The Westport Charterboat Association will hand out $11,500 in prize money on Saturday for the largest Chinook and coho caught during its 2021 salmon derby.
Larry Tsunoda is the 2021 Chinook grand prize winner and will collect a check for $10,000 on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Westport Marina derby booth. Tsunoda, of Shoreline, was fishing aboard the charter boat Gold Rush on June 29 when he caught the winning 27.65-pound Chinook.
Joe Gunter, of Graham, fell just ounces short of the prize with a 27.25-pound Chinook caught Aug. 12 aboard the Tequila Too. Derby fish weighed gutted and gilled, so both would have weighed in at more than 30 pounds live weight.
Rob Jorstad, of Olympia, will receive a $1,500 check on Saturday for the largest coho weighed in at the derby shack this season for his 13.5-pound fish caught aboard the Monte Carlo on Aug. 15. His fish was about 1 pound larger than the second largest fish — Pete Perry caught a 12.15-pounder from the Stardust just two days before the season ended.
The salmon season was productive, with a good run of coho arriving in August providing limits for most charters most days. The 20,440-pound coho area subquota was nearly met by the time state fishery managers closed the season earlier this month — the last day of fishing out of Westport was Sept. 7.
According to the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department counts through Sept. 5, Westport anglers caught a total of 19,233 coho between June 19 and Sept. 5, 94% of the area subquota. A total of 6,881 Chinook were taken during the season, 53% of the 12,925-pound area guideline.
All told, 23,682 sport fishermen took salmon trips out of Westport during the season. With a limit of two salmon daily, the catch rate per angler for the season was a respectable 1.85 fish per trip, with a high number of wild fish that had to be released.
The tuna and bottomfish derbies continue, with some big deepwater lingcod coming in weighing just shy of 40 pounds topping the leaderboard. Jason Thompson, of Auburn, holds the top spot for the $1,500 top prize as of Wednesday with a 39.75-pound ling caught June 20 aboard the Hula Girl.
Four fish weighing more than 30 pounds have been weighed since Sept. 1. Robert Reeves, of Yelm, holds the stop spot so far in the tuna derby with a 31.95-pounder caught on Aug. 27 aboard the Fury — the largest of the season will earn a $1,000 check for the angler who caught it.