Anglers from all over the Northwest came together Friday, August 18th, to compete for the most and biggest salmon at the Buoy 10 on the Columbia River, the biggest salmon fishery in the lower 48 states. They were competing in the Northwest’s most popular derby –NSIA’s Buoy 10 Salmon Challenge. This was the 18th year of the derby and it was quite a success! The Challenge raised close to $50,000 to support NSIA’s mission of preserving, restoring and enhancing Northwest sportfisheries and the businesses that depend on them.
Close to 200 anglers took to the waters off Buoy 10 on Friday. The chinook and coho were definitely biting, with participants weighing in more than 70 fish. Among some stiff competition, the Bob’s Sporting Goods team, captained by RJ Bennett, won First Place Team prize, with an average team weight of 17.75 pounds, winning a prize package that featured G. Loomis trolling rods and Shimano Tekota reels. Tanner Morton’s team captured Second Place Team prize, with 14.99 lb. average weight. The Second Place prize package included Tica Rods and reels for each team member. The Third Place Team was tight on their heels with a 14.39 lb. average per person weight for Jason Berg’s Team North American Hunting Competition, winning Berkley Buzz Ramsey rods and Penn Warfare reels.
This year the Biggest Fish winner was Tanner Morton, who brought in a 20.90 pound chinook. He was awarded a $1000 check from the Big Fish sponsor, North River Boats. 2017 also saw the introduction of a new award – a $1000 Mystery Fish prize, sponsored by Weldcraft/Duckworth. Any weighed-in fish was eligible to win the prize, (1/72 odds!) which went to Deborh LeBer of the North Amreican Hunting Competition team.
Even though anglers enjoyed such a great day on the water, the excitement was far from over as tournament anglers then got a shot at the more than $10,000 worth of auction items and door prizes. No one left empty-handed
NSIA Executive Director, Liz Hamilton says of the tournament, “The Buoy 10 Salmon Challenge is not only the most exciting fishing tournament on the lower Columbia this summer, but it is also our most important fundraiser. Monies raised will go towards protecting and restoring healthy river systems, defending hatcheries and the millions of smolts they release each year as well as working to increase angler access to fisheries across the Northwest.”
NSIA would also like to thank their sponsors for making this event a success. Their support allows NSIA to have a strong voice in local, state, and federal governments, advocating for policies that keep the sportfishing industry thriving in the Northwest. Please remember these companies and brands when you’re stocking up for your next trip: Atlas Mike’s, Berkley, BS Fish Tales/Brad’s Lures, Cabela’s, Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoors, Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine, Fred Meyer, Freshwater News, G. Loomis, Grundens, Lowrance, Luhr Jensen, Maxima, North River Boats, NW Sportmans Magazine, Okuma, Penn, Raymarine, Shimano, Steven’s Marine, Tica, Weldcraft/ Duckworth. We hope to see you on the waters at next year’s Buoy 10 derby!