A 9-pound, 3-ounce coho salmon was the winning catch at Saturday’s Sebo’s Whidbey Island Coho Derby.
Caught by C.J. Sterba, the top catch landed him a $500 cash prize, a trophy and plenty of bragging rights. He was one of more than 150 anglers dipping their lines for a shot at the big one in the waters off Whidbey Island for the annual competition. A total of 71 silver salmon were weighed as part of the competition.
“I thought it went pretty darn good,” said derby organizer Bob Crouch, store manager at Sebo’s Do-It Center in Clinton. “We gave away a lot of good prizes.”
Rounding out the top five anglers were John Koska at 8 pounds, 14 ounces, Tom Brown at 8 pounds, 5 ounces, Joe Cunha at 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and Jerry McIntyre at 8 pounds, 2 ounces.
Hosted at Holmes Harbor Rod & Gun Club, the weigh-ins featured the announcement of the five heaviest fish plus plenty of raffle prizes. In all, the top 30 fish got the anglers cash and merchandise prizes worth $4,300.
Entry fees and raffle ticket sales provided money for the Sons of the American Legion Squadron 141 and rod and gun club to put toward college scholarships, community events and donations to local charities, according to a news release from John Lutch, one of the event’s organizers.
On a whole, Crouch said, the silver salmon weighed tended to be a bit smaller than the previous year’s derby. In 2014, the winning coho weighed in at more than 11 pounds, with second place weighing 9.3 pounds.
The good news for anglers this season, he said, is that silver salmon are still abundant on the west side of Whidbey Island. On Sunday, he went out with friends and family to Mutiny Bay and everyone in his party got their two-coho limit.
“Yesterday, the fishing was really good too, by the way,” he said Monday. “I went yesterday myself, and everybody caught fish.”
Around Puget Sound on Sept. 19, the silver salmon haul was high. On North Whidbey, 58 anglers on 29 boats at Cornet Bay caught 3 chinook and 18 coho. Across from Clinton, 169 anglers on 70 boats landed 85 coho. Farther south at the Edmonds Marina, 79 anglers on 35 boats hooked 53 coho.
The 22nd annual Everett Coho Derby also was held over the weekend.
Harald Schot, a financial adviser from Mount Vernon, won the derby and $10,000 first-place prize with a silver that weighed in at 11.31 pounds.
Schot caught the fish Saturday in a boat at the south end of Admiralty Inlet, west of Possession Bar.