Oregon Tuna Classic 2016 updates

The perfect storm is coming to Ilwaco. We’ll hopefully not literally but when 600 crazed wild eyed participants show up on July 29th  & 30th  for the Deep Canyon Challenge it may seem like it. 

This year’s Garmin Oregon Tuna Classic Tournament Series events are shaping up to be bigger and better than last year. We are proud to have North River Boats as our Port Sponsor for the Deep Canyon Challenge. Be sure to check out the boats next to the tent during the tournament. www.northriverboats.com

We have a few other new sponsors this year as well with Camas Meadows Golf Club donating towels to the captain’s bucket www.camasmeadows.com . You told us what you liked and ask for more towels so longtime participant Matt Olson made it happen. Be sure to thank him during the tournament. Matt will be on a different boat this year after getting a taste of what it feels like to stand on the podium last year. He now has a new big center console sporting 4 engines. You’ll know which one when it blows by you on the way to the promised land once the flare shoots signaling the start of this year’s first event in Ilwaco.

Also new to the tournaments Smak Plastics is donating some very nice coolers. Be sure to check them out. www.smakplastics.com

PIG Out BBQ is back again this year with a new expanded menu featuring a few additional tastier items along with dessert this year.

The captains buckets will have cedar plugs, X-raps, swim baits, jig heads, clones, towels, water bottles, chips, jerky just to name a few of the many items inside.

This year’s live auction features about 30 items including with Garmin Chart plotters, Fishing trips to Mexico, hunting trips to exotic lodges in Argentina, nice shotguns, fishing rod/combos, exotic fly rods, ladies day spa packages, ladies jewelry and the list goes on and on. You won’t want to miss this.

Anyone can participate in the Live Auction as well as the Bucket Raffles where there are even more nice items to win.

What if the ocean is too rough and it doesn’t look like it’s your cup a tea – no worries. Stay in close and catch a salmon for the Salmon side pot. Everyone is automatically entered and you can keep your salmon.

What if you don’t have a boat or a team – no worries come on down and buy a dinner ticket then join in on all the fun. The energy inside the tent is very contagious. 

What if your new to tuna fishing – even more reason to come participate and meet others. One of the best ways to become a better fisherman is to develop a network for information and resources. There are all skill levels in these tournaments. It’s not about how many you catch it’s about the five heaviest tuna. A previous tournament winner only caught five fish one year but they were hogs and heavy enough to take the top prize.

These tournaments are qualifying events for the Offshore World Championships (OWC) in Costa Rica and as such the top placing team will get an official invite from the OWC and have an opportunity to compete against the best of the best in the world next April 2017.

The event starts off with Big Fish Friday for those folks who’d like a little extra competition and intend to go scout out their favorite fishing hole on Friday. It’s an optional pot that generally pays out about $1,200 to whichever team has the biggest tuna on Friday.

Once they get their fish weighed in you might catch up to them at the registration/team check in inside the big tent in the Port of Ilwaco parking lot. You can’t miss it. This a good place to grab a drink or a snack and catch up with friends or even make a few new ones. The mandatory captains meeting starts at 7:00pm, includes a Coast Guard talk, and generally ends at 7:30pm.

If you’re a newbie or someone that wants to learn a little more hang around for a seminar on live bait fishing from the crew of Shake N Bake Sportfishing. They’ll have flyers to hand out covering finding fish, knots they use, techniques and have rods/reels on hand to show what how they’re rigged.

Saturday morning the boats/teams will slowly make their way out to the starting line just outside the mouth of the Columbia River and immediately south of the 2 SJ Buoy near the end of the sunken south jetty where you’ll find the starting line. A roll call on the radio will start about 5:30am and once everyone is accounted for we’ll give a 10 second count down ending with the Coast Guard shooting up a flare signaling the start of competition. That’s about when the testosterone kicks in and a few boats leap out of the water a few times giving the crew a few good licks before pulling the throttles back to a more normal position and work their way offshore.

Then about 3:00pm you’ll start seeing teams arriving back into port offloading their 5 heaviest fish for the weigh in. Yes, you can donate more than five fish if you feel so inclined.

