A Port Alberni fisher hung on to the top of leaderboard throughout Labour Day weekend to take home the top prize at the Port Alberni Ultimate Fishing Derby 2020.
Tanner Hodgson lit up the leaderboard early on Saturday with a 33-pound tyee caught at the Wall, and it looked like he was in tight for fish of the day—until Adam Dombrowski reeled in his own fish at the Wall just east of Bamfield. Dombrowski brought back a 33.4-pounder to the weigh station on Centennial Pier to take over first place, and held onto that spot throughout the rest of the weekend.
Third place on Saturday, Sept. 5 went to Morgan Steed, who brought his 31.12-pounder in midway through the day. All three fishers were from Port Alberni. Dombrowski and Steed were both using anchovy as bait.
A tyee is a salmon that weighs 30 pounds or more. Dombrowski’s winner was 20 pounds smaller than the 2016 Port Alberni Salmon Fest winner: that year, Chilliwack’s Dan Weatherby caught 53.2-pound salmon on Saturday off Brady’s Beach, near Bamfield.
Davis Mayo of Nanaimo topped Sunday’s daily leaderboard with a 32.12-pounder caught at Whittlestone, just past Bamfield. Doug Van Vliet clocked in with a 27.12-lbs caught at Brady’s Beach off Bamfield, while Robert Lindores brought up third place with 27.2 lbs., also caught at Whittlestone.
Second and third place traded off throughout the day, with Lindores hitting the board late in the evening.
On Monday, Port Alberni’s Colton Lloyd took the top spot on the leaderboard with a 29-pounder caught in the Harbour. Second place went to Ken Danroth of Port Alberni with 25 lbs caught at Polly’s Point, and Parksville’s Mike Pattison came in third with 23.6 lbs caught at China Creek.
Enid Van Kooten of the Alberni Valley Tyee Club, who was the weigh master at Centennial Pier on Monday afternoon, said the derby went “very well” this year. Organizers managed to sell more than 1,700 tickets.
“People are just excited that they can get out and fish,” she said.
After the cancellation of this year’s Port Alberni’s Salmon Festival due to COVID-19, organizers immediately began planning a derby without an accompanying festival in order to follow physical distancing requirements. A portion of ticket sales will be going towards salmon enhancement efforts in the Alberni Valley.
“Which is what it’s all about,” said Van Kooten on Monday.
1. Adam Dombrowski (33.4)
2. Tanner Hodgson (33.0)
3. Morgan Steed (31.12)
1. Davis Mayo (32.12)
2. Doug Van Vliet (27.12)
3. Robert Lindores (27.2)
1. Colton Lloyd (29.0)
2. Ken Danroth (25.0)
3. Mike Pattison (23.6)
Daily winners picked up $5,000 apiece. Second place earned $2,000 and third place earned $1,000. The overall winner received a $5,000 bonus. There were also $500 and $100 hidden weight prizes.
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