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SNC Derby Overview June 2-6, 2013

June 6, 2013 | 913 Views

June 2nd – SNC Derby Begins

High overcast with sunny periods, mild temperatures, just a breath of wind and calms seas made for near perfect fishing conditions.  Perhaps a few of the contestants were sandbagging a bit yesterday because the fishing really kicked into a higher gear today.  The morning fish was steady for most anglers but the action later in the day really produced some spectacular results.  First time guests, Loren and Cheryl Pitchford had 4 fish to the boat before noon and added another 14 more during the afternoon session.  The west side of Langara Island seem to be attracting most of the attention again today.  The leading fish at lunch break was pegged at 27 pounds so guests continued to release smaller fish in hopes of tagging the daily winner.  At closing time, the fish of the day came in at 29 pounds, caught by…..wait for it……Dave Bowyer.  Team Two Daves will carry the lead into tomorrow.  Stay tuned to see what happens next.  Good night from The Clubhouse at Langara Island.

If this was a PGA event, it would be the Wednesday Pro-Am.  Under a light Haida Gwaii mist, the first helicopters of the 2013 season touched down at The Clubhouse this morning with the 39 entrants of the Two Dave’s Beat Down Derby.  Namesakes Dave Akins and Dave Bowyer are here in search of a three-peat and will be reunited with their guide Brent Maracle.  The threesome boated a matching pair of 41 pounders last year on their way to a virtual clean sweep of the prize table.  This afternoon is a personal fishing day and warm up for the competition which starts Monday morning.  The skies cleared nicely in the afternoon and winds remained light to moderate overall.  Early reports from around the island indicated good numbers of chinook in the high teens to mid twenties.  Our guests enjoyed a solid first afternoon with most fish in the 20 to 30 pound class.  Occasional double and triple headers added to the fun.  A fine start to the 2013 season.  Tomorrow, it’s for keeps.

June 3rd – Stealth Mode

From the deck at The Clubhouse, one could barely make out the faint outline of Lucy Island as fog blanketed the shoreline of Parry Pass.  A scene reminiscent of pretty much every spy movie ever made.  You know, two guys in raincoats whispering to each other on a bridge in London while a small boat quietly drifts by on the Thames River below.  In a way, it’s the ideal backdrop for the situation.  As any fisherman will tell you, fog means light winds and light winds means calm seas.  Go anywhere you want, catch a big fish and nobody will know until it’s too late.  Obscurity makes for confidentiality.  Fishing in stealth mode.  Perfect for a derby.  The morning session was the quietest that we have seen so far, in terms of number of fish recorded however Paul Lebrun marked a very nice 28 pounder and Carlo Wein cracked the tyee mark with his 30.

As was the case yesterday, the afternoon session provided more action for anglers however the mist that had shrouded the area in the morning seemingly disappeared as fast as it had arrived.  Stealth mode was over for now.  The boats working around Lacy Island were rewarded with good numbers of chinook in the twenties.  By the end of the day, guest Patrick Whyte was the bridesmaid once again with his second place 29 pounder.  The fish of the day and new derby leader was recorded by Bob Wills with a 31 lb. Tyee.  A popular win for a most deserving competitor.  Team Two Dave’s were noticeable by their absence during the review of the days top fish.  Can they pull a rabbit out of the hat and once again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?  Tune in tomorrow to find out.

June 4th –  Stealth Mode

I was actually having a bite of lunch with Bob and Doug about 2:00 before they were going out to have one last kick at the can.  As luck would have it, the modified fishing schedule DID pay off in the end.  Todd made the quick run across Parry Pass and began to work the waters around Gunia Point.  It wasn’t too long before the moment of truth arrived and Bob answered the bell.  Landing a big, healthy, chrome-bright chinook is no small task.  It demands your total concentration, not to mention some good fortune as well.  After a few anxious episodes, Bob claimed victory.  The fish taped out at 46’’ length by 27” girth.  That’s a 42 pounder, sports fans.  For the second time in three years, fourth quarter heroics have determined the winner of this competition

Patrick Whyte and Cas Vandiems tied for third place overall with 30 lb. tyees and each received a $200 gift certificate for the gift shop.

The leader going into the final day, Bob Wills, grabbed second place with his 31 pounder and now has a second gold Islander reel to match the one he earned in 2011.

PGA golfer Adam Scott has his Masters green jacket and now Bob Yoshioka and Doug Shigaki have earned their coveted TDBD black hoodies, emblematic of global sport fishing supremacy.  And they’ll be back later this summer to enjoy another visit in Haida Gwaii on us.

Congrats to this year’s prize winners and our sincere thanks to all for kicking off the 2013 season in grand fashion.  Hope to see you next June!

 June 5th –  The Derby Finale

The sun was out with light winds from the southwest and smooth seas as the derby contestants hit the water early in search of that one special fish that could mark a turning point in their lives.  Today is a little different.  And not because it’s a perfect summer morning in Haida Gwaii.  There’s a definite sense of urgency in the air.  Knowing that during the next ten hours, there will probably be but a single chance to have their name engraved on the TDBD derby plaque.  To revel in the unending adulation that follows a championship victory. Thunderous applause, hearty hand shakes, hugs and kisses, high fives, fist bumps and screaming groupies.  To bask in the warmth of sport fishing glory.  At least until next June.  Will it be the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat?  Each angler focusing on the twelve inches of graphite at the tip of their fishing rod.  The slightest quiver could be the signal that the special moment in time has arrived.  Grab the rod, reel in the slack, set the hook and wait for the reel to scream.  You’ve got four seconds, max.The dining room was shy a few guests during lunch break.  High tide was at 12:45pm and some of the contestants stayed out to fish the change.  Two of those were long time friends of WCFC, Bob Yoshioka and Doug Shigaki.  Their guide, Todd Scharf, thought it would be worth a try, but unfortunately things did not materialize as planned.  There was a report of another 30 recorded during the morning session but by mid afternoon, Bob Wills’ 31 was still top dog.  Could it hang on for a few more hours?

Randy Lee

Tournament Master

There are 3 comments on this post:


  1. Randy Lee says:

    My apologies to all for an error in the original post. I indicated that the winning fish was released by Bob and guide, Todd. Bob called me this morning to correct the information. Although they had certainly intended to release the fish, it was bleeding excessively and was not expected to have survived a live release.

  2. Mike Walker says:

    Randy:
    You are the man!!! Your daily reports and details for each day of the tournament were outstanding. Great that a 42lber snuck under the wire on the afteroon of the last day. Can’t wait to see the video.

  3. Don Wells says:

    Great report Randy. Good to see that this derby has joined the Masters, Super Bowl, World Cup, Kentucky Derby etc at the pinnacle of modern sport.

    Can’t wait to get back up there.

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  • 2 guests per boat$6,080$6,800
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