first 2 events, we found tough fishing during this 1 day shootout.  The water changed all week and on game day, it was no different.  A new set of blue prints was unveiled as we headed out looking. We set up on a decent bait picture but were unable to get a bite going so we headed deeper and found some few fish to work with but ultimately, not enough.  At the end of the day, only 3 teams weighed their 6 fish out of a field of 70.  The avg. tourney team boated a lousy 2 fish and there were a pile of zipps.  Again, tough fishing and the teams that zeroed in on a spot or program were rewarded.  We never found a good program or spot on Friday or game day and ended up going a lousy 3 for 6 on Kings and landed some incidental fish as well.  We finished in 21st place out of 60 for the 2 day event.  Not the finish we had hoped for.

2013

Niagara County Pro-Am-Wilson/Olcott, NY  (17th and 23rdPlace)
Fishing had improved by this event and had been steadily good all month after the WHI event.  Cold water and good boxes of kings and coho abounded.  We started the event by winning the Big Fish Friday event by weighing in 3 good kings out of a very solid box that we had that day.  We experienced a good day of fishing far east of port and hoped it would hold this weekend.
On Day one, we headed far east again and were off to a quick start landing 5 fish in the first hour.  Then the Lake went flat and bite died.  We moved around and the wind picked up.  We ended up dialing into  a program but dropped fish after fish inc. a monster king that we lost in the prop wash after a 20 minute fight. (heart breaker) We came in with a good box but short of a 12 fish limit.  The North East winds blew and blew and we knew on day two things may be different. 

The next day we headed east again and noted that the water had changed but we set up and worked it.  It was a grind bite for us and we dropped some fish. The event was called early due to a small craft advisory and big waves !  We took it on the chin on day 2 and only weighed a 3 fish and ran out of time to find another spot.
We finished in 23rdplace for the 2 day event.  And Team Vision Quest 4 took  17th. (I had the big boat fixed now and decided to fish this event with another team since they were both docked on Lake O.  We would fish the next event with 2 teams as well) Not the finish we had hoped for and Lake O showed once again how fast she could change the game if she wanted to.  However, we did have a couple good days of fishing and took a nice check home for winning the Big Fish Friday event.

2013


Orleans County Pro-Am-Wilson/Olcott, NY   (1st place and 23rd Place)
With 2 teams in; VQ4 and VQ 5, we decided to split up and see what we could find on Big Fish Friday.  VQ 4 fished inside and we went outside.  We found an OK bite offshore that consisted of kings, coho, lakers and the occasional steelie while VQ 4 took fewer bites but found a pocked of  mature kings-AKA Sharks.  VQ 4 came in a with a nice Big Fish Friday box and crushed everyone in that event with 3 big Sharks!  Good start again by a VQ team winning a BFF event !
Game day, VQ 4 went back inside and VQ 5 went offshore.  We elected to go to a new spot and ditch plans to run far west due to heavy, heavy fog.  The am started good for both teams as we both were grinding on fish.  However, the bites would end and grind fishing prevailed.  Team VQ 4 was in 1st place after day one with another hefty box of Sharks. VQ 5 was down and just out of the top 10.
Day 2, was beautiful and we ran way west in search of the mother load.  The am started well and we were into some fish but losing a lot of them, including a 30# king.  Eventually the bite ceased as the sun and dead flat lake took their toll.  At the weigh in, team VQ 4 would prevail and win the Orleans Pro-AM.  Our 2nd victory in 8 years and a string of top 10 finishes since this event started in 2006.  VQ 5 slipped below the top 10 and finished in 15th but a 11/25 bite to land 2 day performance does not deserve a top 10 finish.  Overall, Orleans had continued to be very good for us and we passed the $25,000 mark  in winnings from this event since 2006.

2013

King of Kings Event-Bluffers Park, Ontario   (16th Place)
Headed across Lake O. on Thursday am and pre-fished our way westward.  Bite was so-so and we pecked at fish along the way inc. a bunch of steelies.
On Friday, we worked west near the City of Toronto. Fishing was good and we had our stakes laid out in the water.  We were not sure how the other teams did, most were tight lipped and all 60 of us had the same plan=win 25K.  We were fortunate to win that same 25K the year prior and start that 1st annual event in proper fashion J
On game day, most boats headed to our stakes.  Not good but we figured there would be plenty of fish to work for.  That was not the case and despite boating our first fish within minutes, the day turned into a struggle as we worked boat filled waters.   We also had our biggest king of the year get sheared off by another boat that did not heed to our attempts to wave him away from our massive shark.  Then we lost 2 more consecutive bites.
We worked hard for 4 fish that day, 2 short of a box. However, most teams struggled and only  a few landed their 6 fish.  We finished in 16th place out of 60 teams.  After the event, we licked or wounds, said farewell to everyone and headed the VQ across the Lake and back home to Lake Erie.  Again, Lake O. provided a very tough event for us and most of the teams paying to play.

2013

2013

EPSFA Walleye Challenge-Erie, PA   (12th Place)
Thursday evening we were able to get some pre-fishing in for this event and found a decent bite 4 miles from port.  The walleye fishing was just starting to heat up out of Erie, PA and we had not put any hours in for the green fish except that evening.
Game day Saturday, we headed NWest with the majority of the tourney teams.  Fishing was very good to start and it was non stop for the first hour.  We had our 9 weighers in about an hour and a half of fishing.  That felt good and we were in upgrade mode early.  However, the bite got tough as the sun and flat seas took their toll.  We ground out a good 17 fish box for our efforts but came in 12th place out of 35.  Just 1.5# shy of 7th place.  We managed a 68.95 lb box for our best 9.  We were able to take a couple places in the kids division again as our kid fishing team did well once again for us.

2013

Sunset Bay Walleye Shootout. (6th Place)

Off to the Cattaragus Creek, NY to fish the 2nd annual (1st time for us) Sunset Bay Shootout. There was a sold out field of 50 teams awaiting us Pennsylvanians when we arived Thursday night nd launched the boat. Not having much intel, we set up close to Port and evetulayy found a bunch of fish, boxing our 18 alllowed eyes, putting 2 back and taking a couple steelies. We had a spot and a program for Saturdays one day shootout.

On Game Day, we headed to Fridays pre-fish place.. LOL poof... No fish to start and we were in a hole to begin with. We kept trolling north until we saw more bait and the rods began to FLY. It wa s not long before we were boxed out with our 18 plus we placed 6 smaller fish back. We were a tremendous 24 for 24 on that day ! At the weigh-ins, we were shuttled to the 40 pound plus line and weighed in a hefty 6 fish catch of nearly 48 pounds. Good enough for 6th our of 50 teams. Not bad for our first walleye tourney down there. Stealth Core ROCKED the eyes again !

2013

2013

EPSFA Summer Slam-Erie, PA  (7th Place)
This was the 8th event held out of Erie, PA.  Team VQ was fortunate to place in the top 3 spots in each of these and win 2.  This accomplishment remains unmatched.
However, this would be the 1st time we slip out of a top 3 and finish in 7th.  We missed 3rd place by about 4 pounds and had that one was at the net as our “limit fish” was about to be netted.  However, the hooks pulled at the net and we had to settle for the 2nd fish of a double we had on and that one was an easy 4 pounds less but we had to keep it for our 24 fish limit.  I guess that’s how it rolls but oh so so close to another top 3 for us but NOT this yeart.  Tight event and we will get em next year !!!

2013

Great Lakes Tackle Shop Invitational-Erie, PA  (9th place)
This was the 1st annual event that my tackle store would be sponsoring in Erie.  The event went very well overall as we held the 1st ever indoor weigh in out of Erie, PA.
Our team was in 4th place after day one and weighed an impressive box of steelies and eyes.  Another Lake Erie-CANT CLOSE THE LID BOX.  On Day 2, we reversed our game plan and went for walleyes first.  This proved to be a bad move for us as we found the walleyes to be a tough bite and got behind the 8 ball.  Eventually we landed all of our fish but lacked size on this day, ran out of upgrade time and settled for a 9th place finish overall.

 

2013

Fall King of The Lake Series-St. Catherines, ONT  (8th place)
Back up to Lake Ontario to conclude the last event there.  I really like the fall Shark fishing and was looking forward to defending our championship from the prior season.
We charter fished a half day Thursday pm thru Friday and found a decent bite overall.  Not a slam fest but fish were around and we took a nice box each day.
We finished in 8th place this weekend and had our shots during those 2 days.  We dropped several fish and/or missed the bites but still ended up finishing well and landing our fish each day.
Lake O. concludes and I will miss her !

2013

EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge-Erie, PA   (1st Place)(2nd place overall Team of Year)
Well, we ended the 2013 tourney season on a good note by winning the Fall Challenge.  Our second win in this year ending event.
We pre-fished Saturday and went 8 for 13, finding a decent pod of fish to work.  On Game day, we knew exactly where and what we would be doing.  In short order we had our 6 fish to weigh and went in to upgrade mode early in the am. We eventually landed 2 more and missed a couple fish before the event was over and finished 8/13 again (6 browns and 2 steelies).  Wow, 2 back to back days with consistency.
It was a good way to end the year with my youngest son and friends.  We also ended up taking 2nd in our overall team of the year race, losing to another team that was on fire this year.
2013 concludes with a so-so performance overall.  However, we took (4) 1st places, (1) 2nd and several other top 10 finishes while traveling to foreign ports with little pre-fishing. 

2013

 

Well the 2012 tournament season concluded and team VQ had its biggest money season to date by cashing over $46,000 in earnings. Below are some of our tournament hi-lites.

We continued our streak in the Erie, PA Summer Slam (former Pro-Am event) by placing in the top 3 in each of the 7 years the event has taken place. A feat unmatched by any other teams.

We won the 1st annual Spring King of King events, besting 60 other teams from Lake Ontario. This paid a whopping $25,000 for 1st prize

We narrowly missed the overall King of The Lake series championship even thoughw e did not fish one of the events. We made a strong comeback and finished 2nd place. Since fishing the KOTL series, team VQ has managed a top 4 placement inclkuding 2 second place finishes. A tremendouf feat considering we fiah Lake Ontario on apart time basis and consider Lake Erie our home ort Lake.

We finished the Lake Ontario season by wining the Fall King of The Lake event. Our first victory in only 3 attempts in that Fall tournament.

We finished strong in our two summer events on lake Erie by taking a 2nd place in our Summer Slam, entering the largest Open div. Steelhead in that event. Then taking a 4th place in our June Walleye Challenge with a team of children. We also took 3 youth awards during that same event where the kids landed 33 of 34 fish. (Kudos to my young team-I want you back in 2013 !)

We gambled in a couple events during the season and had tough finishes. I was guilty of rule no. 1= "Don't Chase Rainbows"

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge: 4th place
King of The Lake Spring Event: 16th place
Wilson Harbor Invitational: 33rd place
Niagara County Pro-Am: 32nd place (day 1 cancelled)
Orleans County Pro-Am: 4th, 5th, 10th & 12th place
EPSFA Walleye Challenge: Youth Awards 2nd place, 3rd place and 4th place
EPSFA Walleye Challenge: 4th place overall
June (Spring 1st annual) Tightlines King of Kings Event: 1st place
EPSFA Summer Slam/Pro-Am: 2nd place (day 2 cancelled)
EPSFA Summer Slam: Big Steelhead 1st place Open
EPSFA Summer Slam Big Catch Friday: 2nd place
King of The Lake Fall Event: 1st place
KING of The Lake overall Championship: 2nd place (again)
EPFSA Fall Trout Challenge: 4th place
EPSFA Team of The Year overall Championship: 2nd place

2012Tournament season concludes

Team Vision Quest brings in the GRAND PRIZE!!

