Colton's Connor Wright Jr. Carp Tournament Grand Champion
From the left are Grand Marshal Austin Delosh; Abby McNamara, Tournament Organizer and Grand Marshal; Grand Marshal Kaylee Green, Connor Wright, Grand Champion; Grand Marshal Jaron Belmore, and Bob Giordano, CAG Member and tournament Marshal. Photo by Lindsay Baker of Waddington.
Fifteen year-old and first-time participant Connor Wright, from Colton, was crowned 'Grand Champion' at the 20th Annual Jr. Carp Tournament held August 3-5.
With a total of 71 lbs. for his heaviest four carp, he edged out 2nd Place winner in his age division, Tanner Smith, by only one ounce. Connor's team, Chum Chasers 2, also took home the 3rd Place Team award, with a total of 114 lbs.
The biggest carp of the tournament was caught by Landon Wilcox of Potsdam weighing 28 lbs. 13 oz.
This year's competition had 81 competitors, who caught and released a combined 118 carp, weighing a total of over 1, 700 pounds. Participants included anglers from St. Lawrence County, from New York State outside of St. Lawrence County, and several from Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
Fishing locations were in the St. Lawrence County communities of Ogdensburg, Lisbon and Waddington.
Girls 11-14 -- 1st Place: Samantha Milburn, 36 lbs. 14 oz. (Madrid); 2nd Place: Briley Cota, 31 lbs. 10 oz. (Rensselaer Falls); 3rd Place: Taylor Bailey, 30 lbs. 11 oz. (Red Creek)
Boys 11-14 -- 1st Place: Ayden Shepard, 68 lbs. 8 oz. (Heuvelton); 2nd Place: Zachary Payne, 58 lbs. 5 oz. (Lisbon); 3rd Place: Ryan Bailey, 58 lbs. (Red Creek)
Girls 15-18 -- 1st Place: Ahna Martinez, 45 lbs. 6 oz. (Heuvelton); 2nd Place: Anisia Bogdan, 37 lbs. 11 oz. (Endicott); 3rd Place: MacKenzie Cota, 36 lbs. 10 oz. (Rensselaer Falls)
Boys 15-18 -- 1st Place: Connor Wright, 71 lbs. (Colton); 2nd Place: Tanner Smith, 70 lbs. 15 oz. (Waddington); 3rd Place: Devin Green, 64 lbs. 8 oz. (Potsdam)
Team Competition -- 1st Place: The Dream Team, 191 lbs. 15 oz.; 2nd Place: Chum Chasers, 131 lbs. 1 oz.; 3rd Place: Chum Chasers 2, 114 lbs.
Adult Division: -- 1st Place: Terry Debiew, 37 lbs. 13 oz.; 2nd Place: Brad Jerome, 34 lbs. 1 oz.; 3rd Place: Paul Gurrola, 18 lbs.
The Riley Basford Memorial Sportsmanship Award was presented to two recipients this year; teammates, Devin Green and Lucas Cruikshank, for sharing their passion for the sport with others, mentoring and teaching others on the riverbank, offering advice to help them be successful during the tournament.
The tournament began in 2003 and is now organized by the Carp Anglers Group, a northeast regional association dedicated to Carp Fishing. To commemorate this year's 20th Annual, honoring the past were Grand Marshals, Abby McNamara (Potsdam) and Austin Delosh (Clarksville), and honoring the present were Grand Marshals, Kaylee Green (Potsdam) and Jaron Belmore (Norwood).
“Of the 81 participants, we had 30 first time participants, which is exciting and will keep this tournament going. We're also seeing the next generation of former families now eligible to participate. It's truly a multi-generational event and we're already looking forward to next year,” noted Jo Ann Roberts, tournament organizer.
“The camaraderie and friendships made on the riverbank is wonderful to see, and some of my best friends are those I, myself met at this event,” added Abby McNamara, also tournament organizer.
The 2023 event is hosted by the Carp Angler Group and St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. It is part of a series of tournaments supported by a Market New York grant from I LOVE NY/New York State’s Division of Tourism through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative.