Jim began fishing the lakes and rivers of Western New York at a very young age. He spent his time on the lakes and rivers of Western New York. Starting with a 16' runabout and gradually working his way up over the years to a 31' fully rigged charter/tournament boat. The fun of fishing as a child started and fueled the obsession as an adult.
Owner of Dream Catcher Sportfishing and operator of the 31' Tiara, "Dream Catcher", Jim is a US Coast Guard Master Captain. Predominately he spends the spring time fishing for salmon and trout on Lake Ontario and summer/fall for walleye on Lake Erie chartering and tournament fishing. To see more about Jim and Dream Catcher Sportfishing, visit the website.
The tournament team participates in all the major walleye tournaments in the Eastern Basin of Lake Erie. A solid team consisting of Jim Steel, Diane Steel, Rich Fliss and Jeff Whipple have been fishing together for the past several years. They are proud that their teamwork and dedication has consistently put them in the top of the field. The team’s recent highlights include finishing with 2nd heaviest fish and 3rd place overall in the 2016 Sunset Bay Shootout, 2ndheaviest fish and 6th place overall in the 2015 Sunset Bay Shootout and winning the Amara-Can tournament in 2012.
Conducting many seminars at fishing clubs and outdoor shows as well as representing manufacturers at dealer shows and events gives Jim the ability to share his knowledge and experience as well as promote techniques and products to educate others to increase their success.
In 2012, Jim and his wife/fishing partner, Diane, took their passion for the outdoors to a new level creating Innovative Outdoors. Their business focuses on promoting fishing and hunting and products that have been personally tested and proven. Shop the online store.
The Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge tournament was a new addition to the tournament series in 2016. This year it will take place on Saturday, August 25, 2018 in Dunkirk, NY. Teams will consist of 2 – 5 anglers and can fish all waters of Lake Erie. This year the field will be limited to 65 boats. Each team will be limited to a maximum of 9 rods/reels and will weigh in up to 6 walleyes. The teams from NY, PA, OH and Canada that have participated in this event has made it a great success. For more information or to register, visit the website or stop by the Innovative Outdoors booth. Anyone registered by March 31, 2018 will be entered in a drawing for a refund of their entry fee.
In 2017, Innovative Outdoors partnered with WNY Heroes to organize a veterans fishing day as part of their Operation B.O.O.T.S. program. The event took place in Dunkirk, NY. A dozen charter captains donated their services to take over 30 veterans fishing. There was a friendly completion amongst the veterans, each of them weighing in one walleye. The day concluded with a luncheon at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. Plans are in place to make this an annual event.