WADDINGTON – The St. Lawrence Junior Carp Tournament starts today, bringing 122 young anglers from across the country to the St. Lawrence River.
The tournament is for boys and girls ages 11 to 18 who will fish along a 30-mile stretch of the St. Lawrence River from Ogdensburg to Massena and compete for more than $7,000 in cash prizes and trophies.
Brothers Austin J. and Brendan M. Pass will be traveling from their home town in Allen Park, Mich., to compete in the two-day tournament for the second year in a row.
The two brothers have competed throughout the country, including in Austin, Texas, and Lake Erie. The St. Lawrence River ranks as one of their favorite places to fish carp.
Its a great river, Austin, 17, said. There are a lot of big fish to be caught.
The junior carp tournament was Austins first competition. He caught the biggest fish in the tournament last year, a 32-pounder, in Ogdensburg. He hopes to be placed in Ogdensburg again.
I got really excited, Austin said. The St. Lawrence is a really challenging venue. It really helps you out as an angler.
Brendan, 15, said that the St. Lawrence is one of the most challenging places hes ever fished.
You dont know what you can get, he said. With the St. Lawrence theres current, and a lot snags. Most other places, we fish in lakes, so we catch mostly smaller fish. There might be fewer fish in the St. Lawrence, but they are also bigger. And the fish are really strong because they have a lot of food there, so they get really big.
The boys decided to participate in the tournament when their mother, Christy M. Pass, found an ad for it online. Mrs. Pass said she was happy to bring the boys back for another year.
Its a big tournament and it was really well organized, Mrs. Pass said. Its a really top-notch.
Registration is from 1 to 3 p.m. today at Madrid-Waddington Central School, followed by opening ceremonies and the Mort Backus & Sons Carp School, then a festival and fishing bank-side at Whittaker Park in Waddington from 5 to 8 p.m.
Fishing happens Friday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and again on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fishing will take place in Ogdensburg at Lighthouse Point, the Robert C. McEwen Customs House and Wheathouse Bay; in Waddington along River Road, Whittaker Park, Little Sucker Brook, Brandy Brook, and Coles Creek; and in Massena along Route 131 and at Hawkins Point. The grand champion will receive $1,500 based on total weight, for up to four fish. There are also four other cash prize categories: boys ages 11-14, girls ages 11-14, boys ages 15-18, girls ages 15-18: first prize $800, second prize $400, third prize $200, in each of the categories.
Medals given to top three teams. All based on fish weights, up to four top fish. Adult anglers fishing with children are also eligible for medals. Other prizes will be offered for categories such as first fish caught, last fish caught, etc.
Those looking to follow the tournaments leaders can keep up on stats on the Slic Networks Solution Leaderboard at http://tournament.northcountryguide.com .