He’s back! Anthony Travis of Penn Yan topped the leader board at the Waterloo Rotary Carp Derby annually for years. Once he even took four of the eight top spots. Then he moved to Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks.
But this year, Travis returned. And, as the final minutes were counted down, Travis dropped his fish in the weighing basket and watched as Chris Shaffer called out the weight – 38.16 pounds – enough to capture first place and $500 again.
Travis said he’d missed the annual competition and decided to come back home and try his luck again.
His winning fish was sad news for Charles Bowman of Fayette who had held on to the top spot for nearly an hour with his 37.11 pound lunker. Bowman took consolation in the fact that he landed the second and sixth place fish and pocketed $300.
Last year’s winner, Ted Ralston of Waterloo, checked in promptly at noon with a 29.61-pound fish he caught in Seneca River. It was considerably lighter than the 44.1-pound fish he landed last year and didn’t make it to the top eight.
Kelly Maher of Waterloo, who placed on the leader board in 2015 was so sure her 29.54 pound fish was a winner that she posted a photo of it on Facebook. But when she got to Oak Island for the weigh-in, she was shocked to learn that her fish didn’t even make the leader board.
After boasting of catching a nearly 40-pound fish, Zack Page of Waterloo turned in a 0.8 fish to capture the $50 smallest fish money.
Other winners splitting $1,350 in prize money included third, Joe Law, Seneca Falls, 34.7 pounds; fourth, Edward Van Fleet, Seneca Falls, 34.21 pounds; fifth, Brett Davis, Waterloo, 31.65 pounds; sixth, Bowman, Fayette, 30.71 pounds; seventh, Mike Mucia, Cayuga, 30.23 pounds and Greg Turri, Seneca Falls, 29.67 pounds.
The 37th annual Carp Derby drew nearly 200 competitors. Proceeds support Rotary’s Community projects including Camp Onseyawa and local food pantries.