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This year, it all started with Phone agitating again his theories about carp not feeding in cold waters... Always a good read...

We were back to a very solid participation that year. This included the incredible koi masters (now you'll understand why I call them that way!) and a new player in Tennessee, going by the user name of Zoomie... And... California did pretty well too! And Illinois too! Including quite a long fishing streak...

Here we are for the usual stats...

We had 147 registered participants, the cold front took quite a toll, but at the end
95 brave souls
did go fishing on Jan 1st, including
12 juniors
, across
15 states/provinces
, catching
112 carp
for a total weight of approximately
845 pounds

Let's start by the kois. How many kois do you catch per year? Er... Not much? Me neither... Well, Willy Gordon found a way to nab four of them on Jan 1st that year, including a mirror koi! Unbelievable! Oh, and also two mirrors... You really need to read the entire story... click here!


Then Zoomie (John Sabol). He started to catch one carp after another... Starting from Dec 31st at 4PM... And he kept going, including past midnight and landed 120lb of carp on Jan 1st... Securing the Emperor award, quite ahead of Rob Mallgren (70lb total in NY). To see a 'live' account of how John's story unfolded, check the "oops!" thread... Oh, and John also won the Monster award with this 21lb beauty. And did a master job of handling a live interview on K Kountry after his memorable win.


As to the Prince award, this came from a state which usually doesn't see that many FFF contenders... Justin Morris caught no less than 16 carp in California that day, for a nearly 60 pounds total. Here are a few of those fish!


Mick Clarke also represented CA quite well, with a 20lb which put him in 2nd place for the Monster award. And yes, the water temp was less than 50F in CA where Mick was fishing!

What about the first fish of the year would you ask? That was an interesting contest, and Illinois prevailed with Mike Olinger catching his first at 12:06am. While Charlie Whitted (who was fishing with Zoomie) landed his first at 12:16am, and Lorne Morley in Ontario landed his at 12:30am. Here is another Hall of Fame fish from Ohio (I think?), a cute fully scaled mirror.


Now I also mentioned a long fishing streak. And when I said long, I meant... 10 years... or more precisely 120 months.

The point is that our own master angler Paul Pezalla caught at least one carp every month for 10 years in a row, culminating with his 120th month on Jan 1st, 2010. How cool is that! This was well worthy of the FFF Hall of Fame, don't you think?


The story actually made it in the Chicago newspapers, as you can see here.

Now Paul wasn't the only one catching carp in the snow that day... Minnesota, anybody? Yes, two carp anglers were fishing out there, in the **COLD**. Jim Collins and Josef Settele did succeed to catch a few, read the full story here. Brrr.


Oh, and I almost forgot... The usual photo-album from all over North America...

And the two (nearly tied) top contenders for the sunrise award, from Rob Schoborg and from Robert Mallgren.



Frank Rink's Joliet Illinois' version of FFF 2010:

Four hardy (or fool-hardy) souls ventured into the night for FFF 2010. Mike (Carpbowl) Olinger, Larry (911 carp) Seeman, Dennis (Moneypenny) Davis, and Frank (FJR1) Rink represented the Chicago suburban contingent as we tried to conquer Joliet's DesPlaines River, a swim recently designated by some as the "Dead Zone." The moniker was created because of a December 2009 DNR rotenone fish kill upstream just a couple miles in an attempt to stem the onslaught of the dreaded Asian carp into the Great Lakes.

Although we didn’t start fishing until midnight, Mike, Dennis and I got there at 9:00 p.m. to claim end pegs for the event and to do a little pre-chumming. Larry arrived at 11:30. Special plaudits to Dennis, by the way, for coming out on a night like this. Dennis uses a wheel chair and can only be out of it for brief periods. Fishing all night in these conditions with a wheelchair frozen in the snow takes real bravery. Kudos to Mike, as well, for transporting Dennis throughout our session.
Dennis at a previous Joliet event at a "balmy" 40°

