The winners of the 8th annual Tofino Saltwater Classic: Gord Christoff, left, Bob Gormley and Will Bodner had a blast reeling in and celebrating their trophy catch. (Nora O’Malley / Westerly News)

Tofino Saltwater Classic nets $75,000 for local initiatives

“We thought 22-pounds wouldn’t hold up in Tofino, but yeah, the Gods are smiling down on us today.”

Brendan Morrison and the Tofino Saltwater Classic crew raised about $75,000 for local non-profits on July 15-16.

Funds will be divvied up between a variety of Tofino programs.

Fishing derby contestant Bill Sinclair of Vancouver landed the biggest halibut at 53 pounds as well as the third biggest Chinook at 20.6 pounds.

During the awards ceremony on July 16 at Tofino Resort and Marina, Sinclair generously donated his winning prize money back into the Saltwater Classic cache.

“I won $1,500 and I gave $1,000 back to the charity and I tipped the guide. He did all the work,” said Sinclair of Braedy Mack Charters. “We had a good local guide with good local knowledge…[Tofino] is beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s also a really great charity, which is why I come back. It supports the local lunch programs, which is exactly why I came back this year.”

Bob Gormley of Coquitlam and his fishing partners Will Bodner and Gord Christoff landed the biggest Chinook of the weekend at 22 pounds.

The victory marked Gormley’s fifth or sixth time competing in the Saltwater Classic – and his first ever catch of the event.

“I’ve never even come to the weigh-ins because I’ve never gotten anything,” he told the Westerly News after receiving the Saltwater Classic trophy from Brendan Morrison.

“So you know, I’d be always worried about going up against the guides because they are really good fisherman but we’re not really versed in all the open water; how far to go and what to do there so we just kept working it and working it and just got lucky.”

“And we didn’t lose it,” Gormley stressed. “It was the only fish we caught. We didn’t have any others. The only fish we caught.”

The big fish was caught on Saturday afternoon.

“The tide was just slacking. The water was dirty and we had to keep pulling it up it was way back down,” he said.

“And then, of course, you freak out because you don’t want to lose it. You get one chance at a decent size fish. So we landed it and we were all super happy and, we thought, 22-pounds shouldn’t hold up in Tofino, but yeah, the Gods are smiling down on us today.”

Gormley said they were using a combination of flashers and hoochies when they reeled in the 22 pounder.

“We just happened to be at the right drop at the right turn at the right time at the right spot,” he said.

The trophy catch will be filleted and split amongst his two fishing partners. They also plan on sharing the six grand cash prize.

“One guy had the boat, one guy had to organize the trip and, well, I guess, I’m just here to win the derby.”

Just Posted

Construction continues on Pacific Rim National Park Reserve’s $51M trail

Path through Park Reserve will link Tofino and Ucluelet.

Tofino graduate credits family and community after receiving $40K scholarship

“I would not be here and I would not be the person I am without my community.”

Michael Kaehn’s new book celebrates Hot Springs Cove’s history

Slideshows coming to Ahousaht, Tofino, Ucluelet, Port Alberni and Shawnigan Lake in September.

Two southern resident orcas missing as experts fear for the population

Centre for Whale Research says one whale each is missing from the J and K pods

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

High-speed rail link would run from Vancouver to Seattle in under 1 hour: study

Annual ridership is projected to exceed three million

ICBC insurance renewals get more complicated this year

Crash history, driver risk prompt more reporting requirements

U.S. tug firm to be sentenced for 2016 spill in B.C. First Nation’s territory

The Nathan E. Stewart spilled 110,000 litres of diesel and heavy oils in October 2016

Most Read