Here is the press release from the Anacortes Salmon Derby:
Anacortes – This year’s derby contestants experienced good fishing, good times, and better than expected weather as over 1,100 registered anglers took to local waters during an unexpected lull in a series of fast moving weather systems.
Open Division: Landing a winning fish to collect the top prize of $15,000, Ted Radke of Ferndale, WA anxiously watched as his 21.72 pound fish, which led all fish caught on Saturday, remain atop the leader board as the weigh-in closed Sunday at noon.
“I only had one bite all weekend” Radke said. Radke, a relative new-comer to salmon derby fishing, when asked what he was going to do with his share of the winnings, he said, “I can finally get my ancient, shaky, leaky hardtop on my boat buttoned right proper … time to make an appointment at the boat repair shop.”
Radke’s fish was one of 211 total fish boated during the two day event which represented more than a two-fold increase from last year’s contest total.
Also Ran(s): Mike McAuley of Bellingham, WA won $5,000 for his 2nd place finish with a 21.41 pound fish. In a first for this charitable event, McAuley and his seasoned derby crew including Kirk Hawley (Bellingham) and Pat Phillips (Pateros, WA) donated back $1,000 to the Derby’s scholarship fund – embracing the true focus of the event by demonstrating good sportsmanship and generosity with an act of kindness. Michael Beard of Oak Harbor, WA took home $2,500 for 3rd place finish with a 21.4 pound fish.
I’ve Got A Secret: Jim Ciecko of Mt. Vernon, WA won $2,500 as his 9.2 pounder came closest to a pre-determined weight in the Secret Weight category.
Ladies First: Kate Hanson of Ferndale, WA bested the Women’s Division bracket with a 17.98 fish – disappointing a field of 116 other women – and took home an expensive fishing rod and reel as a reward for her winning effort as well as another $200 for presenting the first fish of the day at the scale on Saturday morning.
Young Guns: Hometown girl, Danielle Long of Anacortes was the best-of-the-best in the Youth Division (14 years and under) with her 12.42 pound fish beating out 47 other hopefuls for the top prize. Each and every youngster took home some very nice prizes including custom-made participation medals, and assuredly, some fond memories.
It’s A Wrap: “I know I say it every year … this year’s event was the best one to date” said 2012 Event Chairman, Terry Nemeth. “Everyone I’ve talked to this weekend was having a great time … many indicated that this was their favorite fishing derby in the series.
This event is the result of hundreds and hundreds of hours of planning and effort by Board of Directors of the Anacortes Salmon Derby and members of the host organization: the Fidalgo-San Juan Islands Chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers.” Nemeth went on to say: “This charitable community event could not take place without the ongoing support from the Port of Anacortes, the generosity of local businesses, those businesses with ties to the fishing community, and an all volunteer staff.
The proceeds from this derby fund scholarships to benefit young adults pursuing a career in fishery management and related fields.
The Derby has disbursed over $127,000 in scholarships and grants in the past five years.
For more information visit the Anacortes Salmon Derby website.
(Photo courtesy of the Anacortes Salmon Derby)