Brits capture world carp crown

By Matthew Curatolo Contributing Writer

Waddington, N.Y. — The English team of Tim Paisley and Steve
Briggs dominated the first ever World Carp Championship held in the
United States, taking home $50,000 and two new Chevy pickup
trucks.

Over the course of the five-day tournament held along the St.
Lawrence River, Paisley and Briggs caught 80 carp that weighed a
total of 1,590.25 pounds.

Second place went to the United States team of Stewart McKenzie
and John Tilbrook, who caught 46 carp weighing in at 842 pounds.
Third place also went to a U.S. tandem, Matt Coll and Louis Cook,
who caught 36 carp weighing 830.25 pounds.

A total of 103 teams from 17 countries converged on St. Lawrence
County to participate in the event. They fished a 35-mile stretch
of the St. Lawrence River from Massena to Ogdensburg.

According to tournament organizers, 890 carp were caught during
the competition weighing in at a grand total of 17,490 pounds.

The biggest carp caught in the tournament was pulled in by the
U.S. team of Piotr Kuprel and Ryszard Konieczny. It tipped the
scales at 43 pounds, seven ounces. A $1 million prize for the team
that broke the New York State record of 50.25 pounds went
unclaimed.

In order to put the catches of the tournament in perspective,
organizers compare the top three teams this year with the top trio
from the 2004 World Carp Championship held in Romania.

The total combined weight of catches of the top three teams in
the 2004 tournament came in at 484 pounds, 15 ounces, compared to
the 3,262 pounds of carp by the top three teams from this year’s
tourney.

World Carp Championship Organizer Dave Moore of the American
Carp Society said fishing was tough for many of the anglers. Around
20 teams didn’t catch a single fish and 32 caught three carp or
fewer.

Anglers had mixed success and it depended mainly on where they
were located, according to Moore.

Under tournament rules, anglers drew spots by random selection.
The anglers who had success were reportedly at the openings of bays
where the carp were traveling in and out to spawn, not the deeper
water that is sought for summer fishing.

He said higher water levels and high winds affected fishing on
the river as well.

Despite those factors, anglers caught a huge amount of carp
during the tournament and that just goes to show how good the
fishery is on the St. Lawrence River, he said.

“The success is a great reflection of the fishery. The numbers
speak for themselves,” Moore said.

U.S. team member Mike Dragone of Bethel, Conn., was one of those
who did poorly in the tournament. Regardless of how many carp he
and his partner caught, he said that he would be returning to the
St. Lawrence.

Dragone has fished the St. Lawrence River before and said that
last spring caught over 1,000 pounds of carp in just one day.

“I think it’s the best carp fishery in the world. There are
millions of untouched fish here,” Dragone said.

St. Lawrence County officials hope the American Carp Society
will try to get the world tournament along its shores of the St.
Lawrence River once again, possibly in 2008.

Teams participating were representing the United States,
Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, England, France, Romania, Russia,
Slovakia, South Africa, Holland, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Poland,
and the Ukraine.

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