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badchade

Bad Chad At The Cawc

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I know it's been a while since I've been back, but here's a (not so) quick account of my C.A.W.C. with Jim.

When we heard the World Tournament was coming back to the U.S., we started working to get there. I had a string of long work days that led up to our departure and really didn't get to get all my shtuff together, so when it was time to leave, I just threw everything in the back of my truck and headed over to Jim's house. I had a Tahoe about 3/4 loaded, and I told Jim that as long as he wasn't bringing anything, we would be able to fit into his Escape. I don't know how we did it, but we managed to get everything we wanted to take in that little buggy.

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It was 12:20am and we started our trek up North. Jim was an absolute Iron Man; driving the vast majority of the 28 hours it took us to get there. He only took a couple of naps, and we rolled into our Hotel Parking lot at 5:20am(Eastern). We napped for a while, then decided to drive around and get some breakfast before we checked in.

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After another nap, we checked into the tournament- It was cool there. Several bait/tackle companies had displays set up with bits and bobs that we all needed, and there was a TV Lady there doing intervies; she talked to David Moore, then us (I don't think we made the cut in her report).

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After we checked in, we started to check the pegs. Since at the Peg Draw we were to draw two pegs and choose one of those, we had to see what our preferences were. There were 61 Pegs for what ended up being 56 Teams. We visited about half of them Friday afternoon/evening, and the other half Saturday morning/afternoon. They were all difficult pegs- Each section had its own set of challenges- Some had long trips down cliffs to get to where pods were set up, others had a long reach down to the water to net the fish, and others were just plain nasty terrain. Of the 61 pegs, there may have been 10 that y'all would want to just roll up and fish for fun. The others would not be chosen as fun locations. The first peg we looked at (Peg 57) was located in the Shipping Channel, and was part of the section of pegs (57-61) called Area 43. I don't know how it got its name, but several of the locals giggled when they called it that. We had the luxury of watching a ship come through while we were there, so we got to see what happened to the water while the ship passed. It was crazy- As the ship passed, water was sucked away from the bank, so about 6 feet of extra bank ended up being exposed, then after the ship passed, the water rushed back up the bank in a series of substancial waves. We saw that and decided that we didn't want to fish this stretch, despite David saying that he thought that at least one of the top pegs would come from that stretch of the river. But when we went to the next set of pegs (55/56), we saw that maybe that first section wasn't so bad- 55 & 56 each had difficult camping areas, but they looked like good spots for fish. We moved on to Cole's Creek and we realized that they swims just weren't going to be easy to fish, so we changed how we graded them, and comfort took a back seat to the fishing characteristics of how the rolled up. Lots of rocky spots, and several difficult landings. We completed our day and had dinner at the Seaway Diner and Smokehouse. I asked the waitress which was more food- the BBQ Chicken, or the BBQ Nachos. She said Nachos so I went with that- Oh Man this plate was huge- I took a picture with a sheet of Notebook Paper as reference. I ate a third of it and called it quits.

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After Dinner, we headed back to the hotel for a few cocktails, and then over to Air Force Bob's house for more cocktails- We saw several of our buddies from other tournies and online- Always cool to remember that you are dealing with real people on The Interweb. After Bob's, we were on our way back to the hotel, but saw an Irish Bar that some of the guys were talking about, so we hung out there for a while before concluding our evening.

The next morning we woke up and got right down to business. We headed to Ogdensberg to check out the rest of the pegs. Our map was off, so we had a little trouble locating some of the pegs, but we got a good look at what we were dealing with. Several of the locations were pretty remote- I felt like we were on a safari on the way to some of them. After a full day of Peg Checking, we headed to dinner where we looked over our notes and ranked our pegs in order of desirability- Hell Yeah, Yeah, OK, No, and NFW.

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The Peg Draw was really neat. Of course all the anglers were there- Guys we had seen at other tournaments, guys we had read about in the UK magazines and online articles, and other dudes that we met for the first time. We picked 36th, so we took note of what pegs were being taken, and which pegs were being rejected. We looked at each team's choice and checked to see what we would have done with those choices. Everyone was tense- We were about to decide what the next 5 days of our lives were going to be like. We cruised through theDraw until it was our turn on stage- We walked up and I got to meet and shake the hand of Ray Scott, Founder of B.A.S.S. and the Bassmaster Tournament Series. That was a special moment for me because that was how I started out- As a kid scratching up change so that I could Read Bassmaster Magazine each month with my buddies and then we'd go out and try the new tricks and tips while Belly Boating at Joe Pool.

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Our Peg choices were 39 and 57. 39 was a rocky End Peg, but had a high dock close by that could be fished a little easier, but we could see a pretty serious forest in the water below- We didn't like it. 57 Was a difficult swim in the Shipping Channel, but it was another End Peg and we could see it fishing well. We chose 57 and were happy with it. We had it in our Top Ten.

