45.85 Lb. King Cinches Red Bluff Salmon Event
A record 63 anglers signed up for third annual Red Bluff Sacramento River Salmon Derby on October 5. The fishing was excellent, with many anglers reporting limits of big salmon, as well as releasing lots of fish.
All proceeds from the derby, hosted by the NorCal Guides & Sportsmens Association and Durango RV Resort in Red Bluff, went to funding the association’s efforts to restore salmon.
The event did not only host the most anglers since it was established in 2011, but it featured the largest fish weighed in to date. Matt Scott of Red Bluff placed first in the derby by bagging a 45.85 lb. Chinook in the Barge Hole with his friend Kevin Butcher of Red Bluff. It was the first year that Scott had entered the event.
“Butcher, Jesse Lopez and I kept a total of 6 fish, our limits,” said Scott. “Surprisingly, the big fish didn’t fight as hard as some of the other fish we landed. It came in after a 10 minute battle.”
They launched the boat at 6 a.m. and then fished until 11 am, when they had caught full limits.
Butcher, the boat captain, almost didn’t fish in the derby, but Scott convinced him to enter.
“I had been fishing everyday since Wednesday and I was tired,” said Butcher. “We limited out on every trip. We hooked 25 and kept 8 on Friday. We had a blast that day.”
Scott went home with $1000 for winning the event. The fish was the biggest landed in Butcher’s boat so far this season.
Gerald De Lara placed second for catching a 29.96 lb. salmon while fishing the Barge Hole with Robert Weese of Northern California Guide Service. He won $500 for his second place finish.
John Reynolds finished in third place by catching a 28.83 lb. Chinook. Like the other winners, he hooked the fish in in the Barge Hole. He went home with $250.00.
Other notable fish weighed in during the derby include the 24.71 lb. and 12.63 lb. Chinooks landed by Mary Berg; the 20.31 lb. salmon landed by Wayne Deniz; and Jack Deniz’s 27.31 lb. king.
Weese reported hot salmon fishing with his crew of derby entrants. “In total, we caught 21 fish, catching and releasing 7 of them and keeping 14. The fish box was full when we got off the water,” noted Weese.
Other anglers who weighed in fish after fishing with Weese include Justin Reed, with a 28.21 lb. king, and Ernie Sanchez, with a 19.73 lb. fish.
The only sad note to Weese’s day was when they lost a monster salmon after a 45-minute battle. “We lost a 70 pounder,” said Weese when he arrived at the weigh-in.
When Weese said one of this clients hooked and lost a 70 lb. fish, he definitely knows what he’s talking about, since an angler fishing with him landed a 65 lb. salmon several years ago.
The event raised over $1500 for the salmon restoration efforts of the NorCal Guides & Sportsmens Association.
“We use the money raised during the event to help pay for our involvement with Battle Creek restoration, to help pay for water temperature sensors on the Feather River and to cover the expenses of going to Department of Fish and Wildlife and other meetings,” said Mark Mlcoch, association president. “We also support the work of the Golden Gate Salmon Association and donate to the project to restore the lights on the Sundial Bridge in Redding.”
“Hopefully, we will make our organization bigger and better and encourage new members to join,” he noted.
The average size of fish weighed in during this year’s derby, 20 to 25 pounds, was much larger than those weighed in during 2011 and 2012’s event.
The entry fee for the derby was $50 – and both anglers fishing in their own boats and with guides weighed fish in.
For more information about the derby and the NorCal Guides & Sportsmens Association, call Mark at 530-527-5300 or Robert at 530-755-7196.
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