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Local women take on the men in Seaway 6 Pack Throwdown in Waddington

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WADDINGTON — While their friends and family members were inside their homes away from the rain Friday night and the temperatures that dropped into the 30s on Saturday, two sisters were braving the elements and participating in their first overnight fishing tournament.

Ashley A. and Bridget B. Beldock, Waddington, have been fishing for as long as they can remember, starting the sport when they were “10 or 11” years old.

“Our dad has always been a fisherman, so we’re following in his footsteps,” Ashley said of her father, Steve.

Both women took part in the junior carp tournament for as long as they could, but with Ashley now 21 and Bridget 19, participation in the junior tournament is no longer an option.

Enter the first annual Seaway 6 Pack Throwdown.

The tournament, which was coordinated by Robert J. Giordano, also of Waddington, gave both Bridget and Ashley a chance to once again get their competitive juices flowing.

“Bob has really helped us out,” Bridget said, adding that both she and Ashley were used to participating in tournaments where each angler has only one pole in the water. For “adult” tournaments, each angler uses two poles at a time and typically has a third pole for backup.

“We weren’t really prepared for this,” Bridget said. Now that they know what to expect, she said, they’re looking forward to future tournaments.

“This is our first overnight tournament and it is definitely different,” she said, noting that anglers often do their best work in the overnight hours. “We heard (fish) actually bite more at night,” she said.

Given that fishing began at 7 a.m. Friday and did not conclude until 2 p.m. Sunday, a bit of strategy came into play.

“We tried to do shifts,” Ashley said. She stayed up until 1 a.m. Saturday, when Bridget took over and fished until 3:30 a.m.

“We thought it would be rough, but we’re just as qualified as any of the other anglers,” Ashley said. They may even have had more experience. “We’ve been fishing for longer than many of the guys,” she said.

Although the tournament didn’t go as well as they would have liked, Ashley said, the next time they compete, things could be totally different.

“It’s all about the luck of the draw and what peg you draw,” she said, referring to the site where one ends up fishing for the duration of the tournament.

The sisters did catch one fish — an 18-pound, 8-ounce fish reeled in by Bridget — but did not qualify to finish “in the money,” as they were unable to complete their six pack.

To earn a qualifying finish, anglers needed to catch six fish, each weighing more than 15 pounds. Of the 18 teams participating, Mr. Giordano said, 10 were able to complete a six pack, including the team of Dave Moore, who traveled from Oklahoma for the tournament, and his partner, Phil Saunders, who came from Washington, D.C.

With a total weight of 143 pounds, 9 ounces, Mr. Moore and Mr. Saunders claimed the tournament’s $4,000 first prize. They won an additional $1,000 for bringing in the biggest fish, a 30-pound, 1-ounce carp.

A Central New York team, Steve Bailey and Bobby Cooper, took second with 142 pounds, 1 ounce, and a local team, Tim Lago, Potsdam, and Kevin Bateman, Ogdensburg, took third with 137 pounds, 9 ounces.

Mr. Giordano already is planning for next year’s tournament and said neighbors were happy with the event.

He also recognized the support of the town and village of Waddington, as well as the New York Power Authority, which owns much of the land where the tournament was held.


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