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FFF 2020 - Post Written Summaries (Jerome Adventure Tale) of your FFF 2020 Experience Here!

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This FFF 2020 thread is where you will post your always enjoyable written summaries of your FFF 2020 experience (Jerome Adventure Tale). 
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In honor of Jerome Moisand's quick wit, photography skills, way with words, and dedication to CAG and FFF as past organizer of many First Fishing Follies, we are including an award category for the best written summaries of your 2020 FFF adventure. It will be called the FFF 2020 Jerome Adventure Tale Award

Your summaries will be judged by a panel consisting of Iain Sorrell and myself.  Although the judges are encouraged to submit FFF 2020 stories, they automatically remove themselves from award contention.  All participants will receive a frameable FFF 2020 Jerome Adventure Tale Award Certificate


You can see/read examples of summaries from last year's contest here!

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1. You must be registered for FFF 2020 to submit an FFF 2020 Jerome Adventure Tale.

2. Simply post your creative, well-written story and outstanding photographs in a reply box on this thread.

3. Please include the following information at the beginning of your post:
A. Begin your tale with a title.
B. Let us know the locale, including the city and state/province, where the story takes place (Sharing detailed information about the exact location of the venue is optional.).
C. Include your first and last name.

4. You are definitely encouraged to include photos to help tell your tale, but photos are not an absolute requirement for award consideration. Photos can be embedded within the story or posted at the end.

6. The best way to post a photo is to drag it to the the bottom of each posting window or to choose a file as indicated at the bottom of each posting window.

If you are having problems with the photo posting options, I will take your photo via e-mail and post the photo for you.  However, you should know how to post photos on the forum, so please don’t abuse this option. E-mail me at fjrink@comcast.net or pm me at FJR1. I'll need your e-mailed entries at least two hours before the January 3 deadline to allow me to process and post the pictures by the posting deadline: 1:00 p.m. EST, Noon CST, 11:00 a.m. MST, 10:00 a.m. PST.

6.  Every and all FFF 2020 award entries must be posted on this thread by 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (that’s Noon Central, 11 AM Mountain, 10 AM Pacific) on Friday, January 3, 20209.  No exceptions!

7. Again, every and all FFF 2020 Jerome Adventure Tale entries must be posted on this thread by 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (that’s Noon Central, 11 AM Mountain, 10 AM Pacific) on Friday, January 3, 2020.  No exceptions!

Thank you. We look forward to some great stories and accompanying photographs.

Don't forget to register for FFF 2020 by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31, 2019. Registering much earlier than that, like right now, is always appreciated. Thanks.—Frank Rink, FFF 2020 Coordinator

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Just a reminder that FFF 2020 carp capture entries and sunrise photos must be posted on the appropriate CAG Forum thread by 1:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (that’s Noon Central, 11 AM Mountain, 10 AM Pacific) on Friday, January 3, 2020. That's today!  The forum threads get a little touchy at times, and it takes some time for your photos to load; so be patient.

For those wanting to write an FFF 2020 Jerome Adventure Tale, I am extending that deadline until Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. your local time.

Final results will be posted early next week!  Thanks for your participation in FFF 2020--Frank Rink, FFF 2020 Coordinator

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January 1st, 2020       

A Session That Changed Lives Forever

Joshua Iverson

  It was New Years Eve, I had returned from work early at around 1030PM to ring in the new year with mine and my girlfriends kids. It was a joyous time staying up late, adult beverages, confetti cannons and games.  As the night waned into the early morning hours I prepared the kids for bed and focused my attention to fishing in the FFF for the Carp anglers group.  

  As I tiredly packed my car up knowing it to be a long session in the cold, with the kids,  my attitude was very much "Oh boy I hope things go smooth and the kids are not cold after an hour" I was contemplating rigs,baits, and the usual "fishing mode" thoughts on bagging as many carp as I could in January.  I had not been out fishing for about a full month prior as my motivation to get out had crashed after a long regular season of fishing had passed.  