 

Team VQ King of the Lake Win2012 Tightline

Left caption: Team Vision Quest takes the Grand Prize in the 2012 King of the Lake Tournament
Right caption: Team Vision Quest wins 1st Annual June King of Kings Tightline Event

2011 Tournament Fishing Season comes to a close:
See Team Vision Quest in Action

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge: cancelled

Big Jon Spring King of The Lake: 15th

Wilson Harbor Invitational: 6th

Niagara County Pro-AM: 12th

Orleans County Pro-AM: 10th

EPSFA Walleye Challenge: 3rd

Big Jon King of The Lake Summer: 2nd

EPSFA SUMMER SLAM: 3rd

Fall King of The Lake: 8th

EPSFA Fall trout Challenge: 10th

3rd place overall King of the Lake Race

5th place overall EPSFA Team of The Year

7th place overall Best of The West

 

Big Jon King of the Lake-Port Delhoiuse; ONT
Friday April 29, Saturday April 30th, Sunday May 1st

Started off Thursday hoping to fish but 60 MPH winds made that a done deal.  Looked at MUD city inside and some greenish water out a ways .
Had very little intel. when we got here, so we decided to start off Jordan on Friday in 45-52 FOW and work the green  water.  Took a while to get em going and first fish to hit the deck was a Coho.  Once we figured a couple things out we worked a spot and took several kings and a couple more chunky Coho’s.  Biggest fish was 19.8#.  All rods fired (slide divys, riggers, multiple cores and clean lines pulling body baits).  Things slowed so; we racked and headed east to check out the Welland water for a bit. Got bit a few times there including a nice 13# Atlantic that ate a DW purple frog down the “chute”.  Finished with a 15 for 19 score on silver fish. 

Saturday, headed to Jordan and our fertile water was now clean. Lake O. is a trip-here today-gone tomorrow.   Worked the greenish/clear water for a bit all the way in to 40 foot and watched a bunch of boats inside trolling but did not see rods moving.  So, we decided to rack and head to the Canal where the water would be colored.  Hit first King on mag DW frog on set up.  Put 3 kings in the box there but needed more. At 11am and the clock ticking, we went to a Coho program to try and put fish 4 and 5 in the boat.  Almost worked and we went 3 for 7 in an hour and a half.  Those spastic wild Coho’s are a handful when they bite short. (Coho’s  4 and Team VQ 3). However, only one would measure 20”.  Decided that if we were going to get at least one more, it needs to be a king because the Coho’s were small and we may need to get bit 5 more times to get one keeper, so we went to a 50/50 King-Coho program and took a couple shots and a Laker that ate our surface Coho bait but no more tourney fish hit the white coffin. Went in with a 7 for 12 day and only 4 to weigh. (Not what we expected after Friday)

Sunday, decided not to follow 44 boats west and head back to Canal with about 10 others.  Took 4 fish there in first 2 hours inc.  a Coho.  Things dried up and boats left including us.  Decided to head back west and on way back, we scanned the 50-60 FOW looking for temp. and marks.  Found balmy 47 degree surface water that rolled out there and decided to stay in it hoping to find some SHARKS.  We needed a big box and running inside and fishing with 30 boats probably would not get it for us.  So we stayed out in that 50 FOW and worked east and west toward Jordan.  We took 5 more Kings out there as well as a couple shots but did not take any big guys as hoped for.  Finished with 9 fish on 12 bites and improved our placement to 15th. Another tough day of tourney fishing but that’s fishing….

Tournament fishing makes us all better and we try to learn from every experience.  We had many positive things go in our favor and missed very few hooked fish.  Our decision not to troll in tighter on Saturday cost us an easy top 10 placement.  But decisions are just as important as the boat and toys we have.  The guys who can put it all together two days in a row earn the Big “W” along with 15K.

Congratulations to all the money winners this year, see you in Wilson.

Wilson Harbor Invitational, Wilson; NY:May 11th

Biggest event of the year on Lake Ontario and the first one ever for the WHI held out of Wilson, NY. This is a one day event and a ful field of 75 teams participated thsi high stakes $800 entry event.

The Kings did not get the Memo that informed them that there was a big King killing event that day and most did not show. WOW, some of the very best of the best were at this party and when it was all said and done, even the best were humbled with a zip or a one fish box. In fact, 40 teams pulled a donut and 18 boated one fish after fishing all day. A very tough bite that day !

Team VQ tapped into some kings on Thursday and Friday and dialed in a plan on a very small pc. of real estate. It paid off for us for the most part and we were fortunate to take 6th place out of 75.

We were able to boat 5 kings as well as some non tournament fish that day. However, we missed 2 or 3 king bites that day including no. 6 which pulled off our chute copper set up with 15 minutes left to go. (OUCH).. Only 4 teams managed to land their 6 Kings this difficult day where man vs. king battled and the KINGS won !

 

Niagara Pro-Am, Olcott; NY: June 5th

Well back to Niagara County to do battle with the local giants and a King fishery that exploded recently. Catching 12 fish would not be a problem this weekend and unlike the recet WHI event. This time, the Kings did get the Memo. Team VQ traveled west to the fertile waters of the Niagara River and ran a big fish program. We thumped the Kings each day and on Saturday, we were the second boat back in by 9am or so. Day two, we desperately tried to target bigger fish and slow the bite down but we had a problem... Our program was to good and we were into a lot of fish. Day two found us the first boat back to Port Olcott and we waited for the weigh-ins.

Despite some super King fishing and a great performance by my team, we managed to land in12th place. We still cashed a check and took our side action but it was frustrating to do so well and miss a better paycheck. We felt penalized by the strong bite.

Most teams took their boxes this event and it was the most kings taken out of that port for that event. WOW... I have seen feast or famine from that Port.

Orleans County Pro-Am: Point Breeze; NY:June 12th

We like this port. Even there has been some spotty action there, we have managed to finish in the top 10 every time which also includes a 1st and 2nd... This year, it would be tough overall again.

On Thursday, we charter fished and went 18 for 27. On Friday, the NE winds kicked in and a good Friday bite slowed as the ice waters came in and moved the once fertile waters.. Hmmmm, here we go again.. On Saturday we set up in the good spot and it was replaced with clear -cold ater and the HUNT began. We ran around a lot Saturday trying to fnd a good spot and we never did. We scratched out a good box and were in range of making a top 3 if we did well Sunday.

Sunday arrived and we went hunting again and moved several times before finsihing our day out. We took fewer fish and bites than day one and were disappointed. Despite a valiant effort, we finished 10th out of 40 some Pro teams. Acceptable? NOT REALLY...

That weekend really saw the fish making their early summer transitions. Combine that with hugey shifting water and current and the fish moved a lot. The few guys that stayed with them did well and deserved it. This weekend was an exact opposite of the weekend prior-Go Figure-Lake O. at its best !

 

Lake Erie Walleye Challenge: Erie, PA: June

Wow-back home on my own pond and going to fishing from the 29ft. Pursuit (Big boat is up at Lake O.)... Well, the only prefishing I did was on Friday afternoon with part of my team. We ventured out to some stable June water all by ourselves and immediately it was FISH ON. We boated 17 for 24 on walleyes that afternoon and felt good to have a go to spot for Saturday.

On Saturday (one day event), we headed right to the spot and got em going again. Fishing was good and we were able to catch 17 for 25 walleyes again running the same program. Unfortunately, a couple of the other teams involved mysteriously caught wind of the spot and managed to fish in our vicinity.. That would hurt us as two of those boats finished just ahead of us in the one day, weigh your best 9 event.

We settled for a 3rd place out of almost 40 teams.

Big Jon Downrigger Summer event-Whitby; ONT: June 23rd-24th

Back to Lake O. chasing SHARKS... I ran accross a fog filled Lake from Oak Orchard to the waters of Canada to greet our Canadian friends and the SHARKS. We pre-fished a little Thursday and saw some nice fish on the back of our deck. We had a good afternoon but was not convinced we had a spot.

Friday, we checked out the same waters and did not find much-things changed, so we picked and ran far west to a place we have heard of but never fished. (Toronto). Its a good haul-18-20 miles. We immediately sat on a picture that had it all, bait, temp, current and flying rods. We immediately got into fish and knew we had day one spot.

Day one, we head west and it took a while to get our rods set-they were on fire and we were in upgrade mode within an hour. We bashed em good and were in 4th place after day one.

Gamble: Day two, we run way short and fish a spot where a few big sharks were taken from Saturday and where we had a phenomonal BIG FISH day last year. The gamble almost bit us. We took one shot and landed an Atlantic, while watching 6 other boats troll with ZERO rod movement. Hmmm,, RACK-Em' Boys, were going west and west we went. Set up in Day one spot and had fish all over the deck in the first hour inc. a double that weighed in at 56#... We were in upgrade mode again in short order... The bite sowed and we ground out some more fish as the day went on. We doubled at the end which included a 24# upgrade fish that helped us.

At the weigh in, we were sitting in 1st place until the last box was weighed (the day one leaders)... We beat them on day 2 by 5 pounds but could not overtake them for the overall win.. We settled for best box day two and 2nd place. We headed out of port after fueling up and paying our bills-headed to the Welland Canal on our way home to Lake Erie.

EPSFA SUMMER SLAM (used to be Pro-AM), Erie, PA: August 3rd and 4th

Year six of our big tourney in Erie, PA. Steelies were scarce walleyes were a cake walk. Finding a few big steelies would be key to finishing strong in this event.

Friday, we ran a charter and did well. catching mostly walleyes and figuring out the bite. Knowng we had a go to walleye spot, we decided to make a mega run offshore in search of steelies first on Saturday.

Off we go Saturday to a spot we had yet to fish all year but needed to try it. We took a few steelies and a couple eyes there in the first three hours but did not like the spot. Not enough bites, so we trolled in for a long time hoping to pick at BIG Eyes... We picked avg. fish til we got back to the Friday spot and ground out a nice box. Good enough for an 8th place day one spot but well within range of 1st. They key was weighing in two steelies and or ten best walleyes for the allowable 12 fish. We sorted thru a ton of 6# Eyes.

Day two, we decided to hit the eyes first and target steelies with two of our 8 rods. We ended up taking one steelie and 24 eyes by 12:30pm, racked em and then made the move offshore-way out to try to upgrade a steelie or two. The Lake was rough when we ran out and got way rougher-even for our 39ft. Tiara. It was one way troll time baby and we deployed a 7 rod steelie program... We waited and waited.... then finally the 60 foot rigger fired straight down with a Dreamweaver lemon icicle SS. It was a nice steelie and we boated it with about 8 minutes to spare. It weighed 11.25# and complimented our 11.5# steelie from the day before. At the weigh in, things were tougher overall for most folks and we surged ahead to 3rd, just missing 2nd place by the weight of a smelt.... In 6 years, we have never had less than a 3rd place in our HOME event... Its been 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 3rd and 3rd again...

Fall Big Jon Fall event-Port Dalhouise; ONT: Labor Day weekend

Back to Lake O with boat in tow we go... To run a few charters and Kill fish. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, we fished with guys from Lake MI and Erie and did very well on a mixed bag, boating around 15 for 23 on Tuesday and 20 for 27 or so on Wednesday and near the same on Thursday. Each day was filled with kings, steelies and an occasional LT or BT. It was good fishing and the Lake behaved.

On Friday, we fished with our Team and struggled to find big fish and Kings, however, we had steelhead at will. Not so good knowing the big King tourney was this weekend???

