August 3, 2002

Marin Yacht Club Annual Salmon Derby

This is the team, with Joe holding the fish that put us over the top - 38lb 6oz

Joe Pedro holding the big fish. Remember that Joe is a very big guy

The Marin Yacht Club has an annual Salmon Derby. We had only joined the club two months earlier, and the Riv 34 "Moondancer" had only been out for salmon twice before, both being somewhat successful despite a number of fire drills. Still, we had to have a go at the prize, so the team of Erik Hanssen, Tom Gettman and Joe Pedro was put together to see if we could show these guys a trick or two.

They award a prize for biggest fish ($350) and 2nd biggest ($150). They also have a deal where they auction the boats the night before, put all the bids in a pot, then pay out 60% to the winning boat and 40% to second.

When all the auction was over, they had $3,000 in the pot for ten boats. That made first prize for "Highest Average" worth $1,800. I bought my own boat with a $300 bid. (Hell, you gotta bet on yourself).

In the "Highest Average" competition, they take the count of fisherman on board, then take that number of the largest fish, and divide the total weight of fish by the number of fishermen on board. This gives the average weight of each fisherman's largest fish.

Well, we started out at 5:30AM, and weigh-in was at 5:00PM. We were having quite a good day, as we had found a little "honey hole" that had produced a bunch of fish around 20lb. I didn't think we had enough to win "Highest Average", and we didn't have any really big fish. It was 3:15PM, and I figured I needed 1:15 to get back, so I was getting a bit antsy to leave.

One of the guys (there were four of us) said "let's fish another 5 or 10" and we all agreed it was worth a try. Five minutes later we hooked up with a fish that later weighed in at 38lb 6oz. That's 17.4 Kg - bloody huge!

We ended up with "Highest Average Fish", "second largest fish", and $1,950 in winnings.

Plus we had one of the best days fishing any of us had ever had, and we had 150lb of fish in the box. It doesn't get much better than that.