  At 4:00 AM my alarm sounded and I rolled over to turn off my phone and take just five more minutes of sleep.  That turned into waking at 7:00 AM and almost deciding to stay home and deal with the foot deep confetti pile in my living room.  After sloshing through our midnight mess I begrudgingly Dressed my son and stumbled to my car to drive to the Anacostia River, a branch of the Potomac in a not-so-nice area of town in Washington DC.

  After a pit stop for coffee and donuts I arrived to see the crew already fishing and before I could unpack my car I could see a rod doubled over in action, I got excited to see fish already biting and quickly unloaded the car and parked across the street.  After erecting my bivvy and setting up my heater for the cold little hands of my son (2 years old)  I setup my rods and finally was able to begin fishing.  I decided to fish simple, ronnie rigs with popups and a rod with the standard  fake corn wafter type presentation.  after stringing some fancy pantsy PVA mesh with crafty catcher particles and mainline ground-bait I was finally fishing, "PHEW" I said to myself "time to relax now".

  Not soon after the rods were cast I had a run. My Delkim was warbling as music to my ears, "dang" I said after setting the hook. "CATFISH" I yelled to the others as I was reeling in my rolling ball of slime not more than 15 inches long. "oh well" at least I didn't blank I said to myself before hearing "MINUS 1!" from 50 yards away jokingly.

  The Crew was compiled of Four gentleman and myself, a newcomer to the swim that we fished on a regular basis  Brandon, was directly to my right and had a couple carp under his belt by the time I showed up.   Tom  a veteran to fishing the area for the past couple years now, an older gentleman wearing a full winter suit to stay warm from the elements reminded me of my grandfather who used to take me outside to play in the snow as a kid, loved life and always had excitement on his face, always happy to catch regardless of how big that carp was, I could learn from him to appreciate even the smaller fish more and not think so hard on fish under 20 pounds.  

  To his right was Frank another retiree who had a build like my Dad, stocky and just slightly shorter than myself, Frank was another seasoned angler to the area and had a half dozen fish under his belt as I greeted him after setting up. He was already busy getting the grill ready to cook up some breakfast sandwiches as was custom for him to do. The smell of thick cut bacon filled the swim and my tummy was doing flips waiting. 

 Finally furthest from me was Blayne, another recent retiree who has been fishing in the DC area for a very long time, had a handful of golden carp as well, he was no stranger to what the area held for fish and the sizes we could see. 

 

  As I would return to my bivvy to warm my sons icy red hands in between conversations with the guys I had yet another larger catfish on my rods.  As soon as I unhooked and released that fish, all hell had broken loose and fish were being had on everybody's rods, multiple carp averaging about 10 pounds were being caught, albeit more fish came from Tom and Franks Pegs, I had also contributed one small 6 pound carp that my son was so excited to see, He couldn't stop yelling FISH FISH! At the slightest bleep from alarms yards away. 

  The action persisted for another hour or so and everybody was having great time for January winter carping.  After the rush of fish we all were quietly hoping for the lunker to make an appearance, as the swim regularly produces fish in the 20-25 pound range with the possibility of 30+ being real.  Unfortunately that didn't play out and the larger fish didn't want to play that day but we were all in high spirits with the mantra "ANY fish in January is a Good Fish!" 

 

  The day had been a success as my girlfriend showed up around 1PM with the rest of the kids to join us for the last 30 minutes or so of the session, we were all huddled in my Trakker V2 bivvy staying warm thanks to my buddy heater that has gotten me through the toughest of conditions ice fishing back home in Vermont.   Having somebody to watch and play babysitter for a few minutes I walked over to the guys and conversed about the usual fish stories, and tactics,  Frank who I knew from previous sessions throughout has a special connection with me as he also visited Vermont regularly and knew the area along with some of the quirky-ness of the state, Its always a relief in a big city to have the relate-ability to back home that very few know about being such a small underpopulated state.

 

  It was now about 2 PM and it was time to start packing I walked out of the bivvy to the rods with my girlfriend to discuss lunch options with the kids, my eyes heavy from my lack of sleep and a whole day of playing "chase the toddler" in essentially downtown D.C. 

