This same outcome has unfolded at the Pro Am for the last seven years as it has in tournaments around the world. It proves again, hopefully once and for all the Sharks play a major role in attracting fish and winning tournaments. The teams that have used Sharks year after year to win have known from the very beginning the Shark was much more than a downrigger weight.
The Pro Am is a large enough sample group of the best fishermen in the business and seven years of winning consistently is long enough to lay this question to rest once and for all. It is our position and the position of the winning teams at the Pro Am, the Shark played a huge role in their success. When the moment of truth came; when it was time to choose an attractor that would give the teams the best chance of winning; they chose the Shark Cannonballs to win.
Team Candy took home the gold at this year's Challenge Cup; they beat the best teams in the business in four grueling tournaments to claim the title. At the end of the day Team Candy used Sharks to win.
Team Dodger won the overall championship in the amateur division taking home the Challenge Cup. Team Dodger has been using Sharks for years.
Team Cold Steel/A-TOM-MIK won the pro side of the Niagara tournament - using Sharks
Team Vision Quest won the pro tournament in Orleans - using Sharks
Team Dodger took the honors in the amateur division in Orleans - using Sharks
Team Red Line won the pro side in Oswego - using Sharks
Team Sparks won the am division in Oswego - using Sharks
Team Candy won big in the pro division at Sodus - using Sharks
Five More Minutes won the am side at Sodus - using Sharks
Courtland Machine /A-TOM-MIK Made the LOC board with a 31 lb salmon
Most of the runnerís up in all the tournaments and divisions placed using Sharks. Seven out of the top ten teams in each tournament and category used Sharks.
Why do teams all over the world use Shark Cannonballs to win? Most championship teams have come to realize fish rely on sound to find their prey. Every object that moves through the water has its own unique sound signature. The sound made by Faceted Sharks attract fish more efficiently that any other attractor.
Team Candy: Winner of the 2008 Lake Ontario Challenge Cup Professional Division
With no salmon to be found, Team Candy made the decision to hunt for some browns in shallow water. Captain Andy Sykut had heard rumors that Chrome Sharks will spook brown trout in clear water. With the clock running out and the crushing force of the competing teams closing in on him; "we made the decision to leave the Chrome Sharks on. Within a couple of minutes, the first rod went off; and the rods just kept going off until we bagged our limit and headed back to port." Little did they know at the time they would become the reigning champions for the 2008 Challenge Cup.
Team Dodger: Winners of the 2008 Lake Ontario Challenge Cup Amateur Division: Captain Jim Skolny and Team Dodger set out to break one of the longest winning streaks in Pro Am history this year. Itís not that Screamer/A-Tom-mik doesnít like to loose, they just donít have much experience with the concept. Dodger came up big where it counted; they won Orleans and placed second at Oswego. That was enough to take the series and the 2008 Challenge Cup.
We asked Captain Jim to weight in on the question of the Shark vs. the lure; what is really attracting those fish down there: "I have been using Shark Cannonballs for years, its the Sharks doing the work for sure."
Screamer/Atommik Captain Dave Antoneri:Runner up 2008 Challenge Cup Am Division. Most people recognize Captain Dave Antoneri as the most successful fishermen in the history of the Pro Am. His impressive list of tournament wins are unprecedented. Dave has stated many times publicly and privately the Shark is the best attractor on the market. When asked: Is it the Shark or is it the lure that really attracts fish into the spread? "No question about it" says Dave, "it is the Shark absolutely."
Captain Tom Burke and the boys showed up in town to let everyone know they meant business this year. Loosing out by just a couple of points for so many years can be tough on a team; they hit the decks running in Niagara. True to form the well disciplined squad set out and executed their plan. They took the first jewel in the 2008 Challenge Cup, hands down. Cold Steel/A-Tom-mik has been using Chrome Sharks for every tournament. "It was an experiment in the beginning, but when we started winning money with the Sharks, we stuck with them. For sure they are great attractors on some days they are super attractors."
The decision to vote for the Shark was not difficult for Capt. Pete Alex when asked which product is actually responsible for bringing in the fish: The Shark or the lure trailing behind. Capt. Pete has been using Sharks successfully for many years both in his charter business and major tournaments. Vision Quest beat out 34 teams to win the Pro side of the tournament at Oak Orchard to win $10,000. "I have been using Sharks for years, they are great attractors."