On Saturday, we set up close in where the whole fleet stopped (to our surprise). We took a small King and missed a bite right away and then it got quiet. We saw another boat locked just inside, so we turned and went back in and got em going. After Day one, we were in the hunt but out of the top 10. It was a good day of fishing but we held onto a 20# avg. Not gonna be good enough this weekend ! The good news was that it was pretty tight and a fish would be the difference after day two.

On day two, we struggled a bit but eventually ground out our box which included a little fish we reallly needed to replace and to compliment two 29# Kings. We had a good 4 fish avg. and needed one upgrade. With the bite off, I decided to troll out NE and follow my gut. As we got deeper, the chute copper went singing fast and hard, it was the one we needed. After a brief battle, we were bit off. ARE YOU KIDDING ME ! I have't been bit off all week until NOW !! My team was bummed and we had 20 minutes left to fish, so I decided to turn around and go where we got bit. We quickly retied the chute and sent it out. With 10 minutes left, the wire diver got bit and it was game on... We started racking other lines while Mother Moose fought that fish-we had to mop his brow a few times because he was sweating salmon eggs knowing WE NEEDED IT !. Well, we got her in and it was a fat 20# King-perfect. We put the hammer down and made it to port with 2 minutes to spare.

We ended up with 4th best box of the day and surged ahead to 8th place overall. That also helped us solidify 3rd place in the King of The Lake overall event and a nice paycheck. Last year, we took 2nd overall.

 

EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge, Erie, PA: October 22

10th place finish. Fishing was difficult for most as we all fished very muddy water conditions. This was our last event of the year and was a one day event held in late Ocober. We had a bad event and never really got the muddy water steelies figured out this day. It was one I wished we could have back and make a different choice or two. Hmmmmm- we'll get them next year.

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2010 Tournament Season Comes to a Close:

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge: 13th place
EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge: 8th place (Vision Quest IV)
Scotty Downriggers St. Catherines Ont; Event: 10th place
Scotty Downriggers Wilson, NY: cancelled
Niagara County Pro-Am: 23rd place (day 2 cancelled)
Orleans County Pro-Am: 8th place
Lake Ontario Best of West Race: 9th place
EPSFA Walleye Challenge: Big Steelhead: 1st place
EPSFA Walleye Challenge: 5th place
EPSFA Walleye Challenge: 12th place (Vision Quest IV)
Scotty Downriggers Whitby; ONT Event: 21st place
Scotty Downriggers Whitby; ONT Event:Big Fish Friday: 2nd place (34# King)
Wayne County Pro-AM: 11th place
Lake Ontario Best of East: 4th place
Lake Ontario Challenge Cup: 5th place
EPSFA Summer Slam/Pro-Am: 3rd place
EPSFA Summer Slam/Pro-Am: 7th place (Vision Quest IV)
EPSFA Summer Slam: Big Steelhead 1st place
EPSFA Summer Slam: Big Fish overall: 1st place
EPSFA Pro-Am Big Catch Friday: 7th place
EPSFA Pro-Am Big Catch Friday: 6th place (Vision Quest IV)
Scotty Downriggers Oswego, NY; Big Fish Friday: 3rd place
Scotty Downriggers Oswego, NY: 15th place
Scotty Downriggers Fall St. Catherines ONT: cancelled
Scotty Downriggers Fall St. Catherines ONT; Big Fish Friday: 2nd place (33# King)
Scotty Downriggers KING of Lake overall (KOTL): 2nd place
EPFSA Fall Trout Challenge: 5th place
EPFSA Fall Trout Challenge: 2nd place (Vision Quest IV)
2010 Tournament season concluded.

PA Lake Erie NY Lake Ontario and Canada Lake Ontario Multi-Event Race Results:

EPSFA-Lake Erie Team of The Year-1st place overall (2nd Place for Vision Quest IV)
King of the Lake-lake Ontario-2nd place overall
Lake Ontario Pro-AM Challenge Cup-5th place overall
2010 Tournament Summary:

The Vision Quest Fishing Team finishes in the top 5 in all (3) Lake competitions: Lake Erie, Lake Ontario-NY and Lake Ontario-Ont. This was a great feat for us considering the fact that we only put a day or two of pre-fishing in and have to travel for the majority of the events. We also have to fish against mostly local competition and guys who have been plying their area of that Lake for years if not decades.


We had our ups and downs this year and left our game in the cooler on a couple Fridays… Boy, if only Friday was “game day”… That’s fishing tho and it pays to be consistent.
In 2010, we had some inconsistency. Starting with the EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge, we struggled like most everyone else and could not get a program figured even tho we were fishing for very few fish and were restricted to the Bay waters due to muddy and rough Lake conditions. It was a frustrating start to 2010. The Scotty Spring event found us with all the fish we needed but we needed just one more good replacement fish and we would have walked in to a 4th or 3rd place. As usual, we fought that fish with 15 minutes to go after making a good call but dropped him 100 feet from the boat... The Niagara Pro-Am was bad from the start. Little pre-fishing and a wedding to attend on game day, then day was 2 cancelled due to wind. My team, with Capt. Mike at the helm had to come in and drop me off at 10am after a tough morning. (I had a wedding back in Erie scheduled at 12:30) Upon their return to the lake, they went for the long ball and were not able to upgrade our morning position. Day 2 was cancelled due to ferocious winds. We left on a low note. The Orleans Pro-Am was tough as usual and we missed a ton of opportunities. Learned a few things on Day 1 and had Day 2 going great until we lost our surface break and the fish. Missed 14 bites during this weekend event and finished 8th. Scotty Whitby was pretty darn good fishing for 3.5 out of the 4 days we were there. Plenty of huge Sharks including a monster day on Friday am. Took a 34# King that day (and oh-NOT good enough for 1st-only 2nd.. Beat by ounces again!) Landed a lot of Sharks including putting together a BONZAI 41 bite Day 2 with overflowing coolers but failed to take enough larger kings on Day 1 to crack the top 10. Oswego Pro-Am-I hate Oswego but it was good to us as we found ourselves taking kings and BT’s for our best finish ever in that hell port-a 3rd place. Wayne County Pro-Am back to East Lake O. waters in search of few kings and a lot of BT’s. Day one found us back in port and at our cottage eating breakfast at 8:30am after crushing our BT’s early. Day 2 we went for kings and the victory but were not able to reach our destination due to 5 foot waves and a tough ride. We ground out BT’s and finished short of a box which ultimately cost us an easy top 10 and settled for 11th. But no guts equals no glory and our wasted salmon hunt eventually cost us a couple BT’s that we needed to improve our score. EPSFA SUMMER SLAM Day one and the fishing was way to good-boxed out with 24 walleyes by 10:30am and went on steelie mode. Steelies were almost vapor and we ended up losing the only two we had hooked while catching and releasing upgrade walleyes. We found ourselves way down on the scoreboard even tho we had an incredibly good day of fishing-SIZE MATTERS… On day two of the EPSFA SUMMER SLAM we were in let it all loose mode and had another incredible day but today, we were able to tap in to some larger fish and some HERO sized steelies. We came in with the largest box of the event and we were met with a round of applause as we weighed in “THE CATCH”. Finished 3rd and swept every big fish and big steelhead award (again). Missed 2nd by ounces. Next was the Fall Scotty and prior day and one half of pre-fish charters had us on MEGA SHARKS. Friday was no different as we filled the back of the VQ with Sharks, landing over 20 and amassing a 38 bite day. It includes several between 33.5 and 29 pounds which earned us yet another Scotty top 3 big fish Friday awards by placing 2nd with a 33.5# SHARK. To bad for the SHARKS because the weekend event was cancelled due to wind. However, those 2.5 days had us landing 45 fish; 40 were over 20#. That concluded the King of Lake race which found us taking second overall. Last but not least was the Fall Trout Challenge in Erie. We won last year’s event and swept big fish awards. This year fishing was good for many and we ground out a 5th place finish and enough points to win the 1st annual Team of The Year in our Open Division. We eked out Vision Quest IV Team which made a great comeback in the T.O.Y. race by landing a big box on Sunday.
I have found that in order to win an event, things must go well for you and mistakes, break-offs, and a poor bite-land percentage does not win it for you. Guys who win events have all cylinders working: that means the right decisions were made, there was a high landing percentage and quality fish (or a kicker fish) were mixed in to the box. You do all that and you are taking the trophy home.
I can say again that we learned from our bad events and learned a lot overall again. Some of out new tourney techniques paid off for us and in 2010, we look to be even more consistent and to apply the knowledge gained in the past few years. I as well as our team mates are excited about 2011.

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2009 Tournament Season Comes to a Close:

EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge: 3rd Place for VQ 4 
EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge: 8th place for VQ 5  
Scotty Downriggers St. Catherines Ont; Event: 4th place 
Scotty Downriggers St. Catherines Ont; Event: Big Fish Friday: 9th place
Scotty Downriggers Wilson, NY Big Fish Friday: 3rd place
Niagara County Pro-Am: 12th place 
Niagara County Pro-Am Big Fish Friday: 3rd place
Niagara County Pro-Am Friday event: Big King: 1st place 
Big Boys Shoot Out: 3rd place
Orleans County Pro-Am Big Fish Friday: 7th place
Orleans County Pro-Am: 8th place
Lake Ontario Best of West Race: 8th place
EPSFA Walleye Challenge: Big Lake Trout: 1st place
EPSFA Walleye Challenge: 11th place for VQ 4
EPSFA Walleye Challenge: 14th place for VQ 5
Scotty Downriggers Whitby; ONT Event: 12th place
Scotty Downriggers Whitby; ONT Event:Big Fish Friday: 7th place
Wayne County Pro-AM: 7th place
Wayne County Pro-AM Big Brown Award-Sunday: 1st place
Lake Ontario Best of East: 7th place
Lake Ontario Challenge Cup: 5th place
Pittsburgh Downriggers Summer Tourney: 1st place
EPSFA Pro-AM: 1st place for VQ 4
EPSFA Pro-Am: 2nd place for VQ 5
EPSFA Pro-Am: Big Steelhead 1st place for VQ 5
EPSFA Pro-Am: Big Fish overall: 1st place for VQ 5
EPSFA Pro-Am Big Catch Friday: 4th place for VQ 4
EPSFA Pro-AM Big Catch Friday: 1st place "ALMOST" (but D.Q. for tardiness-HATE when that happens)
Scotty Downriggers Oswego, NY; Big Fish Friday: 5th place 
Scotty Downriggers Oswego, NY: 12th place
Scotty Downriggers St. Catherines ONT: 9th place
Scotty Downriggers St. Catherines ONT; Big Fish Friday: 8th place
Scotty Downriggers KING of Lake overall: 4th place
EPSFA Big Fish derby (Steelhead Division): 1st place with 11.36 # fish
EPFSA Fall Trout Challenge: VQ 4 8th place 
EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge: VQ 5 1st place winner
EPSFA Fall Trout Challenge Big Fish Award: 1st place for VQ 5 with 11.65 # fish

2009 Tournament season concluded.

2009 Tournament Summary:

Wow, was this ever the year that another fish or a bigger fish mattered. What do you mean? Well, the VQ slogan for tournament fishing is "EVERY FISH COUNTS" and that means a lot. Some events, you just get your butt kicked and another fish or two or even three would not matter much because your box was not very good or your overall weight was too low. However, there are those days where another fish or one larger fish would have propelled you from a top 10 finish to "Numero Uno". Each year it seems we have one event that we could have won "if only"... This year was a decent year but could have been an awesome year: Why...... Some teams can say that but most cannot.

