2018 SNC Event RecapJune 11, 2018 | 852 Views
Event Recap: 2018 SNC Salmon Derby
By Randy Lee, Tournament Master
Our Sikorsky S-76 helicopter gradually scrubs off speed as the familiar green roof of The Clubhouse comes into view and we briefly hover over the helipad before gently touching down. I am the luckiest guy on earth. I have had the incredible good fortune to visit Langara Island close to fifty times. You might assume that this part of the visit would begin to feel like getting off the bus at the same station Monday to Friday but nothing could be further from the truth. This just NEVER gets old.
Lodge Manager, Terry Cowan and his smiling crew are all in place and ready to attend to our every need for the next four days. For those of you old enough to have followed the late-seventies TV series Fantasy Island, it’s reminiscent of the opening scene of each weekly episode. Flashing his pearly whites, Ricardo Montalban offers his signature greeting to the guests – “Welcome to Fantasy Island!” Screamer is our Tattoo, the diminutive sidekick of Mr. Roarke played by Herve Villechaize….“Da plane, da plane”.
The cabin door of the heli pops opens and we inhale our first sweet breath of fresh Haida Gwaii sea air. The 2018 season is officially underway!
One thing that you can usually count on in Haida Gwaii is the weather. Anytime from late May to mid-September, “Overcast with sunny periods and a chance of showers, 12 to 15 degrees Celcius” is always a good bet. Wash, rinse, repeat. The forecast for our stay was same, same. Let’s get at it.
SNC Derby competition rules offer guests the option to catch and release or catch and keep their salmon. Fish eligible for daily and overall prizes are ranked according to measurements only. Fish weight in pounds is determined using the mathematical formula – length X girth X girth / 800. Generally speaking, this formula is accurate to within a pound of actual weight.
On Monday, the first day of competition, guests fished all of the popular areas on the east side of Langara and Graham Islands from The Lighthouse to Boulder Bay. Most of the chinook landed were jacks in the sub-15 pound range although two fish in the high teens were recorded. An 18.48 pounder for Harvey Hansen and the Monday fish-of-the-day, 18.97 lbs. for SNC Derby veteran and great friend of WCFC, James Johnson.
Tuesday saw similar fishing conditions and our 2014 SNC Derby winner (54 pounds), Doug Shigaki, was back in the limelight. At lunch break, his 24.58 pound chinook was top dog for fish-of-the-day honours as well as the overall derby lead. The afternoon session heated up a bit with reports of some bigger fish being hooked and by the end of the day is was Sonny Gallina and his 28.88 pounder that would carry the lead into the final day of competition.
Wednesday morning brought light winds and smooth seas. A number of boats headed to the west side to try their luck at Lepas Bay, Fish Bowl and Lacy Island. Doug Shigaki and “Uncle Bob” Yoshioka found a pair of very nice halibut offshore but no new contenders for the derby. A near perfect day for fishing was enjoyed by all but by the final bell, Sonny Gallina held on to claim the 2018 SNC Derby and a return trip of two at WCFC. Armando Greco celebrated his birthday by claiming fish-of-the-day with his 18.74 pounder.
1st Place –
Sonny Gallina, 28.88 pounds – Return trip for two at WCFC
2nd Place –
Doug Shigaki – 24.58 pounds – Islander MR2-LA fishing reel
3rd Place –
James Johnson – 18.97 pounds – $200 Gift Certificates
James Johnson, Sonny Gallina and Armando Greco
Daily Draw Winners –
Doug Shigaki, Edwin Johnson, Margaret Johnson
Thanks again to all for joining us for the 2018 SNC Derby. We hope to see you all again next summer!
On a personal note, as many of you are aware, my twenty year career with WCFC is coming to a close. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of our amazing and loyal WCFC clients and friends as well as the hospitality professionals who make up our office team and resort crews. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I will cherish these friendships forever. Wishing you blues skies, smooth seas and tight lines!
Warmest personal regards,