WADDINGTON – The 10th Annual Junior Carp Tournament sponsored by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce was under way Thursday, with registration, an orientation and a fishing school.
Well over 110 children lined the registration table waiting for their free T-shirts and back packs, to catch a glimpse of the winners trophies and to find out where their pods are.
Pods are the area of where they will be, pegs are the exact spot they will fish from, said county Chamber Executive Director Patricia L. McKeown. Everyones pretty excited to find out where their pegs will be, but we dont reveal them until the competition begins tomorrow.
Some kids traveled from great distances to participate in the tournament. Austin J. Pass, 16, of Detroit, Mich., said the tournament was the first time hes fished outside of his home state.
Our parents surprised us, said Mr. Pass. Its a great thing for kids to do.
Mr. Pass said he and his brother, Brendan M., 14, have been fishing for carp for about three years.
Its the excitement of getting that run and its cool looking for carp, said Mr. Pass. Theyre fat, short fish. And its always an exciting challenge to reel them in.
Both brothers said they were not confident that they would win the coveted $10,000 prize, but, Brendan Pass said that he would buy more carp stuff rods, reels and baits, if they did.
Veteran carp tournament winners were also there to help guide newcomers.
Ashley A. Beldock, 19, who has won four tournaments in her age group in the womens category, is now too old to compete, but she is back this year to volunteer as grand marshall and to support her sister and cousins.
I am excited to be grand marshall this year, said Ms. Beldoc. I love the competition. I was sad when I finished. It gets youth outside, interested in fishing and brings kids back into the sport.
The competition will be held Friday and Saturday along the St. Lawrence River from Ogdensburg to Massena, with winners announced Saturday. To follow all the fishing action, the Junior Carp leader board can be viewed at tournament.northcountryguide.com.
Its very exciting, said Ms. Beldock. You get to meet people and visit with everyone Ive met over the years. Thats what its about. Its not about the money. Its about meeting people and the joy of catching your fish.