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You are here You are here The Red Mill Inn News 2007 News 2007 Archive - Story  Story

The Search For Carp Is On

By David Figura, Outdoors editor
May 18, 2007
The Search For Carp Is On


Fishermen head to Baldwinsville for fishing tourney

The Thursday morning start of the American Carp Society's Northeast Regionals in Baldwinsville featured professional international anglers, two local politicians - and everyone in between.

Tournament director David Moore said the 35 teams hit the water at about 9 a.m. on two separate stretches along the Seneca River south of the village. They're scheduled to fish 50 straight hours, ending Saturday morning.

The two-person teams drew lots Wednesday evening to determine their assigned areas (pegs) along the river. They're competing for $15,000 in cash and prizes.

A stroll along the river bank revealed specialized rod and reels, some worth hundreds of dollars, resting on adjustable racks. Most lines were attached to electronic bite sensors that emitted a piercing beep whenever a fish gave a tug.

"It sure beats (wrapping the line around) an empty soda can with (small) rocks inside," said Jim Bartz, of Batavia.

Anglers are allowed two poles each. All had buckets or bags full of "ground bait," which consisted of mostly corn millet or bird seed, spruced up with various secret concoctions and scents. The ground bait gets periodically tossed, cast and even slingshotted into the water to draw the carp to the fishermen's scented doughball/hook rigs.

"I soaked mine for three straight days in molasses," said 17-year-old Thomas Vielhauer, of Liverpool, who was taking off from school to fish with his friend, Jake Losey, of Massena.

Lady Luck still figures in prominently.

English pros Frank Warwick and Pete Castle were sitting quietly at their peg, having tallied only one carp after more than two hours of fishing. A carp has to be at least 10 pounds to be weighed.

A short distance down the river bank, two anglers from North Carolina had landed nearly a dozen. The contour of the shore in front of the two Brits wasn't ideal, Warwick said, but quickly added the day was still young.

Just then one of Warwick's two poles started bobbing up and down and emitting a beep-beep. He picked it up and in no time a squirming, 10-pound, 8-ounce carp was in his net.

"That's what we like," he said.

The tournament's field includes pairs from England, France and Romania, teams from across this country (there's a mother-daughter entry from Binghamton) - and a handful of local fishermen who admittedly are new to the sport.

As pros and amateurs alike will attest, there's more to a carp tournament than just fishing. It's 50 hours of making yourself comfortable with food and drink, camping out in a tent and socializing with other fishermen.

At 12:30 p.m., Baldwinsville village trustee Tony Saraceni was manning Peg No. 25. Two poles with no bite sensors rested on Y-shaped sticks stuck in the mud.

His partner, Joe Saraceni, the mayor of Baldwinsville, was at a chamber of commerce luncheon and due back soon.

After nearly three hours, Tony had failed to land a carp using store-bought doughballs (boilies). He was optimistic the homemade bait his brother was bringing - Wheaties, soaked in cherry Coke and sugar - would do the trick.

"I can't get skunked, there's no way," he said.

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