Heart Of Derby Season Arrives In The Northwest

Move over summer, it’s derby season in the Northwest!

With two big events last weekend and a bunch more in the coming days and weeks, now through late September represents a great time to get on the water to try and catch a cash-winning trophy, win fishing gear, not to mention maybe score a boat package worth a whopping $75,000.

MEMBERS OF THE MEANWHILE CHARTERS TEAM HOLD AN OVERSIZED $6,000 CHECK AFTER WINNING THE OREGON TUNA CLASSIC’S DEEP CANYON CHALLENGE LAST WEEKEND. (MELISSA GRACE)

Indeed, after a four-month break, the Northwest Salmon Derby Series has roared back into town with recent stops in Bellingham and Coeur d’Alene and it hits Brewster and Tacoma this coming weekend.

Holding the annual Brewster Salmon Derby was a close call again, with Washington managers only last week greenlighting Chinook fishing to begin Aug. 1 on part of the Brewster Pool, thanks to enough fish expected back to support an opener.

Organizers say that registration is open through midnight, Wednesday, July 31. The competition runs Aug. 2-4.

To learn more, go to brewstersalmonderby.com or call (509) 945-5823.

This Saturday, Aug. 2, is also the South King County Chapter Puget Sound Anglers Derby.  Now in its 18th year, it offers a $3,500 top prize and it usually takes a Chinook approaching or just over the 20-pound mark to win it.

While Marine Areas 10, 11 and 13 are all fair game, it can be hard to beat the waters just off derby headquarters, Point Defiance Marina. Last year saw spoons dominate over hoochies.

For more, see pugetsoundanglers.net.

WHETHER YOU’RE FISHING A DERBY ON PUGET SOUND, AT BUOY 10 OR ALONG OREGON’S SOUTH COAST IN LATE SUMMER, YOU’LL LIKELY NEED A CHINOOK AS BIG AS PAUL WHITSON’S 2018 SOUTH KING COUNTY PUGET SOUND ANGLERS DERBY WINNER TO PLACE IN THE MONEY. HIS 19.45-POUND CHINOOK WAS WORTH $3,500. (PUGET SOUND ANGLERS)

The marina is also home to the 24th Annual Gig Harbor Chapter Puget Sound Anglers Derby the following Saturday, Aug. 10, which features a $2,500 grand prize and raffle for a Lowrance fishfinder.

Open waters are Areas 11 and 13. Last year’s winner was a 15.63-pound king.

For more, see gigharborpsa.org.

The Northwest Sportfishing Industry Association’s 20th Annual Buoy 10 Salmon Challenge, with a top prize of $1,000 for largest fish, is Friday, Aug. 16, and includes a day’s worth of angling for Chinook and coho as the meat of this year’s million-plus salmon run comes across the bar.

There’s a captain’s meeting the evening before, and after the fishing comes a barbecue, silent auction, raffle and more at derby headquarters, the Clatsop County Fairgrounds, a short 5 miles from the East Mooring Basin ramp.

“No one leaves empty-handed from an NSIA derby,” organizers boast. “Stick around for the fantastic door prize giveaway at the end of the evening!”

For more, see nsiafishing.org.

The next day, Aug. 17, is the 2nd Annual Lipstick Salmon Slayers Tournament, the motto for which is “Leave the boys behind, this one’s for the ladies.”

Last year’s inaugural edition was won by Kelsey Van Dyke, who scored $4,000, which is the top prize again this year.

For more, see lipsticksalmonslayer.com.

This past weekend saw the 2019 Oregon Tuna Classic kick off in Ilwaco with the Deep Canyon Challenge, won by Team Meanwhile Charters, and the series now in its 15th year, culminates in Aug. 23-24 down the coast a ways in Garibaldi.

It raises money for and donates caught tuna to food banks, with both avenues having helped deliver more than 1 million pounds to the needy since 2005.

“The tournaments also bring much needed economic benefit to the communities visited by the armada of fishermen, volunteers and spectators,” OTC organizers add on their website. “Local businesses in Ilwaco and Garibaldi continue to see the benefits while also donating their time and services to the events. Garibaldi City Manager John O’Leary speculates the Oregon Tuna Classic might rival the annual Garibaldi Days in generating business.”

For more, see oregontunaclassic.org.

As active as August is, September’s no slouch either, as two Oregon Labor Day weekend shindigs wrap up and a pair of big silver derbies take place.

After a two-year hiatus, the Slam’n Salmon Derby returns to Brookings for the long holiday weekend at the end of summer. It features a grand prize of up to $5,000 for the largest king caught on the ocean during the three-day event.

Check out wcadventure.com for details.

Also held that weekend on Oregon’s South Coast, the 26th Annual Fall Salmon Derby out of Winchester Bay on the lower Umpqua River. It’s sponsored by the Gardiner-Reedsport-Winchester Bay Salmon Trout Enhancement Program.

Contact Rick Rockholt at (541) 613-0589 or umpqua.rock@charter.net.

And hard on their heels comes the Puget Sound Anglers Sno-King Chapter Edmonds Coho Derby, while its cousin just to the north, the Everett Coho Derby and its Northwest Salmon Derby Series boat giveaway, falls on the third weekend in September.

This year’s grand raffle prize is a Weldcraft 202 Rebel Hardtop with Yamaha 200- and 9.9-horse motors, EZ-loader galvanized trailer and more, a package worth $75,000. Entering any derby series event automatically puts your name in the running for the boat.

For more info on both events, see edmondscohoderby.com and everettcohoderby.com.

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