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.”