Salmon anglers who competed in the Roche Harbor Hook’em & Hold’em Salmon Derby this past Friday and Saturday [Dec. 4-5] ran into clear blue skies, but strong northerly winds put a damper on the fishing results.
A total of about a130 anglers participated in the derby and weighed-in 13 fish on Friday and four fish on Saturday.
“The northerly winds going on right now hammered the San Juan Islands on Saturday it was like 25 to 35 mph,” said Tony Floor, director of fishing affairs for the Northwest Marine Trade Association who was fishing with Jay Field, owner of Dash One Charters in Anacortes. “It [the wind] probably removed two-thirds of the places guys like to fish at this time of the year, and the locals believe that it does put the fish off the bite.”
Floor and Field fish places like Humphrey Head and Obstruction Pass, and marked both salmon and bait 90 percent of the time.
“We kept pounding hard at it, and there is no question the fish there, and no question there is a lot of feed there too, but once it started blow it just didn’t happen,” Floor said. “We caught three fish on Thursday [the day before the derby], and released one with no adipose fin that was about 14 or 15 pounds. I can’t wait to go back once the weather settles down.”
Derby results: 1, Dennis Brooks, Mount Vernon, 16.3 pound chinook, $5,000; 2, Dale Nelson, Bellingham, 13.8, $3,000; 3, Jim Aggerggard, Anacortes, 13.2, $2,000.