With 498 registered competitors catching 160 fish on day one, the 2013 Slam’n Salmon Derby looks to be similar in quality and quantity to last year’s derby.
Bandon resident Gail Van Dorn was certainly happy with the fishing as she weighed her two fish at the weigh station.
“The fishing is great,” she said, “but I hope I catch a bigger one tomorrow.”
Van Dorn landed two fish — a 21.9 pounder and a 15.6 pounder — for a combined weight of 37.5 pounds which placed her in 14th place for overall weight. Stacy Delonge had the highest combined total with 52.5 pounds.
Most fishermen are hoping they catch a “bigger one” on either Saturday or Sunday but the top fish of the day went to Michael Depue, who caught a 33.3-pound chrome-bright Chinook.
“When he started taking out about half the line on his run, I knew he was big,” Depue said. “He started out running away and then he came back. It took me about 15 minutes to bring him in.”
Port Manager Ted Fitzgerald was pleased with the derby so far.
“The overall feel is good. Everybody is in good spirits,” Fitzgerald said. “Everybody on the boardwalk seems to be having a good time and that is a good sign. If they’re not catching fish, they’re not having a good time.”
The derby continues through Sunday afternoon.