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The Passing of an Icon, Neil Stern


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It is with a heavy heart that I write this.  Neil Stern passed away last Thursday from medical complications.  He was 73 years young.

I first met Neil over 10 years ago when my print shop ran copies for him for an upcoming CAG fishing class he was putting on.  I attended the class and the rest is history.  We fished together every other weekend religiously for almost 10 years, until his health wouldn't allow it.

We slept in folding chairs more times than i can remember.  We swapped stories, jokes and ideas.  We froze in the winter and fried in the summer.  We drove off aggressive raccoons.  We almost had a tree fall on us.  We spent time on the bank waiting for a tow truck to get us unstuck because he backed too close to the water and buried his truck to the axle.  We stood in a torrential downpour while locked out of his truck because ONE OF US left his keys inside.  We sat on a bank for hours without catching anything, only to find out the lake we were at had been drained the year before and had literally no fish in it.  I netted his PB and he netted mine, although I could never squeeze out that final 8 ounces to beat his.  He never did catch a koi, although it wasn't for lack of trying.  And his ability to catch mirrors was...  well, never mind.  We discovered new lakes and new swims.  Some panned out, some not so much.  I wouldn't trade a single thing for my time spent with him.  He was my mentor and best friend to the end.

He put on the Austin Team Championship for several years.  Only the last couple did he actually get to fish it, as my partner.  He really knew how to throw a corn boil.  Who else could get away with hiring Hooters Girls to serve the food?  Or having two girls hold a CAG banner just to get free hats?  The hours he spent putting it together every year gave me a new admiration for those who put tournaments on.  Countless hours talking to Austin city officials and coordinating the guys in Austin who helped him tirelessly.

He was a loving husband to his wife Jackie, and a devoted father.  We will all miss him dearly.  Tight lines Neil!

 

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14BE23A2-07FD-4E60-B4FE-4EB74AF56487.pngRIP Neil so sad to hear this you were family without being blood related and you treated me with a lot of kindness and respect when I was new to carp fishing. I’m hurt I can’t believe this you knew my kids even played with them the few times you seen them. Thank you for all the memories you will be missed. Prayer for you and your family I’ll pray for you guys as well Carl and family. Rip Neil 

Edited by SoCalCarper
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I didn’t know Neil but wanted to express my condolences on his passing. Sounds like he was a great carp fisherman and a lot of fun to hang with. 

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I am so sorry to hear of Neil's passing. 

Carlymoomoo - That is a wonderful eulogy, and no doubt one of the most sincere & heartfelt Neil will have.  Great picture story also.

I never met Neil in person, but felt I knew him from his frequent contributions on the forum and from our snail mail correspondence.  I still have envelopes and manila envelopes with his return address stickers full of 'carp stuff' that he sent me.  He always took the time to answer.

Neil did a lot for CAG and will be missed.

R.I.P. Neil

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Neil was truly one of those rare characters who made life so much better for everyone who knew him.

He worked tirelessly in making the ATC a truly great event & helped so many newcomers get into carp fishing. Neil was renowned for boundless energy and generosity. 

We are hugely grateful for everything Neil did for CAG over many, many years, including his time as CAG Membership Director.

On behalf of all our members we extend our condolences to Neil's family. 

 

Edited by (CT) Savayman
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R.I.P. Neil.  My condolences to his family and many close friends.     

I thought of Neil just a few days ago thumbing through my file cabinet ...when I stumbled on my CAG welcome packet (circa 2008) that Neil put together for every new member.   It really meant alot as it felt genuine as he welcomed me into this big CAG family.

I'll have to use one of those +12y.o. Royal Carp boilies in his honor!

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I wish Jackie and Neil's Daughter my condolences. Neil was an awesome guy! I remember him for organizing and running the 1st ATC that Michael Smith and I attended. Neil was truly one of those people that made you feel welcome. He'd make sure the felt at home. That's huge when traveling on your first tournament. Thanks Neil for you dedication!!! Always the best to the mirror man. 

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heartbroken to hear this news. It seems not that long ago that Neil took the reigns of the ATC and brought it to heights we never imagined.  His service to CAG cannot be overstated. He was a true example of kindness and will be sorely missed.  I regret not having remained in closer contact over the years, but he was the type of man that if you knew him you called him friend.  RIP Neil.  Condolences to Jackie and all his loved ones.

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Rest in peace neil.  I never met him but I spoke to him on this forum back when CAG was poppin.  I wish we were able to bring back some of the old members and make it like the old times because you never know what will happen.  I hope his family stays strong

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