Six individuals came away with prizes, which included four poles handmade by Cathlamet dentist Dr. Doug Martin. A second cash prize of $100 was added after two people tied for fifth place.
“It was nice to see more locals involved this year,” Ashley Turner of the Chamber of Commerce said.
“One guy came by in the morning. He was grumpy and he didn’t want to enter the derby. He came back in the afternoon in a great mood with a 24.8 pound fish and complained about not buying a ticket. Sadly, some people came in with their fish and saw the weight of the biggest fish and decided it wasn’t even worth weighing in.”
Leslie Pederson of Arlington, who has been fishing all his life and used to teach fishing seminars, entered his first derby and won the event reeling in a 25.8 pound fish.
He and his wife, Irm, were anchored on the far side of Puget Island when he caught the derby winner on Saturday. According to Pederson, he used a Green Monster from Loony Lures, a sardine wrap, a triangular flasher and a five ounce bottom bounce sinker.
“Fishing is about being in the right place at the right time, with the right gear. And having a woman on the boat? It’s good karma,” Pederson said. “But it’s about more than just catching a fish, it’s also about enjoying the outdoors.”
Pederson had high praise for the Port Manager Jackie Lea.
“Jackie keeps the marina clean and comfortable. We come down here every year to relax and enjoy the fishing,” he said.
Puget Island resident Annika Vik caught her first fish at 15 1/5 pounds just above the dolphin at Clifton.
“It was fighting!” she exclaimed. “But I’m new at this.”
Some of the money raised this weekend will go to future Chamber of Commerce events but the bulk of it will go towards a scholarship for a Wahkiakum High School student.