Once their boats are back in their slips or on the trailer you’ll find them in the big tent, hungry and thirsty, making their way through the food line. The dinner line opens at 5:00pm and runs till 7:30pm. The official program for the evening starts at 7:00pm and typically ends around 10:30pm. 

If you haven’t been to one of these events in the last couple years your missing out. The events have evolved over the years into more of a larger event that just happens to have a fishing tournament with it. You have the rah rah rah and banter of fishermen teasing each other along with tons of premium grade fish going to the local food banks. You might hit the podium and win big walking away with $10 or $20,000 but in the end it’s all about the food banks. The camaraderie and warm fuzzies you get from helping those less fortunate is very powerful and will give you cause to know you’ve done something very nice for someone who is down on their luck and might need a hand. Most food bank recipients are not your average homeless person you see standing on the corner with a sign. They are someone who just needs a little temporary help to get bank on their feet. I know it too well. When I was growing up my parents struggled at times to feed six kids and I always wondered where they got the boxes that had USDA stamped on the side when they came home with the staples we needed to get by on for another week. Everyone has their reasons for why they participate in these events – That is what drives me to make sure they are a success. Come out and join us whether as a crew/ team or just inside the tent for the evening BBQ, live auction and awards. www.oregontunaclassic.org

We’ll see you out there – Tight lines

Del Stephens

OTC Chairman

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Tournament Series Moves Into 11th Season

It seems the albacore got the message that summer was arriving early because they decided to show up early as well. That always gets things stirring with fellow tunaholics.

We are proud to have West Marine as the Deep Canyon Challenge Port Sponsor again this year. New to the event this year is the Ford Street Team who will bring a display to the Ilwaco event. Likewise Fish Field is a new sponsor and will have a retail booth set up inside the tent.  Fellow participant Jerry Sauer’s Excavation Rental Services is the Big Fish Friday sponsor for this event…Welcome and thanks for your support.

The Deep Canyon Challenge, in Ilwaco, is up first again this year on August 7th & 8th and thankfully there are no significant changes to this year’s format. It will start out with the optional Big Fish Friday for those wishing to scout out their secret fishing hole for Saturday. A social will start in the tent at 4:00pm this year Sponsored by the Ford Street Team. Then at 7:00pm we will have a Captains meeting, keeping it brief, to just cover any last minute details and should be done by 7:30pm.

Saturday morning roll call will get things going at 5:30am with the flare start sending everyone west about 6:00am. Hopefully calm seas will make the ride smooth and the catching even better.

Everything is the same as last year with regards to offloading tuna at the main dock just below the boardwalk. The weigh in will be the same and remember you have to be back across the demarcation line by 5:00pm.

If you haven’t arranged a slip with the Port of Ilwaco don’t wait too long or there won’t be any. They are holding a few slips for the tournament 360-642-3143.

Garmin has upped the ante on their Garmin Grand Giveaway to $5,000. If you win either one of the tournaments and have a Garmin fix mounted device on your boat you’ll win an additional $5,000.

This year we have a great selection of choice items in the raffles and live auctions. We have a bone fishing trip for two in the Bahamas, FLIR Ocean Scout handheld, Henry Goldenboy Silverado Lever Action .22 Rifle, Chris Kyle Stars & Stripes commemorative Legend Bow from Bowtech, ladies Coach purse with a day at the spa, Garmin electronics, Guy Harvey framed art, ladies Pandora bracelet, Sig Sauer MK 25 Navy Seal edition .45 cal – just to name a few of the items.

This year we have added a ticket raffle at the Deep Canyon Challenge set up like you’ve seen at Garibaldi event.

Renaissance Marine Group, manufactures of Duckworth & Weldcraft boats, is the Port Sponsor of the Oregon Tuna Classic in Garibaldi is August 22nd. & 23rd this year. We are very appreciative of their long term involvement and commitment to these events.

The Big Fish Friday event is sponsored by Westlie Ford in Camas.