Starting with the EPSFA Spring Trout Challenge, we dumped a phenomanal 15 fish/bites, many were nice fish and just boating 50% would have given us 2nd for sure and maybe 1st. The Scotty Spring event found us with all the fish we needed but we needed just one more replacement fish ( an 17.5# for a 12.5# fish) and we would have walked in to 1st... The Niagara Pro-Am found us with plenty of bites and a couple of fish short of a top 3. Just could not keep the fish stuck!. Scotty Whitby found us missing our last hooked fish as well as a few wild wire diver fish that cost us a top 3 for our first visit to Port Whitby-Close again ! We would have taken 1st in the Dreamweaver Big catch Friday event by a whopping margin but got hung in traffic and missed the weigh-in deadline. (there goes a walk-in 1st place. Wayne County Pro-Am found us boxed out early each day and if we did not catch a couple Browns(by mistake)that ate our Salmon program we would have walked into 2nd or 3rd. On day two of the EPSFA Pro-Am, we fell short by a 2.5# fish-just one more baby! but we did not get it and lost to capt. Mike of Vision Quest 4 (if you are gonna lose, I guess losing to our other boat and a skilled Captain is not a bad thing-but three second place finishes in that event is getting OLD !). Scotty Fall, we found ourselves just one fish short of a top 3 finish and settled for 9th. That also cost us a top 3 finish in the King of the Lake event-OUCH !. However, we concluded our events by taking the Fall Trout Challenge in Erie and taking big fish honors in an event that went well, we made the right calls and landed a high percentage of our fish.

I have found that in order to win an event, things must go well for you and mistakes, break-offs, and a poor bite-land percentage does not win it for you. Guys who win events have all cylinders working: that means the right decisions were made, there was a high landing percentage and quality fish (or a kicker fish) were mixed in to the box. You do all that and you are taking the trophy home.

I can say again that we learned from our bad events and learned a lot overall again. Some of out new tourney techniques paid off for us and in 2010, we look to be even more consistent and to apply the knowledge gained in the past few years. I as well as our team mates are excited about 2010.

 

 

Tourney Events 2009

Erie, PA Sport Fishing Association Fall Trout Challenge (Erie, PA): 1st place for VQ 5 (Capt. Pete) and 8th place for VQ 4 Big fish winner with 11.6# Steelie.

The 2009 tournament season concluded Sunday with our 2nd annual Fall Trout Challenge. A weigh your best 6 fish one day event. VQ 5 was able to boat our 6 tournament fish (9.3# AVG.)limit out of 8 bites on a tough day of fishing where there were( 8) zero's and mostly 1 fish boxes. We started the day at 6:45 AM by dedicating our day and this tourney to two friends that passed away this year (one just a few days ago). We were going to win this one for Big Jim and Bullit Bob. And yes, we won and also caught the big fish of the event with a 11.6# Steelie. Team VQ started well by taking our first fish before all lines were set and then grinding away after making numerous changes. Super Slims took most of the bites for us today. Fishing was/could have been better for the field but strong winds and rain hammered our Lakeshore the day and night before making the Lake very muddy and unstable. Some boats tried but did not do well and the majority fished the Presque Isle Bay waters where fishing is usually tougher and we have to contend with weeds. Well it was def. a weed fest, the water was dirty and the big run of fish have not arrived yet. However, it was a grind for most today including us. But in the end, we pulled off a victory and our mission was complete ! Rest in peace Bob and Jim cuz this one was for you guys !

 

King of the Lake-Fall (St. Catharines; ONT): 8th place Big Fish Friday and 9th place main event and 4th place King of Lake Overall-"final"

Headed up Thursday with Ray to get boat dumped and set up. Everything went smooth and we had some time to fish so we headed out to check water depth/temp and get a feel for the Lake. Set up in 70 f.o.w.
Was not long and we were "locked"... Ended up boating two, breaking off a slob (broke fly off spinny) and missed two in an hour and one half. hmmmm.

Ran charter trip Thursday. Set up same spot but lost one small fish. Ran out deeper and got into smaller Kings and Steelies. Ended up 11 for 21. Two of the steelies were in 11-13 pound class. Heard a lot of whining about a slow day and no kings and were considering the Olcott run for Friday (30 miles).

Thursday evening, we headed out with the team to do some LOC fishing and ended up 5 for 5.. (3) lakers and (2) big Guys.. That was a good warm up for the guys.

Friday, I decided to check the Niagara River again but closer in from where we fished the day before, even tho. the localss were crying about NO FISH at the Niagara River... Found good screen and great temps. Set up there and worked. Was not long and we were "locked". Ended up landing 10 Kings (see picture) and missed 4 more bites inc. another break off (Spinny and Fly twisted by a raging king). Finished in 8th place for Big Fish friday with 24.4 pound King.

Saturday, we went to same spot and ground out a 9 for 12 day which consisted of our best 5 fish weighing about 22 pound avg.. 8" and 10" Spinnys and Atomik flies again ! Ended up in 7th place but only 3 pounds out of first place. (there were 17 teams in range of first after day one) We also bumped into 3rd in the King of Lake Race because Shirley B stroked with only 2 Kings on Day one.. Nice !

Sunday----debated to start out front or go right back. Some good boxes came from out front on Day one so we thought about it.. Decided not to break up a good thing and go back for a third day of hopefully the same class of fish and kill ratio... So, we head back to river and kill first fish while setting up... Sundays bite was tougher for us as we boated 9 fish but one was a steelie, (4) were 18"-19" Kings and only 4 were good ones... Struggled to get our 5th big guy after 11am and the NE winds picked up... Good news was that most of the guys who fished straight out struggled all day.

Ended up in 9th overall and 4th in King of Lake. Unfortunately for us, Shirley B came roaring back with the biggest box of the weekend (119 pounds) and reclaimed the 3rd and final money spot in the KOTL race...

The weekend's weather and fishing was pretty darn nice. Averaged 9-10 fish each day. Fished with awesome guys each day. We had a blast ! Learned some things up there. This was our/my first September tournament and first time chasing fall/prespawn Kings. Learned a lot and will be ready for 2010.

We boated 46 fish out of about 70 bites over the course of (4) days and (2) brief evening trips. 18 or 19 fish were between 21 and 25 pounds..

 

King of the Lake-Oswego (Oswego, NY): 6th place Big Fish Friday and 12th place main event.

Back to Oswego (NOT EXCITED) to fish the 4th leg of the Scotty King of The Lake competition. Fishing there was still brutally tough and everyone said-GOOD LUCK catching 5 Kings each day... well Thursday afternoon we started our pre-fishing and managed 5 salmon and lost one. Hmmmm, that was not that tough. Saturday, we headed west and ground out 14 bites. Taking 7 salmon, 1 Brown and 1 Steelie. Only the salmon count tho. we lost 3 screamers and another rigger bite down deep that had to be a king. We ended up in 4th after day one and were only one of four teams (37) to take their 5 salmon. In fact, there were (13) teams total that did one or none on day one. (THATS TOUGH FISHING).

On Day 2 we decided to go back and grind again. Grind it was. We had no screen and no bait. Our water was dry and it was time for a move... We moved offshore where we saw some bait and an occasional mark. We managed 2 small kings there but we were on the board.. Well, that spot died and we picked up and moved close to port. We managed one bite there and lost it after a short battle... I elected to END THE MISERY and pull rods early. We discovered that fishing was tough for most again and we got bounced to 12th and we left on a suck note.... Good bye Oswego and thank you very much ! See ya.... That was some tough fishing there. Only one team managed their 5 each day and ran 20 miles for them. Most teams did 2-3 fish each day including many skunks and singles. After this event, we found ourselves in 4th place overall for the King of The Lake event with one more tourney to go to decide who wears the title for 2009.

Erie, PA walleye & Steelhead Pro-AM (Erie, PA): 1st place team VQ-4, 2nd place team VQ-5, Big Fish overall winner, Big Steelhead Saturday winner and Big Jim memorial Fish award winner.

Our 4th annual Pro-Am is back on. Man, I love fishing out of home.. So much easier... We started out Friday entered in the Dreamweaver Lures Big Catch Tournament (weigh your best 3). Team V.Q.4 finished 8th and Team V.Q. 5 was late at the weigh-in but would have WON. We (me) weighed 36.6 pounds of steelies but it did not count cuz we were late to the weigh-in. The winner by default, weighed 29.8 pounds. Our hefty weight was bolstered by a 16.6 pound steelhead a 11 pounder and a 9. I ran a charter trip today and we had a great day on eyes and steelies, too bad we were late at the weigh-in.

On day one, team VQ 5 (me) was in 1st place and one fish short of our box. We hammered the eyes early and spent a good part of the day trying to get our 5 steelies. We fell short and took 4 and lost the 5th... VQ-4, boxed 10 eyes and ran out for steelies. They took 2 and weighed 12 fish total, good enough for 3rd spot. Most boats STROKED and averaged only 6-8 fish total.

On to day 2, the CRAP weather set in. The eyes came slower with the frontal systems pounding through and we fished thru tough water and torrential rain... We took our 12th eye at around 11:30am and headed offshore for steelies. With only about 2 hours to fish, we knew we needed to boat only 2 or 3 to seal the deal. We fell short and only managed one steelie. VQ-4 boxed on eyes and boxed on steelies hitting a flurry and did them all within an hour.. We both headed to the weigh in knowing we each took 29 fish overall and it would come down to which 29 were bigger... It would be 4 vs. 5 at the weigh-in... Vision Quest 4 team prevailed and they won with VQ 5 coming in second. That was the plan on Friday 1st and 2nd for the Vision Quest Teams.

VQ 5 also swept the (3) big fish awards with a 12.2 pound Steelie. Overall, it was an oustanding performance for both boats under tough fishing conditions in Erie, PA. Both boats used a lead core program for the eyes and a Super Slim spoon program for the steelies.

Pittsburgh Downriggers Tournament (Erie, PA): 1st place

Back to Erie finally and we fished the Pittsburgh Downriggers annual event. First time we fished this club event. It is a weigh your best 5 fish event and walleyes and steelies count. Our plan was to target steelies and I headed offshore to "the spot". It did not take long for the spot to produce and produce it did. we took 35 bites by 2:00pm and boxed out on Steelies (20) plus took one walleye. we had a good box and felt good about the weigh-in.

Team VQ weighed our best 5 steelies and they weighed in at 48.9 pounds,plenty good enough for 1st. the second place team recorded 37 pounds. It was ana wesome day of steelie fishing as the Super Slims slapped them hard today.

Wayne County Pro-AM (Sodus Point, NY): 7th place and Big Brown Trout Award Day 2.

Back to Sodus again, a place where one bad decision kills u cuz the fishing can be tough here. The word was tough fioshing and no Brown Trout to pick on. How true it was... We fished Thursday evening for a couple hours and managed 2 good Kings in short order. friday, we headed out and fished the mid waters and then tried the deep waters for high Kings or steelies... We found decent fishing at the mid waters and a few fish out deep. Most of the fish were deep 100-130 down. On Saturday, we elected to run west a ways because we received a tip that the fishing was decent there, so we pounded into the waves down west and began. Boated our 12 fish limit and put 3 extra fish back (undersized King and 2 Lakers). Our catch consisted of a mixed bag of salmon, BT, lakers... We were the third boat back in and felt good to box in Sodus. We were in 10th after Day one and most teams failed to box but some of the teams had some hefty Kings which helped their scores.

Sunday was much nicer and we elected to fish deeper (gamble) and target strictly Kings because we needed a big box. The plan worked and the 10" Spin Doctors fished off long and deep wires and deep riggers worked. Again, we boxed early and headed in. Our box was a good one and I stated to my team that if anyone beats this one, I will be very impressed. Well, no one did and we recorded a 305 point box with 12 fish. Biggest single dat box registered in the last 2 or 3 years of Pro Ams. It boosted us from 10th to 7th. We also took the largest Brown Trout on day 2 and earned a check there. 10" Spin Doctors and ATOMIK flies were the big producers for us this weekend.