  When I turned and looked over at the other guys to see if they had also been picking up "As 2PM was usually our time to all pack",    I noticed everybody huddled around Franks peg and thought to myself "oh frank got a nice fish maybe?" 

  After peering over for a minute i noticed something was off and I saw Tom, Franks lifelong friend doing what looked like chest compression's, on Frank,  I said to my girlfriend "Oh my God what is happening" and dropped my rod and ran the 30 yards or so to the guys. When  I got close I saw Blayne on the phone with 911 and Frank laying motionless and turning a color I wish I never saw.  My heart dropped into my stomach and I panicked for a few seconds before taking a deep breath and staying focused on the situation calmly,  "OK" I said to myself as I prepared to help.

  My Background is far from medical however I was CPR certified and knew how to do a few lifesaving measures so I knew I could be of assistance, Tom who was tiring from the compression's switched off between Brandon and Myself to continue until the EMS arrived en masse.   After the paramedics arrived and took Frank to the hospital we took a breath from the traumatic experience to comfort each other as best we could given the shock we all were experiencing. I prayed he was going to be okay, but knew things were serious, seeing EMS defibrillator our fishing partner multiple times just inches from his rod-pod was mind numb-ingly hard to process. 

  I finished packing and told Blayne to keep me updated on the news from the hospital as he and Tom were waiting for a relative to come retrieve Franks truck to head to the Hospital. Tom was busy on the phone with Franks wife and I made a slight sorrowing hand gesture goodbye as I walked to my car.  My intention was to stay but the kids were very shook  up by the whole ordeal and I knew it was best at that point to get them home.  

  After taking a much needed shower and short nap, I awoke at 6:30PM to a text from Blayne  "Josh I'm sorry, the police came shortly after you left and informed us he didn't make it"  I sat up, paused, closed my eyes and took a deep slow breath,  and with that had let out all the emotion I had put aside on the bank to keep everybody calm and composed. We had just lost our friend, our partner, fishing........... it still today hasn't fully processed as I wipe off my keyboard recollecting what happened that day. We never wake up expecting those events to happen.  I feel a stronger bond with those fine gentleman after that day knowing we all tried as hard as we could to keep him with us.

And He Will Never Be Forgotten.

 

 Rest In Piece Frank Aiello

May you land that 50 in the big lake above.

 

 

 

    ~This Story is not meant to be used to enter into any contests but to simply honor the life of a friend who passed away doing what he loved. Thank you all for reading this and the support received via social media ~    

      

  

 

 

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Wow!  That's a stirring, haunting, and well written story, Josh!  Thanks for sharing and for all you did at the site.

I will honor your wishes not to have this entered for competition, but please know that we appreciate your willingness to bare your emotions and share your experience.  --Frank

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Josh, my heart goes out to you and your friends and family. Thanks for sharing.

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MO Carpers New Year's Adventure! (a little tempered with the loss of Frank- I dedicate this to him, his family, friends, colleagues and CAG members all over the world).......

          This year's FFF was eagerly anticipated, as there were new rules and no-way could it rain heavily just a few days before like last year-right?....well, that's deeper in the adventure!

           The FFF was going to have awards for each state the angler participates in. I am right on the border between Missouri and Kansas and registered for both, but it set up a quandry-I wanted to catch the first carp of 2020, but also the first in Missouri and Kansas.....hmmm what to do, what to do. I decided that, since there were 3 anglers fishing Missouri, and none in Kansas, that was my competition and I would fish Missouri at midnight. Then I would alternate between Missouri and Kansas. There were some problems with that though; My go-to creek holes were mostly along the Kansas City Parks trail system, a series of paved paths that parallel several creeks in Kansas City. However, there had been a serial killer along the pathway a couple years ago, exactly where I fish. To expound- he shot several people walking along the trail, and I had seen him several times from a distance. Video surveillance showed him walking past one of my best spots-fortunately the weeds are very tall and you cannot see anyone on the small gravel bar, or I could have been one of his victims-shame, as I still have a lot of fishing to do 😊. During this sad time in the city, roving officers, some in plain clothes, some on ATVs, would  routinely ride and walk along the paths, and often saw me fishing, likely wondering but never asking me about where I was at this time or another.....I probably didn't fit the profile, though I am a cereal killer :) :) -that's CEREAL, not serial!!!!! :) , It didn't really cross my mind to stop fishing around there, though family, staff and friends thought I was impaired to continue fishing!!- why wouldn't I with catches like this?