We had hooked up with 2 other teams to compete as a country- There was an additional prize for the best Country Team. We had checked with Jack & Al about hooking up, but we were needing another team to complete our group. About 4 days before the tournament, we had gotten word that another team from Chicago was looking to get on a Country team, so we took on Jacob and Paul from Chicago. All we knew was that they had Romanian Roots, and were good tournament fishermen. Al & Jack got Peg 56 (although numerically they were next to us, they were in a different section), and Jacob/Paul got Peg #6- We really weren't fans of it because of how shallow it looked, and all the trash that we saw in the water there. I found out later that Al had spent a few days fishing that swim last year, so he was in good shape. We had High Hopes.

That night we headed back over to Bob's- The mood was still friendly, but we were turning into competitors- We were discussing our pegs, and what we felt eachother was going to be in for. Bob Lives in Waddington; 20 minutes from the peg that he had chosen. He had Photo DVDs rolling from old CAG events, and he broke out his Photo Album where he kept turning the page syaing, "Oh- There's me with a 30 from my peg; Oh, Here I am with a 40 from that swim; And Here I am with another 30 from there..." We were starting to take up a collection for his congratulatory cake. lol

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After Bob's, we headed straight home to get our last rest for 5 days. We had a good snooze, then woke up, showered, and headed out to our peg.

Peg 57. Our Challenges were getting up and down the cliff to fight/net fish, dealing with the ships, and the rocky terrain our pods were on. We started setting up, checked our supplies one last time, then I headed into town to hit Tractor Supply and Wal Mart to get a few extra things. When I went to start the truck, the battery was dead. We got a jump and I headed to Tracto Supply. I grabbed some bait and found out that Range Cubes aren't even available in that area at Tractor Supply. I was going to head to Wal Mart, but again the battery was dead, so I got a jump and cruised over to Wal Mart, then when I went to leave there, the battery was dead again. I called Jim and told him what was happening, then went to Auto Zone- Bad Battery. I yanked the old battery out with their loaner tools, got the new one in, and was back on the road in about 8 minutes. It was 5 til 3:00 (The Tournament Start Time) and I had to find my way back to our peg. I made it back about 5 minutes past 3, got my rods in the water, then mixed some new method, then added that. I was now fishing the World Tournament.

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Our real goals were to beat Jim's numbers from 2005. 42 Hours to the First Fish, 7 Fish, and 138#. Our first fish came about an hour and a half in, so we beat that. I can't remember how the rest of the fish came, but Jim caught the first few fish, then I caught some- And my first fish was a new PB Mirror! There was a prize for the biggest mirror, so I felt nice having that going for me, although I really didn't expect 11#3oz to hold up. Overnight the first night, we were in Second on the Leaderboard, so I made sure all of my family knew that for at least that moment, Jim & I were the Second best anglers in the world. lol The next day we saw that Jack & Al were catching fairly well, and Jacob/Paul were finding the fish too. Throughout the second day, we watched as we slowly dropped, and our teammates crept up into the lead. Al/Jack, and Jacob/Paul took turns leading the tourney, and stayed near the top. Jim and I kept catching, but our pace had sloowed down. We kept checking in on our guys the whole time, and they kept calling us. The Country Prize added a whole other dimension to the tourney- It was cool.

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The tournament cruised on, and we caught fish here and there- I had a brace, Jim had a gorgeous 21#12oz that was our Big Fish for the tournament; What was cool about that was that while we were catching that one, a guys from The Detroit Free Press came by and snapped some really nice pice of us catching the fish, then again after the capture. The ships kept coming by, and we decided that the best plan was to reel the lines in when the ship was coming, and put them back out with fresh Method after the ship was gone. I did, however, catch a few fish while the ships were passing by- that was crazy because (remember I told you about the water getting pushed back toward the rear of the boat?) when the wate rushed back, the fish were getting sucked into the wild a$$ whirlpools. I had one that was almost to the net, then ended up getting sucked straight down the bank towards the Right. The poor thing had no chance swimming against the current- He was being pulled straight sideways. I had another one that I figured was hooked right before the ship came by, and I mistook his run for the pull from the boat, but I realized the baitrunner was zinging faster than it usually did when the ships toyed with it. I grabbed the rod and pulled the fish right in- I think he was either tired or dizzy from getting thrown around in the crazy boat turbulence.

The tournament was 115 Hours straight. I spent the majority of that maintaining the rods- Desaling with boats, fish, waves, and rain. The rest of the time was spent drinking Vodka Tonics, looking across my boots at Canada. Our spot was really beautiful. We were really happy we ended up with this swim instead of one in the industrial park in Ogdensberg. We had snakes, spiders, chipmunks, and a TON of frogs that kept us company. Every night starting at 5:00, we had a steady stream of visitors that came for Happy Hour. Some brought Food, some brought liquid refreshments. We had a good time.