Our strong Sodus event also earned us a 7th place finish in the "Best of the East event".

Oswego Pro-AM (Oswego, NY): 23rd-we stink. day 2 is cancelled (I hate that !!!)...

The Oswego fishing was tough again. We fished hard on friday and boated about 9 fish. These were Browns, lakers, Kings and Steelies. Did not land any big fish and did not weigh in at the Friday Big Fish event. Saturday, we took 8 bites and only boated 3 fish. We lost 2 mega kings that would have greatly helped. We finished a lowly 23rd out of 36 teams knowing that if we just landed a couple more we would have made top 10. It was tough-tough fishing and the teams that landed their bites did well cuz YOU WERE not gonna get a lot of opportunities in Oswego... To make it worse, Saturdays fishing was cancelled due to high waves and winds. No chance at redemption and we had to put the boat on the trailer very disappointed... next event will be the Sodus Pro-Am and we were hoping for better weather and better fishing !

Summer King of the Lake (Whitby Ontario): 7th place Big Fish Friday, 12th place weekend event.

Traveled across Lake O to fish from Port Whitby for the first time. Nice Port and great people. I recommend a trip there. Decided to start about 10 miles East of port and hit several fish on our troll to port after we arrived on "the other side" Fish seemed to be from 50 to 100ft. down. On Friday, we motored back to where we hit fish on Friday to find that the fishing was spotty but there were fish to work with. We hit some Steelies and Kings and weighed a big fish that was around 22.5 pounds. Out 5 fish would have weighed about 100 pounds if today was T. Day.

We decided to go back east on Day one because the fish were large and in a 5 fish event, size matters more so that qty. We found a very tough bite on Day one. Only boated three kings and lost a few including one with 10 minutes left... We wer in 14th place after Day one. Mpst of the boats that caught 5 or more all went way west (23-35 miles)

Day two we decided to work east again but not as far. We ground out our fish and landed 5 or 9 Kings. We broke a large fish (22 pounds) and missed 3 other great King bites which hurt. We were close to weighing in the largest box overall on Day 2 but.... we settled for 8th best box on Day 2 and 12th place overall. Tough fishing again unless you ran FARRRRR West to Toronto. Not an option for us. Currently, we are sitting in 5th place in the King of The Lake race with two more events to go.

 

Erie, PA EPSFA Walleye Challenge (Erie, PA) 11th place VQ-4 and 14th place VQ-5, Biggest Lake Trout Award winner.

Walleye fishing was lousey and the fish are not here yet. Only hi-lite was that we won the big laker Award with a small laker-the onlyn one caught by any boats that day. Team VQ-4 and VQ-5 struggled trying to catch fish that were not there. Over 40 teams enetered this one day event and most did 0 to 2 fish.

Orleans County Pro-AM (Oak Orchard, NY): 7th place Big Fish Friday, 8th place Pro-Am and 8th place Best of the West Final Finish.

Off to defend our 1st place finish from 2008. The Lake conditions were cold, unstable and fish spread everywhere. Tough conditions were upon us. The two charter days prior were grind days and we worked hard to manage 10-13 bites each day. Mostly taking Kings.

Saturday, we knew if we could box ANY 12 fish we would be in great shape. We targetted Coho's inside again and went 1 for 3 by 9am. Not good so we decided to pull and go further west. We sat down near Olcott and fished a great picture and huge amounts of bait. We got a program going and boated 8 fish and lost 5 in just three hours. 2 of the fish were just under sized Steelies so, we had to place them back. We managed a couple good steelies in the mix with one weighing in at 12.4 # pounds and another just under 11#. It was tough fishing for most and we were in 5th place after day one with weighing just 7 fish. Orange back Super Slims and LD spoons were hot for us today as they took most of our Steelie bites including one that GOT BIT Off.

We decided to make the long run back and did on Sunday. We found a vapor screen however we hooked and lost our first Bow there. After a while with no bites and a zero screen, we decided to run back east and see if the fish/bait picture went there. It did and we were able to grind out an 8 fish box. We went 10 for 17 overall but two had to put two smaller steelies back again. The fish were high with most coming from the top 45 ft in the water column.

We finished in the 8th place spot out of 39 Pro Teams and also finished 8th overall out of 30 Ppro Teams in the lake Ontario Best of The West, a title we claimed in 2007.

BIG BOYS Shootout (1st annual): (Olcott, NY) 3rd place finish

Monday, was the first annual BIG BOYS Shootout event. Only 10 teams participated and the entry was $1,000. Team Vision Quest ran part way offshore looking for a good break and a home run. We did not move a rod the first 45 minutes and watched a bleak screen. Here we go AGAIN, off to a late start and behind the 8 BALL...We were quick to rack, move and reload and join the spot where the majority of the teams went (West by the Niagara River). We were quick into Kings and Steelies. As the NE winds increased, we watched our good water and fish finder slowly evaporate. Wehere did it go, east winds suck up there. It was time to deploy some Coho baits to ensure we get our box. Out go the 6" Spinny's and coho Axction Fly's. We picked at Cohos until fish no. 12 came with time to spare, it ate a 35 ft. rigger and I watched the fish come accross the screen to die!. We racked and were happy with making our box in the now cold and BLACK ICE water. We took the long ride in to 3-5 ft. waves out of the NE. After the weigh in, Team VQ claimed the 3rd place and final pay spot. Good for a $2,000 paycheck.

Niagara County Skip Hatrmann Pro-AM (Olcott, NY) 3rd place Big Fish Friday, 1st Place largest King and 12th place Pro-AM

Friday, was the Big Fish Friday event. We did fair Friday but never found a great spot. However, we managed to catch the largest King 23.55# and take 3rd place overall in the weigh your best (3) event. These were good for two nice paychecks... Mr. Big King ate a 8" crush-glow white Spinny off a wire diver.

The Pro-Am went fair for us. Saturday, we gambled and tried to target off shore Steelies and Kings and fell short of a limit. We felt we may be able to do 12 fish out there on a break we found late Friday. However, It was a tough grind out there and managed an 8 for 13 bite day. Sunday, we changed our game plan and went inside and east looking for Coho Salmon in the 50-60 foot depths. After Saturday, we discovered that many teams ahead of us caught decent numbers of Coho to make their catches. On Sunday, We were gifted with 13# laker and 7# Steelie in addition to boxing out with 10 more Coho. We were one of the first Pro's to be in on Sunday. Our finish allowed us to take 12th place and it was good for a nice paycheck. The 6" Dreamweaver orange and white crush glow spinnys and Coho Action Flys were hot as well as the SS get er Dun spoon and Eagles Goldie Hawn Glow SS. We stuck most of these out when needed and ended up catching fish no. 11 and 12 on the same rod to end our day. we finished 12 for 21. To add to the excitement, we had Jake the camera man on board with us filming.

 

Scotty May-King of The Lake (Wilson; NY) 3rd place Dreamweaver Big Fish Friday and 29th place Main Event (sucks !)

Back to Lake Ontario and the Port of Wilson, NY to prepare and fish the May Wilson, NY King of the lake Scotty. Fishing on Friday was fair with a mix of smaller and larger Kings. 10" white crush glow and 10" green crush glow spinnys and flies took most of the deep fish and larger fish. Super Slim spoons were the size spoon the fish wanted this week also. Team VQ took the 3rd spot in Dreamweaver Big Fish Friday. The winning King was 21.2 pounds and only an ounce from the 2nd spot. This was good for a nice paycheck.

The weekend event was tough for us. We caught fair numbers of fish but not big fish. Sunday we only boated 9 fish and weighed 4 Kings with the balance being Cohos that were just under the tournament size limit. So, we weighed 9 fish out of the allowable 10, that hurt us but would not have helped us make the top 10. This weekend, we just could not get dialed into a program or a spot.

Many of the top teams fished from 120-170 ft. down with riggers and stretching wire divers over 400 ft. This was not typical May fishing but some guys tapped into it to get their fish and the bigger fish. I guess we will be ready for this next year !

 

Scotty Spring-King of The Lake:(St. Catherines; ONT) 9th place Dreamweaver Big Fish Friday and 4th place Main Event

This week we were up in St. Catherines, ONT to prep. and fish the 2009 King of the lake Spring Scotty. We started on Thursday by looking at the inside waters and found a few Kings way inside including a 19.5# King, a bunch of Coho, a Laker and a Brown. Decent fishing for the first excursion on Lake O. Friday we moved out deeper looking for a King bite and found some... We figured we had our starting spot for the tournament.

Day one of the event and rods were blazing. We boated many Kings on Saturday and only missed a few. Dreamweaver mags smoked them today off riggers, 7 color and 10 color cores. A 200ft. copper working the chute did very well also. Team Vision Quest (Kevin, Jeremy & Captain Mike) were just ounces (one Alewife) out of first after Day #1 out of 74 competing teams. Saturday afternoon it blew amazingly hard out of the West for hours and we figured that our pocket of fish will have moved east like they did in 2008. Our 5 Kings that we weighed were (89.8#) We boated nearly 20 Kings today.

On Day 2, we gambled a little and west opposite of where we fished Saturday, hoping a pocket of Kings moved. We were the only boat in this spot but we did not move any rods, so afer 15 minutes we ran back west a little ways and immediately started popping rods. We had a good morning bite until the NE winds shut us down. We struggled the rest of the day and figured that we may have gotten bumped down a little. We still had a good box (85#) for 5 salmon but we heard there were a few mega boxes taken that day. After the weigh ins were done, we found ourselves in 4th spot overall after being in 2nd place Day #1. The day #1 leader only boxed two fish and slid well out of the top 10. We had very good fishing over the 4 days and found fish from 9 f.o.w. to 76 f.o.w. and took several fish between 19# and 21.5# which are very nice sprink Kings. It was not easy fishing up there. Only 22 teams out of 74 weighed in their allowable 5 fish each day and the day one leader went from 1st to ? after only taking two fish. It was not easy and we did OK with our finish to start the lake Ontario Tournament season. Next stop will be Wilson, NY for the second lef of the King of The Lake event.

Erie, PA Sport Fishing Association "Spring Trout Challenge": (Erie, PA) 3rd place for VQ IV and 8th place for VQ V.

Today was our first tournament of the season, a members only Association event that 26 teams participated in. weather was good and the fishing was tough. We began our day by missing the first 3 fish... Writing may be on the wall hmmmmm... We struggled to land our fish today and only boated 5 out of 20 bites. Did I just write that???? I said to myself at one point that I had never seen anything like this after going one for eight during the last two hours of the day. We took a disappointing 8th place despite grinding out 20 hits using a measly 6 rod program (tournament rule).

Vision Quest IV fared better and took 3rd place by landing 7 of 11 bites. The higher bite to die ratio paid high dividends. The Vision Quest IV team landed 10 of 11 bites to take first place. Second place went to the Jones team. These guys also fish with me also from time to time and are very good fishermen. The good side of not doing well today was that I was surrounded by the guys who captain, mate and tournament fish with me and they all won... By"NOT" taking advantage of the bites, despite getting a lot will not help you at the scales. Lesson learned-As my only tournament rule says "EVERY FISH COUNTS"

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2008 Tournament Season Begins and Concludes:

Results of the tournaments from Lake Erie, Michigan and Ontario. They include the Friday events, Lake Ontario Challenge Cups and weekend Tourney events.