Team Dodger: Winners of the 2008 Orleans Pro Am Amateur Division
Winning at Orleans was a big step towards the overall championship. Jim Skolny and his son, Dave had some luck the first day; they came back the second day and hit pay dirt running the Chrome Sharks down sixty feet over 560 to catch their limit of steelhead. Dodger has had Sharks on board since they came out. When asked what is really bringing in the fish, is it the Shark or the lure? Jim replied: "It's the Shark."
"We used chrome Sharks with short leads in clear water to catch our limit of brownís; so much for the rumors that Chrome Sharks spook brown's." Captain Thayer went on to win the Pro Division of the 2008 Oswego Pro Am. and collected the $10,000 prize for first place.
Team Sparks: Winners of the Amateur Division at the 2008 Pro Am at Oswego
Captain Larry Williams and Team Sparks had their work cut out for them going out to compete in the Am division of the Oswego Pro Am; just a little problem out on the water called Screamer. "Our strategy is always to run three 15 pound Sharks; one chrome down the chute and two Black Faceted Sharks on the outside riggers". He stuck to his guns and won the day. The good captain learned about Sharks back in the day when he was fishing with Dave Antoneri and Tom Allen. When we asked Larry if the Sharks attract fish: "I wouldn't use them if they didn't."
Top Gun won the Challenge Cup last year, placed 2nd in the Eastern Division this year and sixth over all. Captain Greg states he has been using Sharks for many years and would not consider using anything else. When it comes to the question of what really attracts fish into the spread, the Shark or the lure following behind? "It is most definitely the Shark doing the real work there."
I am starting to get more confidence running the black faceted shark. In fact, a 13yr old customer of mine made the LOC board in 17th place on a rig fished tight behind the faceted shark, 31.02lbs.. He won big fish for the day in the loc($100.00), and also swept the Shane Zimmerman award for the biggest fish of that series netting us over $1090.00 in prize money for the Fairhaven challenge.
Shark Cannonball Survey at the 2008 Pro Am
We conducted the survey to lay to rest the Shark argument once and for all, so people everywhere could hear the real story behind the Shark, and decide for themselves what they want to believe. Only one teams reported authentic hand made Sharks getting tangled up in seven years; we are looking into that. As far as the rumor about Chrome Sharks spooking fish; Team Candy and Team Dodger won the 2008 Challenge Cup fishing for trout in clear shallow water using short leads. Team Red Line won at Oswego using the same technique.
75% of the top ten teams at the Lake Ontario Pro Am used Shark Cannonballs to win.  Nine out of the top ten teams in the Lake Ontario Challenge Cup used Shark Cannonballs to win.
We surveyed the all the Teams at the Oswego event to find out which teams used Shark Cannonballs; more importantly we asked them why they used the Sharks. We also surveyed the top ten teams in the Challenge Cup Series and asked them the same thing.
The majority of winning teams in both categories stated for the record, it was the Shark that attracts the fish. We further qualified the question, we asked them: in the case where a Shark is towing a spoon, which product is actually attracting the fish; the Shark or the spoon? 90% of the teams stated for the record "it was the Shark that does the attracting". Most of the teams agreed fish will hit just about any lure trailing behind a Shark.
The majority of teams stated they used spoons at least half the time; the rest of the time they used dodgers and flashers. They still used the Sharks to tow their other attractor; even though other weights were half the cost and tracked well.
We have stood by for seven years and listened to a handful of critics, as they did their best to spread negative information about the Shark; clearly they had their reasons.
At the end of the day the top teams on Lake Ontario sailed into the sunset in the summer of 2008 with the bulk of the $200,000 in cash and prizes this year as they have for the past seven years; most of them will tell you, "it was the Sharks."
Shark Cannonballs is very grateful to the fishermen who stood up to be counted and told it like it is. The results from the survey are posted below.
