A lot is at stake this year at the 10th annual St. Lawrence Junior Carp Tournament. Young anglers are fighting for the chance to win the largest prize the tournament has ever awarded. More than $10,000 is up for grabs. Our Cara Thomas caught up with a few participants who say while the money would be a huge bonus, that's not why they continue to come back each year.
ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- More than 110 kids between the ages of 11 and 18 are lining the St. Lawrence River for the 10th annual St. Lawrence Junior Carp Tournament, an event young anglers say they look forward to every year.
Last year's winner, Michael Cummings, said, "It's well organized. It's fun always because you get to hang out with your friends and stuff."
Owen Uppstrom is a first time participant.
Uppstrom said, "I like to catch carp because it's a fun fish to reel in and there's a lot of money you can win."
Some of these kids have been participating for years, others, it's their first time. But no matter their age, they've got one goal in mind: Catch the biggest fish and win the ultimate prize.
St. Lawrence County's Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Pat McKoewn said, "If the young angler pulls in four fish that tops the scales at 100 pounds or more, there's an additional $10,000 prize."
And these kids have come prepared. With a variety of homemade, flavorful baits. Each angler has his or her own secret of how they get the fish to bite.
"Me and my brother, we've been practicing carp fishing for a while. We go out basically everyday with our team and then practice and do all nighters and all that," said Uppstrom.
But the tournament isn't all about the $10,000. Organizers say the kids are learning something, too. Something about humanity.
"They pull in those carp, they weigh them, if there's a wound, they put antiseptic on the wound and then they kiss them smack on the lips. And they thank them for having the privilege for having caught them," said McKoewn.
Participants will have until the end of day on Saturday to reel in their big catch. And until then, it's anyone's game.
To stay up to date with the tournament's scoreboard, go to the St. Lawrence Junior Carp Tournament Scoreboard at