The Inaugural Harbor Marine Salmon Tournament!

It’s not often you get to participate in an event “first” in the fishing world…

Add the fact that the “first” in question is the newest stop on the prestigious Northwest Salmon Derby Series with a new tournament format and it’s no wonder why over 100 anglers and ten teams stepped up to compete in the 2013 Harbor Marine Salmon Tournament!

All the other Northwest Salmon Derby Series (NWSDS) events have a “derby” format in which the largest fish wins the grand prize. Tournaments, on the other hand combine the anglers daily bag for two days and an angler must produce consistent catches to win the event. Some anglers argue that a “derby” is more a matter of luck while a tournament allows skill and strategy to figure more prominently in the winning equation. Either way,The Harbor Marine Salmon Tournament brought out the best anglers in the area and demanded the best from these seasoned salmon fishing veterans.

At the end of Day one, Team Outdoor Line had some ground to make up. Our top angler weighed in a two fish limit of 23.4 pounds and was in the hunt but had some serious ground to make up!

Fortunately, Brock Huard of 710 ESPN  stepped in for day two of the tournament and holds 15.6 pounds of Team Outdoor Line’s effort and we’re on the board early on the final day!



Brandon Robichaux does a great job with our second fish of the day and that ground we had to make up looks a lot more manageable! 



Team Outdoorline’s three fish bag of 41.7 pounds was a day-two Harbor Marine Salmon Tournament best and it would be a very tight…and very interesting weigh in!


The other teams look on as Brandon Robichaux brings his limit to the scale and there’s no doubt that this tournament is going to come down to ounces!


Lauren Bivins of Harbor Marine (left) and Brock Huard share a laugh after the scale closes at noon on Sunday.


The hay is in the barn and Lauren Bivins steps to the microphone to announce the winners and the suspense is palatable!













In third place with a two day, four fish bag of 54.5 pounds is Corey Thrasher. The Outdoor Line sponsored the $500 3rd place prize and I get to hand Corey the big, fake check!



Second place and $1000 sponsored by Bayside Marine goes to Rob Byrd for his two-day total of 56.6 pounds. Here, Jeff and Annie LaLone of Bayside Marine present Rob his prize.


Nick Kester’s Team All Star posted the best boat team weigh at 75.1 lbs and took home $1000 cash! Rob Hyatt flashes the cash and Team All Star is proud of their efforts!













Team Outdoor Line, left to right Walt Hylback, Brandon Robichaux and yours truly hoist the grand prize $5000 check and more importantly, the title of 2013 Harbor Marine Salmon Tournament Champs! Brandon’s two-day, four fish bag came in at 57.4 pounds.

The Marine Area 9 & 10 selective chinook season in July  is something I look forward to all year long. You can add the Harbor Marine Salmon Tournament to one of the reasons that I love this time of year and the beautiful, wonderful Puget Sound that we all call home. See you here next year!

Tom Nelson                                                                                                                       710 ESPN Seattle                                                                                                                                                                                                    



Marine Area 9? Fishin’ just FINE!!!

It’s hard to find the words to describe what awaited anglers at Midchannel Bank on the 2013 Marine Area 9 & 10 selective chinook opener…

With reports from the earlier opening areas -namely Sekiu, Port Angeles and the San Juans ranging from solid to white hot, I know I wasn’t the only eager angler tossing and turning on the eve of the opener! I couldn’t get to the boat fast enough, due in part to the fact that I had to hustle my wife Kathy and son Matthew out of the house at 0400… Not an easy task in anyone’s household I’m sure…

The only thing tempering my enthusiasm for the opener -coming on the largest hatchery chinook forecast in over a decade- was a goofy, mild flood morning tide. Some anglers couldn’t wait until daylight and ventured out in the dark, hoping to catch an early fish on the quickly fading pre-dawn ebb. For the most part, the early anglers could have slept in an hour because the mid-morning flood brought with it something that I can only refer to as Midchannel Mayhem!!!


After landing only half of our opening double, the bite was so rapid, we could only get one downrigger in the water at a time! Bailey the black lab licks her chops at what will soon become her favorite…smoked salmon skins!!!


Now with three in the box and my back turned to my wife’s downrigger, I heard line just peeling from the Daiwa Saltist 30..

.”What the heck dear?” Kathy screams, “…the rod was bent while it was in the ‘rigger and then it just doubled over!!!”

“That’s a big fish Kath,” I said as I slowed the boat and cleared the gear… “Let’s take our time with that one”…

We did take our time but I was a little impatient with the net and tapped this king on the tail, which led to a scolding from my wife but the smile on her face holding this 26 pounder says it all!










Kathy and our son Matthew -who also is our Producer/Board Operator on The Outdoor Line Radio Program on 710 ESPN Seattle- hold up the last two fish of the day. We’re limited and headed home by 0850hrs!









I was feeling pretty good about our day…until the phone rang… It was my friend Nick Kester of All Star Charters: “Hey Nelly, can you come by and get a boat picture! We’ve got our TEN KINGS and we’re all done!

Wow…so that’s what a ten chinook morning on Puget Sound looks like…


Back at the dock, the wife and I stop for a quick pic before the work begins…

You can’t clean fish on the waterfront without attracting a few spectators… Here, Bailey the black lab has a word with the friendly neighborhood harbor seal.


All of our kings were full of candlefish which appear to be bigger on Midchannel Bank than in years past. Four inch spoons and squid are not too big this season!








We’ll be back out in the morning and we’ll keep The Outdoor Line’s Fishing Report Page fresh and up to date!

See you on the water!!!

Tom Nelson                                                                                                                             710 ESPN Seattle