The Red Mill Inn in the News
B'ville: Anglers’ passion high despite slow pace
For 50 consecutive hours, more than 40 two-person
teams fished the shores of the Seneca River during last week’s
fourth annual CARP Tournament Series NE Regional. Both men
and women, representing the USA, Poland, England and Canada,
vied for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes.
The tournament kicked-off Wednesday with a reception at the Red Mill Inn followed by a parade onto Paper Mill Island. The evening’s final event was the all-important peg draw in which competitors selected their fishing locations.
In past years, a double blind peg draw, in which registrants picked numbers out of a hat as a team to see which order they would draw there “peg” or fishing spot, was held. This year, both team members chose a peg and decided which one to keep and which one to put back.
Tom Petrick and Chris Diliberto chose peg 26 because, “The winner was here last year.” This year, the same peg number brought in only 12 fish, totaling a disappointing 210-lb., 6 oz.
“It was slow all around,” said marshal Phil Davenport, who lives in Ohio. This was his third year marshaling, or weighing the fish when caught. “Compared to last year the catch is down at least 50 percent.”
Various reasons contributed to the lower numbers including the weather, which seemed to play a big part.
“A storm came in on Thursday night and it’s been cool every since. The water temperature dropped to 53 degrees,” Davenport said. “The carp can’t process food as quickly in colder water.”
Syracuse locals Bill Markle and Kent Appleby, who took second place for Big Fish, thought differently.
“The reason for the slower year is because the fish are spawning,” Markle said.
“Usually they spawn a week later, but because of the warmer temperatures in early May, they were feeding then and spawning now,” Appleby added.
Whatever the reason, Baldwinsville Mayor Joe Saraceni and his brother Tony, who were at peg 12, said the slower pace was a challenge for everyone to overcome.
“It requires you to learn about your area and takes real strategy,” said the Mayor.
One thing the pace didn’t affect was the anglers’ passion. There was a great sense of camaraderie among them and the one thing they were adamant about was taking great care of their catches.
“It’s all about protecting the fish,” said James Hill, an angler from Atlanta.
All anglers had landing mats that protect the scales and slime on the body of the fish. When unhooked, there are mesh sacks to keep the fish in the water with until the marshal comes to weigh them. Then they are very gently returned to the water and released.
In addition to protecting the fish, each team had their own strategy for catching them, which they weren’t necessarily willing to divulge.
“We need to keep some secrets,” laughed Hill.
The tournament ended with a total of 874 fish caught and a total weight of 14,321 lbs., 11 oz. The winning anglers, Tony Crawford and Mike Waldrup from North Carolina, caught 84 fish totaling 1,360 lbs., 11 oz. from peg 7.
Organizers David Moore and Kathy Kelli-Ori were thanked for bringing in world class anglers, and Mayor Saraceni thanked everyone for coming.
“It’s been a privilege to get to know and have the opportunity to fish with you,” Saraceni said.
Josh Carnright and teammate Jamie Godkin from nearby Wolcott were first time participants. When asked about their first experience with the CARP Tournament, they said it was “fun, exciting and they loved it.”
“We liked the fact that anyone could join the tournament,” Carnright said. “I know we are all competitors, but I like they way we all bonded and looked out for each other. We look forward to next year.”