Andy Holman of San Juan Island was "just jacked up" about winning the 11th Annual Roche Harbor Salmon Classic Saturday, Feb. 8. Holman's 20-pound, 2-ounce king netted him a $10,000 first-place prize.
He also hauled in $3,000 from Mercury Marine for using one of their outboards on his winning boat and $1,000 for the largest fish weighed on the first day of the two-day derby.
Frank Finch of Friday Harbor placed third with a 15-pound, 12-ounce chinook. Holman, his wife Carol, Vicki Telford and Kevin Klein were trolling near Orcas landing about 1:30 p.m. when he hooked the winner.
As he reeled the fish Holman knew it was of decent size but became amped when it neared the surface about 15 feet from his boat. The derby veteran noticed it was a hatchery fish -- a keeper. Holman became even more stoked as he landed the king and estimated it weighed in the high teens.
Andy Holman of San Juan Island won the 11th Annual Roche Harbor Salmon Classic Saturday, Feb. 8. Holman, right, displays the $10,000 prize he netted for his 20-pound, 2-ounce king. Holman's crew -- wife Carol (on his right), Vicki Telford and Kevin Klein -- joined him on winners' stand. Photo by Matt Pranger
"Everybody was just going nuts," HOlman said. "I'm surprised people didn't hear us in Friday Harbor. We were pretty excited."
Holman previously finished second in the derby he's fished the past seven years.
The top five finishers, the weight of their fish and their prizes are:
1. Andy Holman, Friday Harbor, 20-2, $10,000.
2. Pat Federspiel, Bellevue, 16-2, $5,000.
3. Frank Finch, Friday Harbor, 15-12, $3,000.
4. Brent Melvin, Anacortes, 15-8, $2,000.
5. Donald Harford, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, 15-7, $1,000.
Darin Danner of Woodinville won the Mystery Fish prize of $2,000 for his 4-15 salmon. Craig Hougen of Bellingham and fishing partners Tim Melton and Brian James captured Best Boat Total Weight honors by recording 10 fish weighing a combined 78-8.
Christian Thomas. 6.5 years old, of Tacoma, competed in his third Roche Harbor Classic and once again bagged the Youngest Angler Award.
Barry Allyn of Snohomish is the first fisher signed up for next year's derby -- his name was pulled in the 2015 Boat Entry Drawing sponsored by Roche Harbor Resort.
The 344 anglers on 100 boats caught 172 fish in sunny but windy and record-cold conditions.
Roche Harbor Classic is one of the contests in the Northwest Derby Series.