NORTHWEST FISHING: Salmon derby series adds grand prize boat for youth

Staff writerFebruary 2, 2014 

Anglers troll for salmon among the northern San Juan Islands while fishing in a salmon derby. This year’s Northwest Salmon Derby Series features 15 events from the San Juans to the Columbia River, including three events in the South Sound.

JEFFREY P. MAYOR/STAFF FILE, 2009

The Northwest Salmon Derby Series will giving away two boats this year, one to an adult and one to a youth angler.

The 11th annual series of fishing derbies kicks off with the Roche Harbor Salmon Classic Wednesday through Saturday and the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby on Feb. 15-17.

Looking ahead to this year’s action, Tony Floor is expecting good fishing. Floor is the fishing affair director for the Northwest Marine Trade Association, the main sponsor of the series.

“Salmon fishing in north Puget Sound, the eastern Strait of Juan de Fuca and the San Juan Islands has been outstanding all winter long,” Floor said. “We are in the first quarter of what appears to be another outstanding year of marine survival rates, particularly for winter chinook salmon pasturing in northern marine waters.”

In addition to cash and prizes offered at individual derbies, some offering $10,000 for the winning salmon, the series gives away a boat through a raffle.

The 11th grand prize boat is a 21-foot River Hawk aluminum fishing boat, built in Medford, Ore., powered with 150- and 9.9-horsepower Mercury outboard motors. Karavan trailers has again donated a tandem axel galvanized trailer for the boat. The boat comes outfitted with items such as Scotty electric downriggers, Lowrance electronics including a depth sounder/GPS unit with radar and dual stereos. Fully outfitted, the boat is valued at more than $63,000.

For the first time, the series also will award a youth angler (qualifying ages will be determined by the individual derbies) a boat. The prize is a 14-foot Pro-V aluminum boat, also donated by River Hawk. It has a Mercury 20-horsepower motor and a Karavan galvanized trailer. Youth participating in all of the derbies will receive a Kid’s Division raffle card, qualifying them to win the boat.

“The kids division boat is a promotion encouraging anglers to take their sons and daughters fishing in one or more of the derbies,” Floor said.

“Giving away a boat, motor, trailer package to a youth angler is very exciting for us at the NMTA,” said association President George Harris. “Clearly, they represent the future to boating and fishing in the Pacific Northwest. We continue to encourage anglers to take their kids fishing.”

To win the boat, anglers can fill out a Northwest Salmon Derby Series raffle ticket at any of the derbies. One ticket will be issued per angler per derby. For example, if an angler entered all 15 derbies, that person’s name would be entered 15 times, whether they caught a fish or not during any derby. The purchase of a derby ticket from the host derby is not required, but only one entry per person per derby is allowed.

The winners of the two boats will be drawn during the awards ceremony at the Everett Coho Derby on Sept. 21. Entries from the 2014 derbies taking place after the Everett event go into the 2015 raffle.

The growth of the series has surprised even Harris. When it began in 2004, there were just six derbies. This year there will be 15 individual events, attracting about 7,500 entrants.

“When this promotion was conceived by the Grow Boating Committee, none of us predicted it would become the flagship and foundation of Washington’s sport salmon fishing tournaments,” Harris said.

2014 Northwest Salmon Derby Series

ROCHE HARBOR SALMON CLASSIC: Wednesday-Saturday, sold out

OLYMPIC PENINSULA SALMON DERBY: Feb. 15-17, no kids division, gardinersalmonderby.org

EVERETT BLACKMOUTH DERBY: March 22, no kids division, 425-501-4024, everettblackmouthderby.com

BELLINGHAM SALMON DERBY: July 11-13, kids division, 360-966-2621, bellinghampsa.com/derby.htm

HARBOR MARINE SALMON TOURNAMENT: July 26-27, held in Everett, no kids division, 425-259-3285, harbormarine.net

SOUTH KING COUNTY PSA SALMON DERBY: Aug. 2, held in Tacoma, kids division, 206-387-9293, pugetsoundanglers.net

GIG HARBOR PSA SALMON DERBY: Aug. 9, kids division, 253-255-8168, gigharborpsa.org/derby

SOUTH SOUND SALMON DERBY: Aug. 16, held in Olympia, kids division, 360-250-9808, pugetsoundanglers.net/Derby.html

SEKIU SALMON DERBY: Aug. 23-24, no details available

WILLAPA BAY SALMON DERBY: Aug. 30, held in Tokeland, no kids division, dfdbones@aol.com

COLUMBIA RIVER FALL SALMON DERBY: Aug. 30, held in Vancouver, kids division, 360-256-3935, swwa.org

EDMONDS COHO DERBY: Sept. 6, kids division, 206-920-2468, fisharc.com/derbies/55-2013_Edmonds_Coho_Derby_Limited

EVERETT COHO DERBY: Sept. 20-21, kids division, 425-923-8405, everettcohoderby.com/ecd

BAYSIDE MARINE SALMON DERBY: Nov. 1-2, held in Everett, no kids division, 425-252-3088, baysidemarine.com

RESURRECTION SALMON DERBY: Dec. 5-6, held in Friday Harbor, no kids division, 360-202-2664, resurrectionderby.com

To learn more about this year’s series, go to northwestsalmonderbyseries.com.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 jeff.mayor@ thenewstribune.com thenewstribune.com/outdoors

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