2008' RESULTS: (1st, 2nd, 6th, 7th, 15th, 5th, 5th, 1st, 5th, 33rd, 1st, 2nd, 27th, 6th, *4th Lake Ontario Challenge Cup, *6th West Challenge Cup, *5th East Challenge Cup)

****Team V.Q. finishes in the top 10 in (14) out of (17) events and (22) out of the last (27) events during 2007 and 2008****

 

Erie, PA Sport Fishing Assoc. Fall Trout Challenge:(Erie, PA) 6th Place

Our Association put together a last minute Steelhead tournament held out of Erie, PA. Due to major, major winds we were restricted to fishing the Bay/Channel/Point area. Our Team hooked up enough fish to do better but could not put them all in the boat and finished a lowly 6th place. A couple of the up and coming fishermen of the future won the fun event. These young men happen to be my mates (Shawn and Mike-The young Mike) and they beat me at my own game by fishing where we did not. Guess they learned a couple things from me anyway. This concluded the tourney season and was a fun local event to end the year.

 

Dreamweaver Big Catch Friday: (Erie, PA): 1st place

Recently, we competed in a Dreamweaver Lures Big Catch Friday Tourney and we finished 1st crushing the competition by 7 pounds. This was a weigh your best 3 fish event. We did it with 12.8, 11.5 and 10.5 pound steelies. What a nice box... We fed them Dreamweaver Super Slims and what a great Steelhead this spoon has been for us. It consistently catches those Steelies and has great action in the water.

 

Erie, PA Sport Fishing Assoc. Walleye & Steelhead Pro-AM: (Erie, PA) 2nd place, 6th place for Vision Quest IV.

The Pro-AM event was held this weekend of Aug. 3rd and 4th. We managed 2nd place after sitting in 3rd after Day one...... Just 11 points shy of 1st place. We were the "ONLY" Pro team to weigh a limit of fish "each day". The last three years we finished 1st, 2nd and 2nd. Each day we averaged 30 bites and boated 23 fish. (walleyes and steelies). This year, we fished with Dick's Sporting Goods who was a charter sponsor for the event. After losing quite a few the first day (23/34), we were in fish killing mode on day two going 23/28. The Walleye fishing was very good each day and we could have boated a 4 man limit with no problem in add. to some steelies but we stuck with our plan of leaving some extra time to try to get the Big Steelies like we did Friday. We lost our 2 largest Steelies on Saturday which ould have made it very close but that's the way it goes. Congrats. to The Pro and Am winners-Team Pacific Time and Storm Warning on good hard earned victories.

We used the SS and DW spoons to take our Steelies and a few extra Eyes each day but hit the Eyes hard using Deep diving plugs with the necessary weight to get them in the Eye zone. On Sunday, we had a true quad as 4 Eyes bit at once-they all found the ice chest. (Good job guys)..We had the pleaseure of taking Dick's Sporting Goods people out each day on a charter/sponsor package deal. The people were great and I would have them back in a minute...

The Vision Quest IV took 6th place honors again in this years event. VQ 4 was also was out on a charter/sponsor deal this year and did well with his clients. The 2nd and 6th place finishes for both boats were identical to the 2007 event.

 

Wayne County Pro-Am: (Sodus Point, NY): 7th place Big Fish Friday Event and 15th place Pro Division

After running a productive charter on Thursday and having a very good Friday Tournament we were very confident going in to Saturday. Friday, we were able to find a good pocket of Steelies with a couple Kings. We took a 23.5# King and a 12.5# Steelie there as well as several others. We were shaking fish off before noon and headed in. We placed 7th in the Friday event even though we fished til 11:30. As usual, Lake O. had different plans and we struggled over the weekend. However, we did take some nice fish including a 24.5# and 21.5# Salmon. Saturday we were in 15th place and needed a big Sunday to catch up. We decided on a plan and we runned and gunned looking for a hast/hot bite but never found much. Catching was tough in Sodus this weekend. Most top teams ran 30 miles to find decent catches of Browns. The top teams took Browns for their boxes. There were few Salmon caught and most teams that targeted them during the event did not do well as most struggled top ull 3-5 Salmon each day. Our Erie Pro-Am is coming up next and I am looking forward to a 20 minute drive to the marina and fishing my own waters where we have more fish to poke at and I can sleep in my own rack.

Oswego County Pro-AMm: (Oswego, NY) 5th place Pro Division (currently in 2nd overall in the Lake O. Challenge Cup)

No boat issues in this one... We traveled all the way to Oswego to the land of Waves, Fleas and Warm water to catch the fish (What fish?). Thursday we sat at the dock while waves crashed the breakwall and did a boat maintenance day. Pre-Fish Friday, we roamed all over both in and out looking for signs of life. We found some but no spots that would find us going to on Day one. Day one, I set up inside on bait and temp and worked the BT's (Brown Trout) Good move! We were able to hook 16 and boated our 12 fish late AM and were one of very few to box out on Day one. A steady diet of Super Slims led to the demise of the BT's this morning. We were in 5th place after Day one and only one fish out of 2nd and 2 away from 1st. Knowing that Lake O. changes on an hourly basis, we changed our Day two plans and went for the win in lieu of banging the BT's inside with the fleet. (Coincidentally, the fleet struggled Sunday on the BT's)This move almost paid high dividends (10K) The Day one leader fell and we managed 5 fish in our deep water program but a dropped fish by me at the end cost us 3rd place and two early break-offs cost us 2nd placet Close but.... We managed 5th spot overall but our consistent catch allowed us to charge to 2nd place in the Lake Ontario Challenge Cup event. Oswego was tough this weekend for a lot of teams. Many zero's, one and two fish boxes in the Pro Div.

 

Walleye Challenge-EPSFA members tournament: (Erie, PA): D.Q.

Boat issues put a DQ on the board this AM. We had a power steering problem earlier in the week and thought it was fixed after fishing a full day charter on Friday with a nice catch and no leaks. When we ran to our spot Saturday, there was a large puddle of power steering fluid all over the deck. We made several attempts to repair it with no success. The hose was deteriorated and it kept leaking. After considerable thought and an attempt to troll with no steering but by using the transmissions, I decided it was not worth risking further boat damage and operating the boat with "0" steering. We motored in early just as high winds began. We considered jumping on VQ 4 but with strong winds, a late start and spending another $200 in fuel, we opted to sit this one out and help set up for the picnic-weigh ins. We will hve to wait for the Erie Pro-AM to get back at the fish...

Orleans County-Oak Orchard Pro-AM: (Orleans County): 5th place Big Fish Friday and 1st place Pro Division and 7th place Best of The West

Pro-AM time... Round #2 of the NY Pro-Am series. We were headed to Oak Orchard-Orleans County to fish the 3rd annual Pro-AM event. Our prior two tourneys there netted a 6th place, 2nd place and a 1st place Big Fish Friday event. Last year we were close to a victory and 10 missed Day 2 fish cost us the big pay check. Close BUT no cigar !

N.East winds still hampered the fishing and it was tough at the Oak. How tough? some zeros were put on the board and the average box was a whopping 3 to 4 fish. We started off good on friday and took 5th in the weigh your best 3 fish Friday tourney that had 41 teams participate. (Only 13 teams weighed in out of 41 and that was a sign of how tough the tourney was going to be). With cold clear water almost everywhere, the fish were scattered and the overall bite turned to Steelies. We ran a 6 rod Steelie program and kept 2 rods parked for the occasional Salmon bite. After Day one, we were in 10th place and only one fish from 4th spot. The top three guys had decent day one catches and we figured they would be tough to catch, unless they BOMB on day two. With highly unstable and moving water conditions, we knew there was no guaranteed day one spots and day two would find people starting all over again. We chose a different day two spot and put two fish in the box before we had our 8 rod spread out-a darn good start. As the morning went, we began to hear no fish, no bites, one fish and two fish boxes galore and we knew we had a good chance if we can get the rods firing again. We were sitting with (3) fish in the box at 8AM. Three more than a lot of teams. We moved back in after a long north STROKE troll and moved into a honey hole which was not far from our AM starting spot and took 7 more fish (one under sized Steelie) and missed 6 more in the next 3 hours. We pulled 16 bites today under tough conditions and took the $10,000 1st place prize, a nice calcutta and some ego-side bet action. Nexy tourney is out of Erie, PA on June 28th and it will feel good to fish home for a change... We also finished 7th in the Best of The West Challenge Cup series out of 30 participating teams. Team VQ took first place honors in 2007.

 

Skip Hartman Niagara Pro-AM: (Olcott, NY): 5th place Friday Don Johannes Tournament and Poor finish Pro-AM

We pre-fished Friday with the team and thumped them good. Many quality fish which most teams were not catching. Did the same program we have done the other 4 trips out of Port. My guys were crying as they held up the racks for the "Kill" shot photo at the end of the day. We were confident we had a good plan and hoped to continue to catch the bigger fish.

Day one started in a down pour but we took two fish pretty quick, then it slowed and we struggled. We worked our prior spots hard and stayed with the plan. Eventually, we picked up and ran west a few miles hoping to sit on some fish. Still slow. We knew the far west bite was very good for the 2-7 pound fish but we held course hoping to get the big fish going. We were going for the win and did not want to succomb to small Salmon. This eventually hurt us. We did however take a 23.7 pound King which was the 3rdlargest of the tournament and made the day one L.O.C. derby leaderboard 1st place fish. It ate a Carmel Dolphin Spin Doctor and green action fly on a wire diver (and it was a "vicious bite")

Day two, we decided to succomb to the west run and ran 15 miles west to fish with the "pack". We elected to run a big fish only program which helped. Eventually, we had to change our tactics and put the small Salmon program out to mop of the balance of the fish we needed, the clock was ticking and we wanted to make sure we ended day two with our box. When that happened the small fish bite was good and our observer even got to reel in a couple extras as we started to pull rods. Our early limit catch on day 2 was a good way to end the trip but our day one put us in a hole we could not recover from because the fishing was good for most and most did not fall on day #2. (which is common in this tournament) Although we did not place in the main event, we did do well in the Friday Don Johannes tournament and got a nice pay check ($700.00) as well as take the 3rd largest King in the 2008 Pro-AM event.

 

St. Joe Michigan Southwest Steelheaders Summer Challenge: (St. Joe MI) 1st and 2nd Place

Fished with the Dreamweaver guys in Lake Michigan for this event. Targetted Lakers mostly because the Kings did not show up yet in good numbers and the available Coho's were to small to weigh in for a total weight tournament. Finished 1st in the "333" event where you weigh your largest 3 fish of the two day tourney. We took the 1st, 3rd and 6th largest Lakers of the event and walked away with this one-easily. Finished 2nd in the Pro-Am against 39 other Pro teams. I got to crank in a 19.8# Laker-good for Big Fish Day one. Shane Ruboyianes cranked in Big Fish Day two and biggest overall 22.8# Laker. It ate a 10" white Spin Doctor and Strong Fly. Overall, we boated 47 Lakers, Kings, Steelies and Coho over the pre-fish and tourney days.

Scotty Spring Tourney: (St. Catherines ONT.) 27th Place==="ouch" pitiful start, glad we got this one out of our system...

Going, Going, Gone= described the last few days. Prefishing went good but the tourney was tough for us. Finished 27th out of 70 teams. Overall, we boated 26 Kings, Steelies and Coho over the pre-fish and tourney days. Sunday was awful for us. We found cold-clear ice water everywhere we pre-fished. This was due to a major windage that occurred Sat evening. The good water moved accross the Niagara River and so did most of the fish. Our fish went to NY and we did not count on this and did not have our NY licenses, so we roamed around looking for a golden horse shoe. The teams that went to NY did well including the winner. Hopefully, we got our Albatross out of our system early this year. On to the next one in Michigan.

