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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

February 7, 2014 at 10:42 AM

First chinook, a 16-plus pounder, already weighed in Friday morning at Roche Harbor Salmon Classic

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(Pat Federspiel of Bellevue poses with the first fish weighed in at the Roche Harbor Derby. Photo courtesy of Tony Floor.)

The deep freeze has settled in all over Western Washington, but that won’t stop hundreds of anglers from hitting the waters of the San Juan Islands for the Roche Harbor Salmon Classic Invitational Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8.

In fact the first winter chinook was weighed in this morning at 9:20 a.m. by Pat Federspiel of Bellevue that weighed 16 pounds, 2 ounces.

First place in the derby is worth $10,000, second place is $5,000, and third place is $3,000. New this year is a bonus prize of $30,000 will be awarded if the winning fish weighs 30 pounds or more.

Last year, a record total of 196 fish were weighed in for 339 anglers in 100 boats registered for the derby. In 2011, 85 boats with 239 anglers caught 93 hatchery chinook (55 hooked on Friday and 38 on Saturday).

First place last year went to Pete Nelson of Shaw Island who caught a 16.7 pound hatchery chinook on the first day of the derby, and took home $10,000. The difference between Nelson’s fish and second place finisher Carter Whelan of Friday Harbor was a mere three ounces. Whelan’s fish weighed 16.4 pounds, and earned him $5,000. Other top finishers were: 3, Brock Warin of Friday Harbor, 15.12 pound chinook, $3,000; 4, Sean Scott of Friday Harbor, 15.6 pound chinook, $2,000; 5, Michael Goldstein of Mercer Island, 14.5 pound chinook, $1,000.

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