The South Sound salmon derby season is over for another year. Some anglers have gone home with cash in their pocket, prizes and likely a fish tale or two.
Cody Wright has earned the bragging rights, besting more than 900 anglers by catching the largest salmon in the three derbies. His 21.93-pound chinook caught during the Puget Sound Anglers-South King County Chapter Salmon Derby also earned him the $3,500 first-place prize for that event.
In all, the three derbies paid out more than $17,000 in cash, as well as other prizes.
Overall, the fishing was slow during the three derbies, said Art Tachell at Point Defiance Boathouse. The boathouse served as a weigh station for all three derbies.
He used the Puget Sound Anglers-South King County Chapter Salmon Derby as an example. The catch rate was 0.17 fish per person.
“They had more than 400 people this year. With that many people, I would have hoped for a fish for every other person. We didn’t come close to that,” Tachell said.
“But there was enough fish to fill the (prize) boards, and everybody was happy with that,” he added.
If you missed out on the action in August, don’t fret. There are four more events in the Northwest Salmon Derby Series. There will be derbies in Tokeland (Sept. 5), Vancouver, Washington (Sept. 6), Edmonds (Sept. 12) and Everett (Sept. 19-20).
Here is a recap of the three South Sound derbies:
Puget Sound Anglers-South King County Chapter Salmon Derby
When: Aug. 1.
Total anglers: 419.
Fish weighed: 72.
First place: Cody Wright, 21.93 pounds, $3,500.
Second place: David B. Conrad, 17.92 pounds, $1,500.
Third place: Marcus Kyle, 17.12 pounds, $1,000.
Youth winner: Kyler McCarthy, 10.33 pounds.
Of note: All the entrants who weighed a fish during the 14th annual event received cash or a prize valued at $75 or more. The nearly 420 participants were the largest number in a several years, said co-chairman Terry Wiest. Of the fish weighed, 36 were chinook, 35 were pink salmon and one was a coho salmon.
Puget Sound Anglers-Gig Harbor Chapter Salmon Derby
When: Aug. 8.
Total anglers: 347.
Fish weighed: 59.
First place: Douglas Dixon II, 21.39 pounds, $3,500.
Second place: Bill Thackeray, 19.97 pounds, $2,000.
Third place: Tom Sullivan, 18.61 pounds, $1,000.
Boys’ winner: Colton Pringle, 8.85 pounds.
Women’s winner: Rebekka Holt, 14.42 pounds.
Team division: Ashton Herdman and Erin Brinkerhoff, 18.69 pounds.
Of note: Apparently it takes a salmon weighing more than 21 pounds to win this derby. Last year, Larry Olson won with a fish weighing 21.29 pounds.
All South Sound Salmon Derby
When: Aug. 15.
Total anglers: 185.
Fish weighed: 38.
First place: Jaeger Maxfield, 20 pounds, $2,000.
Second place: Stephanie West, 19.05 pounds, $1,500.
Third place: George Harris, 17.6 pounds, $1,000.
Of note: Organizers for this year’s event renamed it and expanded the fishing area to include marine areas 11, 12 and 13. That resulted in an increased catch from 14 fish in 2014 to 38 salmon this year. There also was an increase of participants, from 152 in 2014 to 183. That is still well below the break-even mark of 250 organizers had set. Harris had a good couple of debries, as he also took fourth place in the Gig Harbor derby.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640