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           Oh sorry- got a little off track there.  Anyway, they caught the man and he's in jail, but because of the panic, City Hall and Parks and Recreation implemented a curfew, from midnight to 5:30am (none of the people were killed during these hours-he had to get his sleep I'm thinking :( ). So, I had to get a permit from Parks and Recreation to fish- I agree its a special event!!!!!.. :) 

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        Permit in hand, I readied for the tournament-pulled into Quik-trip to get gas and...................... OMEN ALERT!!- someone had wantonly killed a bunch of goldfish-right there in the parking lot-simply ran over them without a thought or care............. I was hungry though, so I picked up the rest and ate-em :) ...

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 I couldn't interpret the omen until after the tournament but I was hopefull! I went to each of my spots late in the afternoon after work. It had rained more than an inch 3 days prior, and like last year, everything flooded!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?.....

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I checked the USGS stream flow data charts hourly-high muddy water hunkers the carp down-it was a race against time-was it going to be low and clear enough to fish?....Well, I couldn't do anything about it, other than using the night glow fake corn, so I put that on two poles and my usual one large/one small fake corn on the other hair rigs. I readied my pack baits- the old reliable strawberry panko/sweet corn and a newer lemon pack bait/sweet corn. 

IMG_4286.JPG.....the payday bar is just a product placement promo.... :) (not really).....

    I rarely, if ever use my 9ft stalker rods/bite alarms/hangers in the creeks-tried it a couple times and I think there's just too much pack, the leads are heavy and spook the fish, so I go very light- NGT method leads-15,20, and 24gram_ I just want the slow moving fish to take one bite or so and get hooked rather than sifting through ounces of pack. It does create a problem seeing the lines and pole, so this year I applied glow-paste to the rod tips and wallah!- I could easily see in the pitch black-especially when I activated the pastes with UV light!....(and I did bring along one larger pole to over-ride the current's impact)

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         I arrived at the creek about 11:30pm; though the CFS was higher than normal, the creek had a little bit of clarity,.....BUT WHAT???-there was an adult male otter in the pool!! The upper left photos are the pool during the day-normally there is a small waterfall there, but the water was high). This pool was only about 30 yards long and maybe 10 yards wide and an otter was going to either snag my lines or worse, shut down any movement of the carp.....fortunately, the otter saw me, exploded in the water and disappeared.....

C48C864A-BE9B-4D9F-8EFF-42E90F2834E0.JPG You can't see him in this photo, but he's there :) It was a very cool sight and the culmination of decades of conservation restoration by our Missouri Department of Conservation, who worked diligently to restore river otters to Missouri, and it worked wonderfully!!!!.....and to see this in the middle of urban sprawl was refreshing!......

     I set my gear. It was an easily accessible gravel bar within site of the pathway, and no one else was about-checked my watch-11:50pm- I threw and handful of warmed sweet corn just to get the carp moving. I didn't really need to check my watch at midnight to know I could start fishing (though I did :) ).... The very sad part about the night was the noise- a few fireworks but the vast majority was gunfire-shotguns, semi-automatic fire, and pistols were rampant, and minutes later the wail A HIT!!!!!-ahhhhhhhhh no fish....the creek fish seldom if ever run-just a tap and pull-very hit or miss here and you must constantly watch the poles.......the wail of sirens ended a hundred yards away at an apartment complex to what end I couldn't tell, as I was watching my poles, AND THEN another hit, and this time, I landed one of my smaller carp in the past year, this 4lb 8 oz beauty, which I initially thought could be a catfish, but they hunker down in the mud during the winter and the golden sheen caught my eye- whew!!!!! and at 12:40am!-maybe the first?????????

