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You are here You are here The Red Mill Inn News 2009 News 2009 Archive - Story  Story

Cyprinus carpio

By David Figura, Outdoors editor
May 14, 2008

Cyprinus carpio. Common carp in the spotlight again

Common carp in the spotlight again

David Moore called it "an iron man fishing competition."

Moore, tournaments director for the American Carp Society, was talking about the two-day, Northeast Regionals carp fishing competition along the Seneca River in Baldwinsville. The event returns this week for the second year.

The action starts at 9 a.m. Thursday and will continue until 11 a.m. Saturday - 50 straight hours of two-person teams hauling in hard-fighting carp that last year averaged 13 pounds each.

"Last year's winning French team (each) slept two hours the whole time," Moore said, noting they fished to near exhaustion as they landed more than a ton of carp.

Opening ceremonies are set for 6 p.m. today with a parade of competitors to the amphitheater behind the Red Mill Inn, the tournament's headquarters. Following speeches by local and state dignitaries, the teams will be given their "peg assignments" (fishing locations), where they will remain throughout the contest.

The following sums up the competition, the rules, prize money and other commonly asked questions:

The anglers:A total of 43 two-person teams are entered. Competitors are from across this country, Canada, England, Poland, Romania and Hungary, with a handful of local teams entered as well. Last year's winning team, Frenchmen Frederic Labrousse and Numa Marengo, did not return this year because of other commitments. Each team competing this week paid $500 to enter.

Start/finish:A handful of ham radio operators are volunteering their time.

Once the signal is given at the Red Mill Inn, the hams in the field will "lay on their car horns" to signal to the anglers that the tournament has started or ended.

General rules:No boats allowed. All fishing must be done from shore at an assigned fishing area. Anglers can begin throwing bait into the water to attract the carp at 8 a.m. Thursday. Two rods are allowed for each angler, with one hook per pole. Fish must weigh at least 10 pounds to be counted. The course covers a 5-mile stretch of the Seneca River, from Lions Park in Baldwinsville down to Long Branch Park at the Onondaga Lake outlet. All fish are released after being caught and weighed.

Prize money:This year's tournament features $15,000 in prizes and equipment.

The two-person team with the heaviest weight total during the 50-hour period will win $3,000. Second place will win $2,500; third place, $1,500. The angler with the biggest fish will get $1,000. The team that wins the "The Big Four" category (the largest cumulative weight of top four fish) will get $2,000.

Finally, the top-finishing local team (local being defined as each living within 20 miles of the Red Mill Inn), will get $1,000, courtesy of the Baldwinsville Host Committee.

Moore said the prize money structure "keeps everyone in the game" right to the end.

What's legal as far as bait? "Anything, as long as it doesn't harm the fish or the environment. Trust me, all these anglers have their own secret recipes," Moore said. "The majority will probably not be fishing with boilies (boiled, scented dough balls). They'll probably be fishing with particle bait, such as corn, small seeds, things like that."

Anglers will switch baits if they begin catching fish other than carp, such as catfish.

Can anglers drink alcohol during the competition?"We don't address it in our rules, because we find they (usually) don't," said Kathy Kelly, ACS publicist. "They're athletes. They're here to compete and they take it seriously. After and before the competition, they'll let their hair down a little. But you'll find that during the competition they're hardcore."

Can bad weather impact or delay the tournament?"We just did a tournament in Oklahoma in which we had a major rain (four inches) the night before," Moore said. "It actually washed out a major highway. We ended up delaying the tournament two hours to give the anglers time to get to their pegs. The road I told them to come in on was flooded. We didn't catch many fish, but the tournament went on."

Where do the winners go from here?This is one of three regional competitions sponsored by ACS Tournaments. The winning team gets free entry into the Tournament of Champions, Oct. 14-18, on the Connecticut River in Hartford, Conn.

Following the competition: Moore said he'll providing updated results every couple of hours during the two days of competition, along with video clips of fish caught. Check out and click on NE (Northeast).


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