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Waddington to host national Carp tournament

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WADDINGTON — The community will once again play host to a national carp fishing tournament.

Approximately 70 anglers from across the country will line the shores of Waddington Sept. 13 to take part in the tournament organized by the Carp Anglers’ Group.

“I am ecstatic,” Mayor Janet M. Otto-Cassada said Friday. “Our event committee and myself are continuing to put a 100 percent of our efforts to reach out for new fishing events to promote Waddington and St. Lawrence County.”

The largest carp anglers group in the country, CAG boasts members from Europe. The tournament was previously held in Chicago, Ill., before coming to Waddington.

Robert J. Giordano, who is the New York director for CAG, said spectators will be able to watch the catch-and-release tournament and talk with the anglers as they fish from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Anglers will each have about 20 yards to fish, with their location chosen by a lottery. The anglers could reach to the shores of Ogdensburg if more than expected participate in the event, Mr. Giordano said.

“You have some of the best carp anglers in the world coming here,” Mr. Giordano said. “It’s a great opportunity, especially for our Junior Carp Tournament anglers, to meet professionals and watch and learn from right there on the bay. They can learn from anglers about what bait they use and reeling techniques. It’s a very social event.”

The tournament will have next-to-no cost to the village, Mrs. Otto-Cassada said.

“They cover the cost for the event and pay their own insurance,” Mr. Giordano said.

Mr. Giordano said the St. Lawrence River is known internationally for its carp fishing. Waddington has twice before played host to the World Carp Fishing Tournament.

The village is already slated to host the Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society’s Northeastern Divisional in September, and is in good position to host another BASS Elite tournament. The BASS Elite tournament in August brought over 35,000 people to St. Lawrence County.

This is the first time CAG has come to the Northeast for a tournament, Mr. Giordano said. Waddington is also being considered for CAG’s northeastern regional tournament.

“The St. Lawrence River is a very clear river, with carp up to 50 pounds or over,” Mr. Giordano said. “Carp are very powerful. The world championship for carp fishing has been held twice in Waddington. Similar to the Olympics, people put in for it. Spain and Belgium have hosted it. And Waddington was picked twice.”

Mr. Giordano said carp has gotten a bad rap in the U.S., but it is the most sported fish in Europe.

“We (carp anglers) think they are beautiful,” Mr. Giordano said. “In Europe, carp is the number-one sport fish. It got a bad name after the Great Depression. German carp were imported to this country when people were having a hard time finding food to eat. The funny thing is that they were good to eat. But the fish market rebounded, and it was considered ‘lower class’ to eat carp. It’s one of the most powerful fish in our rivers. They run up to 100 yards at a time without stopping. It takes special gear and lots of talent to reel one in.”

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