Oak Harbor Yacht Club Buccaneers host 29th derby

Buccaneer Captain Gary Jandzinski assists 11-year-old Alison Wood from Oak Harbor in hanging on to the slippery 283 gram salmon she caught at Saturday’s Kids Fishing Derby. - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Buccaneer Captain Gary Jandzinski assists 11-year-old Alison Wood from Oak Harbor in hanging on to the slippery 283 gram salmon she caught at Saturday’s Kids Fishing Derby.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

Fabulous weather and a great turnout of young anglers made Saturday’s 29th Kids Fishing Derby at the Oak Harbor Marina a big success.

Most importantly for the kids between the ages of 6 and 12 who were entered in the event, the hungry fish were biting big time.

Sponsored by the Oak Harbor Yacht Club’s Buccaneers, the derby brought out scores of young anglers and their parents, along with a colorful cast of pirate-type characters.

By the time the cannon at the yacht club was fired to start the event at 10 a.m., 42 kids had registered and that number grew as the morning progressed.

All the fishing was done off the marina’s F dock and the young anglers employed a myriad of gear ranging from saltwater rods and spinning reels borrowed from parents, to plastic Spiderman and Barbie rods and reels purchased from Wal-Mart.

The bait and weigh station on F dock was as busy as the drive-thru at a hamburger joint during a high noon hour, and kept Cheryl Jandzinski, who is married to Buccaneer Captain Gary, and Jessica Fain hopping, handing out cut herring bait and

weighing fish the young anglers pulled from the harbor on a gram scale.

Both Jandzinski and Fain were decked out in pirate garb, but Jandzinski said there was some debate as to what lady pirates should be called.

“We are calling ourselves pirattes, it’s a word we coined ourselves, and it’s better than being called ‘wenches’,” she said with a smile.

Fain said she is one of the younger members of the Oak Harbor Yacht Club Buccaneers.

Lydia Dorsey, a student at Hillcrest Elementary School, caught the first fish of the day. The bullnose wasn’t a big one, weighing just 19 grams, but the 9-year-old, who said she fished in the derby last year, had the honor of hooking the first one.

“I just snagged on to the fish and reeled it in,” she said.

Ryan Vasiloff from Oak Harbor was crowned the unofficial salmon catching specialist of the derby. In less than a half-hour, he reeled in three of the shiny silver fish weighing 141 grams.

All the fish caught during the derby were returned to the water.

Twelve-year-old Hannah Gluth, a student at Oak Harbor Middle School, was using a strange-looking fish-

ing rod. Only about two feet in length, the rod was twisted into what looked like a spring just in front of where it was connected to the handle and the reel.

Gluth said the rod is the kind you hook up when you are in a kayak.

“My family is into kayaking and these rods are really cool, and work just as well as the big ones,” she said. “My other pole broke so I have to use this one, but I hope to catch a really big one with it.”

Captain Jandzinski said first, second and third prizes for both boys and girls would be given for the most fish caught, those that weighed the most and, of course, the biggest fish.

The captain had to give Alison Wood some help showing off her fish, one of which put the Oak Harbor Middle School student in the running for the largest fish of the day.

The 11-year-old reeled in a nice salmon that tipped the scales at 283 grams.

“It took her a couple of minutes to land it,” Wood’s father, Rob, said.

Not all of the anglers met with success and 7-year-old Madison Zamarripa’s dad, Phil, said she was already getting frustrated.

“She hasn’t caught anything yet but we’ve only been here about 20 minutes, so things might change,” he said.

At the conclusion of the event, everyone was treated to a hot dog lunch with all the trimmings at the yacht club and no young angler went home without a prize.

“It’s a beautiful day and we have a great turnout of kids and their parents,” Jandzinski said. “We’ve had a lot of contributions of prizes from local businesses here in Oak Harbor and Prairie Center Red Apple Market in Coupeville supplied all the food.”

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