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 No otter around, so I quickly took the pictures and released it-no ice like two years ago, when the line and the first carp froze to the edges!........

                       Well, one in the book and my first carp of 2020!!!!....Maybe the local populace was celebrating carpin with me!! :) I continued fishing, staying away from the turbulence (carp lie the oxygen, but not constantly swimming against the current, especially in the winter) trying to hit slack water next to the current, and WHAM!!!!  a good hit and bigger carp. Now I was cookin!!!

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......Since I had two on the Missouri side, I drove 8 minutes to my most consistently producing spot in Kansas, and tried a new spot further upstream first-had always seen carp at a bend in the creek but didn't know how deep it was-that's the key to winter creek carpin-the carp move to deep pools to survive. Well, after an hour, there were no carp to be had, so I moved to my favorite spot. The water was high here as well and the most recent flood had taken all but 10 square feet of the gravel bar and the current was on my side now-not good. I reset all my gear, watched the sunrise (got my sunrise picture for FFF)

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and noted my natural surroundings in peace-gunfire had subsided, birds awakened-the calls of cardinals, woodpeckers, and the clattering call of overwintering belted kingfisher- a common sight now-when I was a kid all the robins and kingfishers migrated to warmer climes but now, global warming has changed things. The footprints of mink, deer and raccoons littered the mud, bringing a sense of peace to the world, free of mankinds impact, at least in this small spot I was sitting on. It was still chilly, so I set up my Missouri bivvy, a simple modification of the higher end European models (basically throw a towel over a Mr Buddy heater, then over your head.....ahhh comfy :) 

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       Finally, just after sunrise, a good hit! and much larger fish. I had tossed to the far side of the current, hooked the fish, which immediately swam into the current, making it difficult to land this nice 13lbr!

IMG_4321.JPGI did it!- I was thrilled once again at the hit, the fight, and the landing-such a cool fish!!! I had to smile for the camera!! :) (and no Cannonball, I am not sponsored by the American Dental Association! :) ). Less than 40 minutes later I had my second carp, a nice 10 lb plus fish- I used the rising sun as a backdrop.

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After another hour or so, nothing else was happening, so I packed up once again and headed back to Missouri at my Urban Paradise (Discovery Month entry). But, although the sun was shining, the water was high and dingy-not a hit in two hours, so packed up again and walked a couple miles to a spot I had fished in the summer with some success, though this time, to get to it I had a very narrow land bridge (kinda felt like our ancestors crossing the Bering land bridge from Asia to North America :) )

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    There is a large pool along a bend in the creek you can barely see in this photo, at the very top where the sheer bank is the far side. It is a perfect summer spot- riffles slowing into the pool and the carp are in the slack water, but again, I was on the wrong side, the current was stronger, so I had to cast over the current, nearly 40 yards into the slack water. Problem is, the current pulls on the line, bowing it and making it less WHAM!!! another fish on- this one was about the average creek size but very strong and it took several minutes to land. what a beauty and the sun was just right to accentuate the colors!!.....there's gold in them there creeks!! :) 

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      It was getting a little later in the day, I hadn't eaten or drank or slept in over 16 hours, so I packed and hiked back, instantly in civilization again with stoplights, traffic, honking horns, strip malls, police, and throngs of people, going about their day, oblivious to the natural world within yards of them. I saw no other people along the creeks. I think it is a benefit that we grow up in city's now-away from and leaving the woods, creeks, and rivers alone-there's lots of wildlife right in the core of the city and I'm glad we leave them alone....

      Its a NEW YEAR!, with daylight lengthening, and anticipation building for more fishing adventures! It is such a privilege to be free to fish anywhere, at any time (permit in hand of course). I so appreciate the shift in societal conscience whereby most fish are now released, we are doing a little better keeping our waterways healthy, going green is a thing, and members like you, who make me proud to be part of CAG! Happy New Year to all!!!.....tight or slack lines!- doesn't really matter if you're fishing :)   

MO

 

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Edited by (MO) MOCarper
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Great write up, MO! 

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