The 2013 Anacortes Salmon Derby!

You’ve heard it a thousand times: “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.”

This year, the Anacortes Salmon Derby fell on the final weekend of March, with weather that could only be described as “spectacular” and I’m not sure that word does justice to the conditions, or the event!

There’s a darn, good reason that the Anacortes Salmon Derby sells out each and every year. It’s an extremely well run event in a world-class destination: The San Juan Islands. This year the festivities commenced with the first ever Greater Anacortes Fishing Film Festival or GAFFF.


Robbo did The Outdoor Line proud by winning the GAFFF’y for best video by a 6’8″ Charter Operator/Radio Show host. Strangly enough Robbo’s video was the only entry in that category…














 Saturday morning came and the derby fleet departed into the fog, leaving The Outdoor Line Crew behind at Anthony’s Home Port which, by the way is our new favorite remote broadcast location!



After the show, we hustled out to the north end of Orcas Island and it wasn’t long until Robbo was into a nice fish! Here, Larry Carpenter and Duane clear the gear for the “Gringo Grande”.



Unfortunately…or, fortunately for the fish, it was wild so Robbo cradled it for a quick snapshot and it was left to swim free, hopefully to hit the gravel and make more salmon with intact adipose fins!




One of the best reasons to fish all the derbies you possibly can is to get your gear dialed in for summer “Hammer Time”. I’ve made the switch to Diawa Saltist reels and braid mainline with a 30-foot shot of 25lb monofilament top shot. So far, so excellent!














Sunday morning found us rubbing elbows with some past winners of the Anacortes Salmon Derby, Here is SJI legend Rod Nau making a close quarters pass.


After the fishing was done, it was a race to the sling! Big Red shows off her reverse-chine, chambered design which is the reason she is a chop cutter, not a back buster,,,



The final leaderboad tells the story with Scott Fowler win, Rich Olson place and Jay Murphy show!













Over 250 fish were entered in the two day event with the top three fish carefully displayed on ice for all to look…and drool over! 


Anacortes Derby Founder, Chairman and Master of Ceremonies Jay Field prepares to get the award presentation underway in front of the 1000 participants.


Scott Fowler’s 21.5 pounder from day one held up and here he holds the coveted $15,000 grand prize! Not a bad weekends work!


Left to right, Rich Olson, second place with a 19.4, Scott Fowler 21.5 and Jay Murphy 19.1 comprise the top three “money” fish! Congratulations to all three!!!


If you have not had the opportunity to experience the San Juan Islands, this may be a great year to do just that. The Islands remain open for chinook until April 30th and will re-open for salmon on July first. In May and June there will be shrimp, lingcod and halibut seasons to keep us busy. Without question, three more reasons to head up to Anacortes and experience all this region has to offer! A big thanks to Jay Field, Terry and Keri Nemeth and the entire Anacortes Salmon Derby team. You are all first class people that put on a first class event in a world class location!

Tom Nelson

The Outdoor Line

710 ESPN Seattle

2 thoughts on “The 2013 Anacortes Salmon Derby!

  1. The Anacortes PSA does an outstanding job putting on this derby. You would be hard pressed to find one better.

  2. Congratulations on taking home the derby Scott!
    That was one heck of a huge blackmouth and I bet it tasted pretty good on the grill too!
    Great job and I hope to see you up in the islands again soon!

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