MOUNT VERNON — Jerry Thomas ashen little time landing a angle Jan. 20 in the 14th ceremony Roche Harbor Salmon Classic.
Then the cat-and-mouse began.
In the end, the Mount Vernon fisherman’s 18-pound, 12-ounce birthplace chinook stood the analysis of time — and of the efforts of 347 anglers who advised in 296 angle over two canicule — to win the derby and the $10,000 first-place prize.
“It’s exciting,” Thomas said. “I bent the angle about an hour afterwards we started. There were a lot of angle caught, but not a lot of big fish. Most were in the 13- to 14-pound range. So aback I landed mine, I acquainted appealing acceptable about it.”
Thomas said he and his fishing partner, Larry Quesnell, motored out to Thatcher Pass in his anew purchased 21-foot Hewescraft.
The 72-year-old said the breadth is one of his admired atom and afterwards 52 years of fishing the San Juan Islands, Thomas would absolutely apperceive the hot spots.
“There were apparently bristles added boats there (Thatcher Pass),” he said. “A brace years ago, Dave Reep bent the acceptable angle there.”
Thomas accepted it took a bit of luck to win the derby — and superstition may accept helped.
Quesnell is awesome about the cardinal eight.
“Eight is his advantageous number,” Thomas said. “And wouldn’t you apperceive it, our boat’s banderole was 88. Again he concluded up with the fourth- (13-pound, 4-ounce) and fifth-place (12-pound, 8 ounce) fish.”
That accomplishment netted Quesnell $3,000.
Thomas is the third after Mount Vernon fisherman to win the derby. Duke Fisher was the 2016 champ and the year afore it was Reep.
“All Mount Vernon guys,” Thomas said with a smile. “That’s a bit appropriate for sure. And it’s adjoin some boxy competition. And a lot of active fishermen.”
Thomas, the above buyer of Skagit Marine and Tom-N-Jerry’s Boat Center, has been adequate retirement for the accomplished eight years.
“Ever aback then, I’ve been accomplishing a lot added fishing,” he said. “And fishing has appear a continued means aback I started. I bethink aback there weren’t any abyss sounders or bottomward riggers.”
Thomas has fished the Roche Harbor Derby for a cardinal of years, but this was his aboriginal win.
“I was too active to absolutely angle tournaments aback I was working,” Thomas said. “Now we angle six tournaments a year.”
And he and Quesnell accept had success.
The brace won the Olympic Peninsula Derby in 2013, 2014 and 2015. It’s an accident that draws about 850 anglers a year.
“We absent acceptable aftermost year, but we’ll be aback this year to accord it addition shot,” Thomas said.
That admitting the actuality the Olympic Peninsula Derby avalanche ceremony year on the bells ceremony of Thomas and his wife Dulcie.
“I consistently get permission advanced of time, and accomplish abiding I get flowers for her,” Thomas said. “She is actual understanding.”
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