Anglers fishing local waters just might catch a fish worth thousands of dollars if they are competing in one of four fishing derbies coming to the South Sound in August.
Starting with the South King County Puget Sound Anglers Salmon Derby on Aug. 4, salmon anglers also can try their luck at the Gig Harbor PSA Salmon Derby on Aug. 11, the South Sound Salmon Derby on Aug. 18 or the Vashon Island Salmon Derby on Aug. 25.
Why so many derbies at once? Because the fishing is generally better, said Scott Knox, manager at Point Defiance Boathouse Marina.
Also, Knox said, the Commencement Bay portion of Marine Area 11 traditionally opens to fishing on Aug. 1. Marine Area 11 includes the Sound from the northern tip of Vashon Island to the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
“Sometimes there are some bigger fish milling about there waiting to go up the Puyallup (River),” he said.
It often takes a salmon weighing 26-29 pounds to earn first place, he said.
A major switch for one is a change in location. The South Sound Chapter of Puget Sound Anglers is opting to fish the waters from Tacoma to Olympia, instead of Hood Canal. For 11 years, the Olympia chapter has held a two-day derby on Hood Canal. This year, members chose to hold a one-day derby closer to home.
“The club has talked about it for years. This year, we just decided to try the South Sound. Most of our members live down here. We want to see how it works,” said Bob Greigo, chapter president.
While fishing in Hood Canal has been good overall, Greigo said there has been a decline in participation in recent years. Normally, the derby attracts 150 anglers.
“We think with so many people who fish in this area, we’ll get a good showing,” Greigo said. “Hopefully, we’ll get our same customers and maybe pick up some more because we’re in an area with a lot more fishermen.”
All four derbies are part of the Northwest Salmon Derby Series. The 14-event series is sponsored by the Northwest Marine Trade Association to promote boating in the Puget Sound region. Participants in a series derby also are entered in a drawing to win an outfitted 21-foot River Hawk Boat.email@example.com
Ducks Unlimited Salmon Derby
When: Aug. 4
Homeport: Point Defiance Boathouse Marina, Tacoma
Prizes: $1,500 going to the winning fish
Tickets: $25 a person at boathouse. Children younger than 12 fish free with a registered adult.
Of note: This derby, now in its eighth year, is held concurrently with the South King County Puget Sound Anglers Salmon Derby. An angler with tickets from both derbies could earn $5,000 if that person lands the biggest salmon. Fishing will be allowed from dawn with the final weigh in at 1 p.m. in marine areas 10, 11 and 13. Awards ceremony at 3 p.m. The derby attracts 150-250 anglers a year. Proceeds help Ducks Unlimited with its waterfowl and conservation projects.
South King County Puget Sound Anglers Salmon Derby
When: Aug. 4
Homeport: Point Defiance Marina, Tacoma
Prizes: $35,000 in cash and prizes, with $3,500 going to the winning fish
Tickets: $35 a person at area stores and online
Of note: This is the 11th year the chapter has held its derby. Fishing is allowed from daylight-1 p.m. Fishing is limited to marine areas 10, 11 and 13. There will be weigh stations open from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at Des Moines Marina, Point Defiance Marina and Narrows Marina. The 3 p.m. awards ceremony, hosted by Point Defiance Marina, will have programs for participants and children including a kids’ trout pond. Proceeds from the event help chapter support programs such as Cast for Kids, CCA, Washington Youth Conservation Camp, Mid-Puget Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group, Harms Way and Wounded Warriors.
Gig Harbor PSA Salmon Derby
When: Aug. 11
Homeport: Point Defiance Marina, Tacoma
Prizes: More than $25,000 in cash and prizes, with $2,500 first prize
Tickets: $25 a person, youths 14 and younger are free for youth prizes and raffle. Available at saltpatrol.com.
Information: 253-297-2121, firstname.lastname@example.org or gigharborpsa.org/2012_Derby.php
Of note: This is the 17th year for the Gig Harbor chapter’s derby. There will be weigh stations at Point Defiance Marina, Narrows Marina, and the Manchester and Kingston boat launches. A barbecue will be held at 4 p.m. at Point Defiance Park parking lot B, off North Pearl Street.
South Sound Salmon Derby
When: Aug. 18
Homeport: Swantown Marina, Olympia
Prizes: The winning fish will earn the $1,000 first prize. There will be additional cash and prizes awarded.
Tickets: $25. Available at Sportsman’s Warehouse, Sportco, Verle’s Sports Center or online.
Information: Go to sschapterpsa.com, send email to email@example.com or call 360-250-9808
Of note: After holding a derby in Hood Canal for 11 years, the South Sound PSA chapter is moving its derby to marine areas 11 and 13, the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Fishing will be open from dawn-4 p.m. The award festivities, barbecue dinner and raffle will be from 5-7 p.m. at the marina.
Vashon Island Salmon Derby
When: Aug. 25
Homeport: Dockton Park, Vashon Island
Prizes: The first-place fish will earn a lucky angler $1,500.
Tickets: $24 for adults, $10 for ages 10-16 and $5 for ages 2-9. They can be purchased at brownpapertickets.com.
Information: firstname.lastname@example.org, 206-408-7188, vashonifch.com
Of note: Fishing begins at 12:01 a.m. and fish can be weighed in from 10 a.m.-noon. The event is a fundraiser for Interfaith Council to Prevent Homlessness of Vashon Island.