Captains Verdict: Shark vs. Lures
|Pro Teams||Captain||Shark vs. Lure||Comments||Type||Use|
|Team Candy||Andy Sykut||The Shark attracts the fish||Winner of 2008 Challenge Cup Pro Division||Chrome / Black Faceted||5 years|
|Red Line||Patric Thayer||The Shark attracts the fish||Winner of 2008 Oswego Pro Am||Chrome||1 year|
|Cold Steel / A-TOM-MIK||Tom Burke||The Shark attracts the fish||Winner of the 2008 Niagara Pro Am|
Runner up to Challenge Cup three Years in a row
|Top Gun||Greg Gehrig||The Shark attracts the fish||Winner of the 2007 Challenge Cup||Black Faceted||7 years|
|Vision Quest||Pete Alex||The Shark attracts the fish||Won and placed high in many tournaments||Chrome||7 years|
|TK Charters||Bob Pultorac||Shark + Lures attract fish||Top 10; eight tournaments||Chrome / Black Faceted /|
|Trout One||Bryan Kopala||The Shark attracts the fish||Won gold Sharks; painted them black to win|
Placed Top 10 in three tournaments
|Black Faceted||4 years|
|Team Savant Spoon||Richard DeMong||The Shark attracts the fish||Placed 2nd two years: Oswego, Orleans|
The facets work great to attrect the fish
|Blue Silver||2 years|
|Dream Chasers||Dave Begins||The Shark attracts the fish||Placed top 10 in a number of tournaments||Black Faceted||6 years|
|Preying Mantis||Richard Nar||The Shark attracts the fish||3rd Place in 2008 Oswego Pro Am||Black Faceted||-|
|High Voltage||Mark Desartis||The Shark attracts the fish||The Shark definetely arrracts the fish|
Placed top ten many times at the Pro Am
|Chrome / Black Faceted||3 years|
|Reel Pleasure||Don Harris||The Shark attracts the fish||The Shark definetely arrracts the fish|
Clear water, short leads, the fish went to the ball
|Flat Out||Shawn Curry||The Shark attracts the fish||They came out of nowhere and went straight to the ball||Chrome / Black Faceted||7 years|
|Fishin Magician||Ryan Williamson||The Shark attracts the fish||The Shark definetely arrracts the fish||Chrome||4 years|
|Rebel Charters||Jerry Fulluca||The Shark attracts the fish||Definetely the Shark||Chrome||4 years|
|Royal Flush / Shirley||Bob Schnider||The Shark attracts the fish||-||Chrome||7 years|
|Strike King||Dan Coleman||The Shark attracts the fish||Definetely the Shark||Chrome||1 year|
|Blackjaw Bandit||Jim Dennis||The Shark attracts the fish||watched them streek up right to the Shark from deep water: they can't see the lure at that distance||Chrome||7 years|
|Lucky Dutchman||Bill VanWormer||-||-||-||-|
|No Promises||Sean Morris||The Shark attracts the fish||Adds glow tape to the black Shark||Black Faceted||1 year|
|Show Stopper||Charles Lalinowski||The Shark attracts the fish||The Sharks make a difference||Chrome||4 years|
|Billy V / Siggs Rigs||Bill Ruth||BOTH the Shark and the lure attract fish||Iíve been using Sharks for 5 years||Chrome / Black Faceted / Gold||5 years|
|Courtland Machine /|
|James Samia||It does attract fish!||I've had more fish swimming around in my riggers on the fishfinder than ever before|
|The Salmon River Guide||Shane Thomas||-||-||-||-|
|Legendary Products||Mike Conroy||The Shark attracts the fish||-||-||7 years|
|Salmon Bound Charters||Bob Buck||The Shark attracts the fish||Watched salmon striking to the Shark on screen||Black Faceted||1 year|
|Sea Devil / Big Fin||Brian Castle||Quite possible its the Shark||Loves the Shark: won and placed in many tournys||All models||7 years|
|Yankee Troller /|
|Richard Hajecki||Sharks do not attract fish||-||-||-|
|Cannonball Runner||Ed Monette||Shark does not attract fish||Got tangled; threw Sharks overboard, maybe the tails got bent. I may try them again||Blue Silver / Chrome||-|
|Landing Zone||Richard Dennis||Does not use Sharks||-||-||-|
|Salmon Tracker II||Ed Kahler||Does not use Sharks||-||-||-|
|Thrillseeker||Vince Pierleoni||Does not use Sharks||-||-||-|
|Team Reel Action||Scot Dagala||Does not use Sharks||-||-||-|
|Predator / E-F||Mike Wilkinson||Does not use Sharks||-||-||-|
|FinHooker||Mike Kilkus||Does not use Sharks||-||-||-|
|Tall Tails||Brian Garrett||Does not use Sharks||-||-||-|
|Putting it Together||Roger Young||Unable to contact||-||-||-|
2008 LAKE ONTARIO CHALLENGE CUP
|PROFFESSIONAL DIVISION||AMATEUR DIVISION|
2008 LAKE ONTARIO PRO AM SALMON AND TROUT TEAM TOURNAMENT: PROFFESIONAL DIVISION
2008 LAKE ONTARIO PRO AM SALMON AND TROUT TEAM TOURNAMENT: AMATEUR DIVISION