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2007 concludes:

Tournament Terror: "Team Vision Quest" on a good run...

****Team V.Q. finishes in the top 10 in (8) out of (10) events in 2007****

 

The last three years we made a commitment to get better and be a tournament contender at each event. The 06' and 07' season found us placing in the top 12 pay spots in 11 of 15 tournaments entered and 17 of 32 events since we started to fish these events. We were close to adding another top 12 finish and were in the top 10 after day one in Oswego but an inhaled sea anchor and wire diver-drag issues kept us out of contention. Keep in mind most of these events are fished outside of Erie (our home turf) and on totally different Lakes. Which makes it very difficult. However, we have held our own as they say. Team V.Q. also won the Lake Ontario Challenge Cup West Division Championship and placed third overall in the 4 event race. The results of the (6) local events we have fished: (3) 1st place finishes (1) 2nd place finish and (2) 6th place finishes. Being home is a little less challenging that on another Lake with little practice time.

We really started fishing tournaments in 2002 with just one event and in 2004 we decided to get more involved in tournament fishing. Why? because they are challenging, fun, you leave with a great overall experience, we always meet new people and shake a lot of hands. Tournaments allow you to fish against the very best certain ports have to offer. There is a rewarding feeling when you trailer a boat 150 miles or further, pre-fish a day or day and one half on foreign waters and then, get called to come up and get a check at the end of the event. We hope to continue to get better and make that rewarding walk to the "Check Man".

2007 Tournament Results:

Erie, PA Sport Fishing Association Walleye & Steelhead Pro-AM: (Erie, PA): 2nd Place for Vision Quest V (Capt. Pete) and 6th place for Vision Quest IV

Team VQ V went in to this years tourney as defending champs. On day one, we were met with some adversity by having a shaft/prop shear off and we were stuck with fishing most of day on one motor and it limited our places to fish. However, we managed to catch all of the fish plus extras and manage to be in 6th place after Day one. I was unable to get the boat repaired and the big VQ sat idle in the boat sling. We were able to fish on another Captains boat on Day 2 and made some tackle adjustments and put our plan together.. Our goal was to catch 18-20 Eyes and try to get a few big ones plus try to get a few bonus Steelies while targetting Eyes. We did this easily but only managed one 10# fish plus a couple above "Pencil" size fish. However, we managed to boat 4 Steelies and miss a couple which helped. The plan was tomove out to Steelie country to get our last Steelie and then work on size by trying to land bigger Steelies. Our Steelie move paid off immediately and I killed the 5th while setting lines. We were also able to boat two more and we missed a couple in a short time. We had our 17 fish again to weigh in plus some extras. I felt pretty good about our catch and figured we would move up in the rankings. Move up we did, all the way to 2nd, just 8 points out of 1st. Team Vision Quest IV finished a respectable 6th while operating the 29ft. Tiara with his team.

We boated 16 Steelies and 33 Walleyes in the 2 day event which allowed 12 Eyes and 5 Steelies to be brought to the scales each day.

A spoon program consisting of Dreamweaver Super Slims in conjunction with Storm Thunderstoicks contributed to our success in the EPSFA tournament.

This concluded the 2007 tournament season which was very good for us. Team VQ had (2) 2nd place finishes, (1) 5th place, and (3) 6th place finishes in the 8 tourneys fished. We also won some additional prizes throughout those events.

 

 

Erie, PA Sport Fishing Association one day "WALLEYE CHALLENGE": (Erie, PA): 6th Place

We participated in this years first event, a one day weigh your best 9 Walleyes fishing tournamnet. 39 Teams competed and Team VQ posted a 6th place finish and missed 4th place by a pound or so. We fished the shallow waters today and pounded the eyes. We boated 24 in 5.5 hours of fishing.

 

Sodus Wayne County Pro-AM: (Sodus Bay, NY): 6th Place

We headed to Sodus with a goal to stay in the top 3 spots for the Lake Ontario Challenge Cup and make the Top 10. Goal accomplished. We finished in 6th place after holding on to 8th after Day one with a Heavy 9 fish box. Fishing was tougher for the field on Day 2 and we managed 10 fish and moved into 6th place comfortably. We caught 5 Kings and 5 Browns on Day 2 after boxing all Kings on Day one.

This concluded the NY Pro-Am season.Team Vision Quest managed to place in 3 of the 4 events and held a top 10 pacing on 7 of the 8 tournament fishing days. We also won the Best of The West Challenge Cup and finished 3rd overall in the Lake Ontario Challenge Cup. A good feat for an out of State/Lake team.

 

Oswego Pro-Am: (Oswego, NY): not in the money=Day from Hell

Did well on our day and one quarter pre-fish on Thursday evening and Friday. We boated about 20 Kings, Steelies and Browns out of the two areas we fished. Seemed that fishw ere located everywhere and the Key would be to finding mostly Kings. Browns would not win it....

After boxing out on Kings and Browns on Day one, we were in 9th place and not far out of the Top 5. We boated most of our fish on Dreamweaver Mags and regulars. After we just boated our 12th fish, an outdown fired and we boated a 13# Steelhead but had to let her go.... This started a run of bad things to follow....

Day 2 we had a great plan and it worked. Started inside and within minutes hooked a Major- It ran out to 600 ft before getting off and a bent spoon returned. 0 for 1. Within minutes, the other wire diver rod fired and it ran out to 500 ft. before getting off and a bent hook on a fly returned. 0 for 2. We boated our third, then lost a slob on the surface after a 20 minute fight. 1 for 4. We then boat a Brown Trout that is 18.25" (just a hair over the min. limit) and make a decision to let it go. Then, we double on Steelies. One is a keeper and the other is just a tad too small. They have to be 21.5". OK, now we just let two fish go, THE idea is to kill, not let go.... Then we boat a couple more... Our next fish fires and screams out a board and gets off. THEN, we suck up out trolling bag into our prop and have to switch motors and try to get it out-NO LUCK. OK we decide to keep fishing and proceed to lose 5 MAJORS in a row including another wire fish that rips out to 550 ft. and bent another hook. (My observer is shaking his head in disbelief) Drags guys !!! Then an outdown fires, Fish On, appears to be a Brown Trout but when it nears the surface-a Sheephead rears its UGLY mug. At that point-the towel is thrown in, flag raised and FAT lady stands. Of course we lose our last fish and end up with landing (7) returning two of them, dropping 10 fish including 8 Majors, two bent hooks, one mangled spoon, one d.o.a. motor and a Sheepshead. To make it worse, "I", the skipper mistime the quiet ride in on one motor and take a 90 point penalty. This bombed us out of the top 10.... Shell out the side bets and On to the next one!!

 

Niagara-Skip Hartman Pro-Am:( Olcott, NY): 5th place

Bad info..., that's what I had when we arrived at Lake O. Kings fishing and Coho fishing had slowed and was a tough bite, hmmmm. So, we devoted our pre-fish day looking east for Steelies and Coho with a 12-fish plan in mind. Day 1 plan was to catch 12 silvers-big or small and we almost did this. We started off 0 for 6 and finished 7 for 21 while targetting steelies and Coho-they hadtheir way with us... At the weigh-in, we discovered some nice boxes of Kings and Coho being weighed in. hmmmm. Bad info. We ended 24th of 44 after Day 1.

Day 2, we changed our plan and went King and Coho fishing in the same spot as the leader and some top 10 teams. Plan worked and we boxed out next to them, while the leader only tok 4 fish..... We took mostly Kings and Coho with fish #12 being a 25" Steelie. Today was just opposite of Day #1. We boated the majority of our bites and the entire program, including spoons and presentation changed. However, we dialed them in quickly and charged all the way to the 5th place spot. We took the majority of our fish on magnum VQ alewive, VQ green alewive, greasy chicken DW spoons as well as a few Coho on green flies and bab Spin Docs ran high on mono-divers. Riggers, cores and divers all contributed to our 12 fish box.

Our strong Day 2 finish boosted us and we were able to win "The Best of The West" Challenge Cup. The Cup is an award and cash given to the team that accumulated the most points during the (2) west end Lake O. Pro-Ams=Olcott and Oak Orchard.

Orleans County-Oak Orchard Pro-AM: (Orleans County, NY) 2nd place

After running some charters and our Friday pre-fish day, I felt pretty good about having the fish and spot dialed in.. We took limits of good fish up to the tournament. Team VQ won the Pre-Fish derby on Friday by weighing in the largest King on Friday-a good start to things and good for $180 cash...

Day 1, we headed 24 miles West to the sweet spot and were rewarded with a 12 fish box late in the morning. Our Team took care of business quickly while landing 12 of 15 bites. We headed back, fueled up and prepped for Day 2 while waiting for the weigh-ins to start. Team VQ was in 1st place after Day 1.

Day 2, we decided to fish deeper and try to selectively harvest larger Kings in the AM. The plan started good and we were into quality fish right away. Then things slowed down and we begin to miss fish after fish. Our 2nd consecutive wire diver fish was missed even though it was ripped hard and screamed. GONE AGAIN! That was the 2nd of 4 fish that crushed the divers but never died. Our "picture" totally evaporated and we were looking for 3 more fish. We ended up getting 2 more and losing 3 and went to the weigh in with 11 fish, one short, did I say, one short? We weighed in last and fell 5 points short, a 1/2 of a fish short. The winning team boated 3 in their last 15 minutes of fishing to "eak" us out of 1st place=KARMA. However, they did not enter the "Calcutta" which gave us an added bonus of $2,000 in cold hard cash-nice... So close but yet so far. Tournament rule #1 "EVERY FISH COUNTS" was really applicable in this one...

 

Scotty Downriggers Spring Tournament:(Lake O/St. Catharines ONT): stroked it.

After three days of fishing-looking-scratching my head-wondering- I asked myself if I just came back from Lake Huron? Nope. Fishing was tough for us over the two tournament days and we struggled to find/catch fish each day. Our pre-fish day was our best day of the three BUT did not count. The Laker fishing was good but they don't count. So, like most of the teams in this years event-WE FISHED FOR FISH that were not there yet. Lake O. is still very cold and the Kings have not arrived in good numbers yet. There were some fish for the taking if you were on them in the AM. We were not. We boated 32 fish in the three days but the majority were Lakers with some Kings, Coho and a couple Browns mixed in. The water was so cold, that on our pre-fish day, we trolled in to 6-12 f.o.w. looking for pods of Coho but managed to catch Lakers- Non-Stop, in those shallow waters. Hats off to this years winners. This is the first time in the 6 events we have fished at the Spring Scotty that Team V.Q. did not weigh our 5 Salmon in on each day and we managed to not do it on back to back days this year...

Team V.Q. will be back.. Heading to the Orleans-Oak Orchard Pro-Am Tournament next on May 26-27.

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2006 Tournament Schedule: (results below)

Scotty Downrigger Spring Tournament (April/Lake O.)

Blue Water Classic (May Lake H.)

Skip Hartman Niagara Pro-Am (June/Lake O.)

Orleans County-Oak Orchard NY Pro-Am (June/Lake O.)

Oswego NY Pro-AM (July/Lake O.)

Sodus NY Pro-Am (July/Lake O.)

Erie, PA Sport Fishing Association Pro-Am (August/Lake E.)

Scotty Downrigger Fall Tournament (September/Lake E.)

 

2006 Tournament Results:

 

Scotty Downrigger Fall Tournament:

LABOR DAY weekend: (Scotty Fall Tourney)

WASH!!! traveled to the Scotty Downrigger Fall Salmon Tournament with hopes of the weather turning more favorable than worse. It went to worse with Gail winds forecasted for the first day of the tournament with rough conditions into Sunday. (This weather was spurned on by the hurricane) We made the decision to bail instead of waiting around hoping to fish... I cancelled the rest of the team because they were still in Pittsburgh. The tournament did fish on Sunday for 4 hours after the wind settled enough but conditions were still rough and fishing was very poor. The winning team killed 2 medium sized Kings while 20 teams of the 24 teams that entered failed to land a Salmon. A poor showing and tough conditions=a good decision to bail on this event.

 

Erie, PA Sport Fishing Assoc. Walleye and Steelhead Pro-AM, Erie, PA: (Aug. 12 and 13th) 1st Place "Champs"

Saturday began fast and furious. We started in 58 f.o.w. and worked 58-62 on a N & S troll. In 3 hours, we boated 18 legal Walleyes, kept 12 over the 17" tournamnet min and released 6 that were between 15" and 17". With a 12 Eyes in the box and no Steelie bites, we decided to motor offshore and scan until we found bait and fish. It wasn't long and we were into bigger Eyes. We proceeded to boat 17 more fish including 10 keeper Eyes, 2 good Steelies (12#) and 5 small Steelies just below the 17" min but legal size. We also lost a few Steelies that HURT. Dreamweaver Super Slims did most of the damage in glow frog, green icicle and blue icicle. A custom taped Dreamweaver regular sized blanks with kevorkian tape and a glow ladder also worked great. After Day 1,we were in second place and only 7 points behind "Fish Stix".

Sunday, we reversed the plan. Go for the home run and fish deep, even though we knew we may not get 12 Eyes for sure but they would be much bigger than the Eyes in closer. At 6:39, 9 minutes after starting, we boxed our first Steelie, 65 down over 88 f.o.w.. We proceded to peck away out deep working one general area, 88-95 f.o.w.. We boated 22 fish Sunday. Not as many but the deep waters do not contain the numbers of small fish that the inside waters do. AT 12:00, we had 14 tournament fish: 11 keeper Eyes and 3 Steelies. We also boated 3 smaller Steelies, had a 6#er go airborne, crash and open a Sampo split ring (AHHHHHHH-Can't believe it!) Then had a MAJOR Bug Eater eat our 80ft. rigger and screamed line. A Captains error caused that MEGA fish to be cut off (AHHHHHHH-Can't believe I did that!!) We lost a couple more Steelie rips and then missed one but landed it's eye ball (AHHHHHHHHH), we dropped a smaller but good Steelie in the prop wash (CAN'T Believe this is happening to us....)We also had a crew member go over the stern and float away from the boat. M.O.B. We were able to recover him after the life ring went sailing but had to re-rig everything and start over. That cost us about a half hour but we did manage to land 2 fish while our crew member floated away... THAT's a first! Since it was good for 2 fish we asked him to do it again (He said NA)With one hour to go, we made a Team decision to run into "Pencil" land and get our last Eye because it was a for sure(Yeah right) We set up in 62ft. and rigged quickly. Our first fish was 16.5", second fish was 15.5", missed our 3rd, had an electric rigger go dead, missed another Eye, then with 1 minute left, I we started to pull rods most likely to have a "hanger". I elected to pull my stud diver rod pulling a black/silver shallow Thunderstick. BINGO ! I knew it was over 17" just by the weight. I milked that fish in as the observer "Dale" counted off the seconds. With 30 seconds left, the other diver goes, I landed my Eye (a 18" fish) with 25 seconds left. The other diver fish was brought in at 10 seconds after 2:00 and we had to release it. WHEW! We headed in with our 15 tournament fish plus others. A great finish. What a day of mishaps though.

At the weigh in, we discovered the first place team did not land any Steelies and only weighed in 12 Eyes, we GOT IT! We knew that unless someone weighed in a monster 17 fish box we could not be beat. Our team finished 1st, winning by 28 points(without needing that stressful 12th Eye) The gamble to stay deep and go for silvers and bigger eyes paid off!!! The 2nd place team, (Shirley B) friends from Cleveland OH fished in our day 2 spot which helped push them into 2nd place. (They also won "The Big Boys Only" tournament held out of Ludington MI last week and came into Erie on an obvious roll)See you boys in Port Credit for the Fall Scotty Tournament. (Pic is big Day 1 catch and my quality prefish trip with my 3 year old girl; Maya with her first Eye and Noah; my 7 year old son. Now that's what's important!!!!!)


Sodus-Wayne County NY Pro-Am: (July 14-15) 17th place (out of the $$$$)

Fishing was tough again on Lake O. After a decent pre-fish day we were still skeptical of our plan and if we were really on fish. After 2 tough days of fishing, we finished in 17th place. Several boats fished inside on Day 2 and bopped the Brown Trout. Team V.Q. went after Kings and tried to win it with a King program but the Kings did not cooperate. We fished both in and out in search of a good pod of fish to work but never had an handle on them. Failing to place/cash in this event cost us our almost perfect season of tournament fishing to date. We finished in 4 of 5 events to date. There are 2 more Tourneys in 2006: Lake Erie Pro-AM and the Scotty Downrigger Fall Salmon Tourney.

 

Oswego NY Pro-Am: (July 6-8) 12th Place

We heard the fishing was slow and had been relatively slow in these waters for some time now. That's what we found. Had to work our butts off to get fish . Day number one found us in 13th place with no back up plan for a spot that would move us up the ladder fast. So, we decided to fish the same waters and do our best to gind out a respectable box.... Day number 2 started slower than Day one. Uh Oh! After missing a couple fish and landing an undersize King, we finally broke the ice and landed a 12# King on a junk line. After that, we went dry and decided to take a shot to deep water without much to lose. I scanned until we saw bait and a few marks and decided to set lines. We just got the 8 lines set and a Steelie grabbed a Yeck spoon on a slider. It died and it felt good. We managed to work that little spot and grind out a 20# King and a #16 King. Lost another fish on a junk line and headed in. This weak box was good enough for 12th spot in the Pro div. and a paycheck. Team VQ finished 18th out of 71 overall and I believe is still the only Team this year to place in EVERY Lake O. tourney this season.

To tell you just how tough it was: there were 8-9 combined ZERO's each day (Pro and Am div.) and almost the same on Day 2. Yes, ZERO fish weighed in. Half of the teams in the top 12 ran 34 miles and one ran 82 miles -one way to try to find numbers of fish. Some did and some did not. An X champion of this tourney pulled a ZERO on Day 2. And several damn good fisherman struggled to pull 2-3 fish a day... The fish just were not there. Hats off to the guys who pulled fish in this one. On to Sodus next week after a Walleye outing on Lake Erie.


Orleans County-Oak Orchard Pro-Am: (June 9-10) 6th Place

Fishing was tough overall on Day number one. Cold water moved in and scattered what few fish were around. The water was dead flat to start, then it blew 15-25 out of the North West. We managed to boat 4 fish out of 11 or 12 bites. We lost 3 quality fish that would have given us top spot. Ouch! The winners boated 8 of 9 bites........ We did manage to land the 2nd largest Steelie and 3rd largest King in the pro division. We finished in 6th place in the Pro and 6th of 34 overall. Our biggest fish was a 21.5# King that ate a spin doctor and action fly combo.

 

Skip Hartman-Niagara Co. Pro-Am: (June 3-4) 5th Place

After a solid seek and find Pre-Fish day, we had our Day #1 plan: Crush Coho's inside, go for the numbers and points, then go Laker fishing. Plan was a success except the Lakers failed to cooperate. Team VQ landed their 12th Coho on the deck at 7:55am and had 17 hits in 1hr and 55 minutes of fishing. We spent the balance of the T. day looking for Lakers with little success. After Day #1, Team VQ was in 10th place.

 

Day #2 plan: We decided to look for a big King or two out deeper but near our Coho spot, then go in and box out on Coho. We had 3-5's out of the N.E. and rain to start the day. Yuck! We had 2 hits out in the deeper waters but never had a solid hook up. We decided not to waste anymore time looking and thought we better start killing. We racked and motored in and had a quick double going before the lines were set. GOOD SIGN. The weather got better by the hour and we were able to box our 12 silvers including a 9# Brown Trout. We were anxious at the weigh in to see how the field did. We finished in 5th place.

 

We ran baby Spin Doc's (orange/orange) with Dreamweaver Peanut Flies and Yeck full size flies (green). Dreamweaver Super Slims (greasy chicken) and Yeck #66's (fire fly glow-Dr. death) run behind slide divers, as cheaters and behind balls accountede for the balance of the fish.

Blue Water Classic Tournament: (May)

After a great pre-fish day (1 coho-25 dink pink salmon and 11 Lakers) we felt confident that we had a decent spot to start on Saturday. Well, we struggled a bit on Day #1 and ended up in middle of the pack. 75 Teams fished this event, down from 108 from last year. However, an ice cube rule violation cost us our box and score and we took a D.Q. for Day #1. Having a solid pre-fish day seems to be Bad Karma for team V.Q.

With 30-40 mph winds forecasted for Day #2, we were skeptical we would even fish. However the winds behaved until 30 minutes after the start time. Soon we were into 30-40 mph winds. With miserable conditions upon us, a long ride ahead, and an ice cubes chance in hell of making the Top 10, we made a Team decision and headed in along with a steady stream of other boats. (Theres's that ice cube thing again) We licked our wounds and headed home. The teams that stayed out and fished on Day #2 deserve a medal of honor and credit for fighting the wind and waves on Day 2. The winner drove 38 miles north each day and fished tough seas to claim the hard and well deserved victory. Lake Huron was a disappointment again in terms of size and fish.Very, Very few silver fish were landed and the overall size of the Lake Trout and silvers was about 5# avg. again. This has "officially" become a Laker Tournament and we may not be back again.

 

Scotty Downriggers Spring Salmon Tournament: (April) 1st Place "Champs"

Team Vision Quest led after Day #1 and set a single day record for points/pounds. 68 boats from Michigan, NY, PA, OH and Canada competed in this 6th annual event. (we have finished in the jing 4 of the 5 events competed in). We boated almost 20 fish and had 28 bites.

Day#2 started fast and furious. However, after the morning bite ended and the winds started to howl out of the North East, I felt we were (1) good fish short of victory. So, we went hunting for one more 20# plus Salmon. After several smaller Kings and Coho's were landed, we went on a 2 for 8 streak including a missed Big Guy (clincher). I made the decision to change my spoon, drop that rigger to 60' and make one more up troll into the 3-5 ft. waves and go back to the "zone". It paid off, as the 60ft. rod fired, Team Member-Kevin McClean raced to the rod and was hooked into a Big Guy peeling massive line out. My man Kevin was a picture of concentration. I made the decision to pull some lines and go after the fish because we had too much line out and it was stretched between swells. Angler won this one! This was the one I felt we needed so we decided to head in 45 minutes early and take our chances. It boiled down to our box being weighed in. The 4th place team had a great day and had a 27# Rogue King to give them a big average and move into 1st but could they overcome us? We weighed in our biggest fish a 22# King, then the weigh master stated to the audience that we needed an additional 77.8 pounds to retain the #1 spot. The crown eagerly watched as the digital scale dealt the number..... 78.5, yes, we were the 2006 Scotty Champions. It was a great finish and a hard earned victory for our Team. Team members were: Kevin McClean, Mark Beck and Mike Madden. It was a great competition with a lot of great anglers. The fishing was great and size of this years Kings was awesome. We boated about 20 fish and had 27 bites on Day 2.

Our baits consisted of Dreamweaver Mag spoons, Dreamweaver Super Slims, some custom taped 3.75" spoons. Silver backs mostly with one hot white back.

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