The 2010 FFF started with our having extremely high hopes, as always. We opted for the Jackson Street swim as opposed to our usual Bicentennial Park venue, as Jackson Street afforded better/quicker access to our cars. Access to warmth was definitely required as temps ranged from 4° to 18° all day and night. Combine those temps with a 10-20 mph NW breeze in our faces, and wind chills never rose above zero and dipped to 20 below at one point. We had to keep our bait and method mixes in our cars, because they would freeze if left outside for more than 30 minutes. We still had frozen hands and faces each time we ventured out to bait, rebait, de-ice lines, and unlock reels.
Moon over Mia . . . err, Joliet in sub-zero windchills

We took several water temperature readings throughout our long night-day session, and readings fluctuated between 40° and 42°, giving us a chance to prove Mr. Phone wrong again.
Water temps were 40° to 42°

The midnight hour arrived amidst shotgun blasts and home-made fireworks in downtown Joliet, and we made our first casts. I had just attached my swinger to my second line when I looked left and saw Mike hauling a fish at the other end. Mike had the nine pound, one ounce carp in the weigh sling at 12:06 a.m., just shortly after the bell tolled at midnight. I assume that Mike will be in the running for first carp of the new year. With this auspicious start, we all thought that the mighty DesPlaines River on this first day of a new decade would be the mother lode of carp gold.
Mike (CARRPBOWL) Olinger with a 12:06 a.m. catch!

Unfortunately, the tolling of that midnight bell in Joliet on 1/1/10 was a death knell for our fishing fortunes during the 18 hours that we spent in a quest for FFF success. That midnight fish was the sole gold nugget weighed by any of the four of us throughout the entire event! Maybe Phone is right!

Sad to say, no more fish were caught in the darkness of night, although we did have one non-fishing incident. Although I have never encountered any problems in Joliet, the area we fished is rather notorious for theft. We fished that evening across the river and a short walk over an adjacent bridge from a housing project known as a hotbed of crime in Joliet. I did have a knock on the car window at about 4:00 a.m. I jumped out, and the guy asked what I was doing out there in the middle of the night. When I told him I was in a national carp fishing event, he did not ask for my wallet nor did he pull a weapon. He simply gave me several suggestions about better places to fish. All the Joliet locals who never fish always have better places to fish with promises of 30 and 40 pounders. I did recognize the gentleman as someone I had talked with before during late night fishing sessions in Joliet. Larry S. did not recognize the conversant and was quickly on his way over to my car with a club literally up his sleeve, but the guy left before Larry got there. The guy evidently thought he had given me enough suggestions, or he knew Larry had something up his sleeve. I guess it was safe where we fished, but better to be safe (with a club) than sorry. Thanks, Larry, for being prepared!
Our safe swims!

Ice flows moved through our swim in the pre-dawn hours and despite our best efforts, it was difficult trying to keep lines from freezing to the flows. Larry and Dennis called it a day at about 10:00 a.m.
Ice everywhere!

Mike and I moved to Bicentennial Park where there were fewer ice problems. After shoveling snow and preparing our gear once again, we had lines in the water at 11:00 a.m. The weather seemed warmer and the water seemed more promising. The results, though, had us blanking for the two hours spent there.
Bicentennial Park--Some shoveling, some cold, no fish!

I scouted Jackson Street once again, and the ice had moved out, so we returned to finish the day. Same cold front, same conditions, same result—no fish.

Both of us left shortly before 3:00 p.m. after spending 18 hours at Joliet (9:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.) in and out of sub-zero weather conditions. They say that the thrill is in the chase, but I would be dishonest to say that I enjoyed this over other events where more fish were caught. It was actually a frustrating 2010 FFF, but I should have known better with a high barometric reading and a wicked cold front in our face, less than 18 hours old.

On the other hand, the company was enjoyable. I always appreciate the good will mutually shared by this group of anglers. Oh well, better luck next year.

FFF wouldn’t take place without some pre-planning and some generous dedication. Huge thanks to Jerome M. and the sponsors for organizing yet another stellar CAG event. I look forward to FFF's continuation!--Frank

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