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It was funny when the last day rolled around and Jim & I looked at eachother and said that it was winding down (24 Hours still to go! lol)- We had finally gotten the rain that had been predicted every day. Of course I got a run as the hardest rain started pouring down and I had just gotten into the tent to change into my offical Rain Gear. I ran out, down the cliff, and grabbed the rod. I fought the fish in my shorts and Rain Jacket. I felt like The Old Man and the Sea (Except for my camo shorts and flip flops). After the rain stopped, we started packing upand were ready to go 30 minutes after the tournament ended. I felt like I do when it's time to leave Emma Long- Sad because the Fishing is over, but satisfied and trying to figure out how and when to come back.

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After we left the peg, we headed to Burger King and had some amazing burgers- First "Real" food in a few days. There was supposed to be a restaurant visiting us 3 times a day with food, but after the second day they stopped doing it. Poor Jim & I sustained ourselves on Chips, Beef Jerkey, and Chef Boyardee. Those burgers were so dang good. Then we made it to the hotel and took some of the best showers of our lives. Being Clean is severely underrated- I know from experience.

After a nap, we headed to the casino for the Awards Ceremony. I got to speak to Ray Scott a little more and Jim showed me how to lose money on Penny Slots. We checked in with all of the other guys to see what challenges they faced, what successes they had, and how they thought they did. We were interested to see how our Rankings of the pegs compared to how they actually performed- Some we were right, and some we were way off. Live and Learn. lol

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They started announcing the awards, and we knew we were in the running for the Nations Award, but did not know exactly where we finished, so we were on edge. David announced Third Place- CarpWorld Magazine (This team included the guys that won it in 2005, and the team that ended up winning it this year), then Second Place- Dynamite Baits (Another really good set of teams- They had a team next to Al/Jack that finished Fourth. Then they announced us as the Winners- "USA- Tito's Vodka Happy Hour Express". OH MAN WERE WE EXCITED!! We hopped up to the stage, being congratulated by our buddies along the way. I didn't want to stop posing for pictures. lol Too Cool.

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We watched as the English Team that was 2 pegs away from us was presented with the trophy after Jacob and Paul got their Fifth Place check, and Jack/Al got their Second Place check. We were proud of our guys; and lucky to be associated with them too ;-) .

We finished the ceremonies, then wasted a few bucks in the casino before heading back to the hotel to rest up for our trip home.

The trip home wasn't as brutal as the NY return trips have been for us before when we came back from Baldwinsville- We had finished in the moeny with the Nations Award, caught some fish, hung out with long-time buddies, and enjoyed some beautiful scenery. That won't be our last trip to Carp New York, and it won't be our last World Championship Tournament. It was just too much fun- I reccommend anyone do it if you get the chance.

Thanks for powering through my report,

Chad

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Here's a Video of a Ship coming through (Click It):

th_Peg57Ship.jpg

This Peg had Ladders installed:

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This is the peg I thought would win. (Nobody picked it):

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Our Peg:

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This was the winning peg:

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5 O'Clock at Peg 57. This is also the view from my pod up to our camp.:

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Ship Pics:

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Yeah- We had to deal with this too:

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Looking down at Jim with one on:

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Countries Represented:

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Chicks Dig Carp:

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On the way in (Yes, I was standing in the water with the net in one hand and my phone in the other):

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Photo Credit Detroit Free Press:

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Release Shots:

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thanks ever so much for posting up. i really enjoyed your account of the week. glad you had a great time and will be visiting the mighty larry again.

cheers

andrew

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Fantastic Chad,,,,,,,Great Accounting of the event,,,,,,:yourock:

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Congratulations. That was one of the best posts that I have read here in a while. Thanks.

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Guest BCLT

that was a great write up and the video of the water getting sucked out, was unbelievable!

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Yeah. Imagine fighting fish in that. It was crazy.

Thanks Again y'all. We had a blast.

Chad

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Awesome account of the event, I wish I took as many photos as you did. But, I slacked. Good to finally meet both of you gentlemen. And, congrats on the Team Titos victory!

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Thanks for putting that up its a really good read and gives the pictures some real meaning, oh and BTW congrats on your win :D:D:D

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Matt, I understand- You were too busy keeping Bird Shtuff off of your gear. Lol

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Chad,

Thanks for taking the time to share with all of us your account of your adventure. That was a fantastic write up and that video was awesome...got me itching to go fish the Saginaw River again (similar with the barges there) :)

I very much enjoyed that :yourock:

tight lines,

Andy

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Matt, I understand- You were too busy keeping Bird Shtuff off of your gear. Lol

Ha. that and bird feathers. We were pegged in the Ogdensburg seagulls homebase.

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Despite the birds (and their dookie), we did catch a few!

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Photos courtesy of Louis Cook

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Awesome write-up and pics, Chad!

I laughed at your saying Burger King was your first "real" food....only in the USA! :D

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Chad and Jim, my English friend, Alan and I, enjoyed visiting with you guys. We got to reminisce about the ATC in Austin, weigh a few of your carp and sample Jim's Vodka tonic. Hope to neet with you guys on the bank in the future. Congrats on you win, you deserved it with the difficulty of your peg.

Cheers Phil

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