The last couple years this event has come together through a joint effort from Bob Crossley and Bud Hosner sharing the Port Captain’s duties. I’m happy to announce Suzie Saindon a local resident and wife of the Port Manager, Mike Saindon (formerly Coast Guard Tillamook station CO now retired), is now the Port Captain for this event. She has leaped in with both feet and brings strong organization skills to the table along with a great reputation in the community. Another great catch for the OTC.

There continues to be change in Garibaldi and this year the Tillamook Bay Boathouse fuel dock will be open longer hours to accommodate the needs. Ilwaco’s bait supplier is working with locals to bring live bait to Garibaldi on more of a regular basis.

Make sure you get your slip arranged with the Port of Garibaldi at 503-322-3292.

If you need a great place to stay the Garibaldi House Inn is within walking distance to pretty much everywhere you might need to go. Tell Gene you’re with the OTC if you call them 503-322-3338 they are holding a block of rooms for the OTC participants but don’t waste time or they’ll all be gone. I stayed there awhile back when I was down for meetings and his breakfast buffet is second to none.

We are also currently working with the Garibaldi City Council and the Port of Garibaldi to take this event to the next level for 2016. Hopefully I’ll have some exciting things to announce during that event.

If you haven’t registered yet don’t wait too long as time is flying by and the first event will be here in no time.

I’d also like to offer an invite to anyone of you or someone you know who might like to be involved in helping with these events whether as an advisory board member or with the on the ground logistics during the events. We are always looking for good people.

I look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Tight lines,

 Del Stephens


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2014 Deep Canyon Challenge Update



Saturday night the sun was setting on Cape Disappointment about the time things were heating up in the big tent during the Deep Canyon Challenge in Ilwaco. The hum from the generator was drowned out by all the energy in the tent as Joel Shangle and Duane Inglin were cranking up the suspense as to who would take home the bragging rights and the official invite and represent Deep Canyon Challenge in the Offshore World Championships held in Quepos Costa Rica next.

Earlier in the day the boys from Northwest Wild Country downed a little java then fired up the mics from inside the tent in front of a live audience while the rest of us were racing to the promised land in hopes of bringing home a few piggies for those hungry people in need. If you weren’t in the tent you missed one of their best shows.

Chef Michael from The Depot gave a cooking demonstration of one of his favorite ways to prepare albacore. Cody Herman of Day One Outdoors gave a short run down on how to be successful fishing Buoy 10. Marlin Martin of the Clatsop Food Bank talked about the opportunities available to fishermen wanting to donate part of their catch and get a tax deduction for those days when the bite goes wide open then before you can stop the boat is plugged and now you’re trying to figure out how to deal with all those extra fish you did not intend to bring home. They had mad fingers Mike, a retired instructor from the Culinary Institute, showing how to cark a tuna. I wish I could’ve seen that because someone made a reference to the chainsaw sculptor with 6 flying chainsaws.

Mother Nature was nice to the fishermen and the ocean laid down a little as the day progressed returning home on a smooth ocean that afternoon. The bite was sketchy for most but perseverance and working it was the key for those riding up and down 50 miles offshore.

At the end of the day Shake N Bake was standing alone on the podium with the top honors and to top that they graciously donated their $6,000 in prize money back to the food bank. A great team, great group of guys and a great gesture of kindness.

The second place team of Tre-fin was so close to becoming the first repeat of a previous OTC champion walking away with $3,000 in prize money and over $10,000 in Calcutta side pots.

Following them in third place was Team Disabled another top performer who came so close to edging out my team in 2012. I suspect they will be standing high on that top spot in the near future.

When it was all said and done 50 teams handed over 7,800 pounds of tuna to the food banks of Pacific County, Washington and Clatsop County Oregon.

A lot of work went into making this event a special evening and a big thanks goes out to Doug Graham, Deep Canyon Challenge Port Captain, and his fantastic crew of volunteers- Tracy, Bea, Steve, Dean, Mihela, Denny, Becky, Josh, Adam, Carl, and Brandy. Guy Glenn and the Port of Ilwaco -Nicki and Dave at Eagle Country radio for their live remote broadcast Friday afternoon from the stage. The Blue Water Girls of Shannon, Michelle, Yasmin & Caily for doing a great job of engaging everyone in a few fun games of skill playing Darts For Diamonds, Corn Hole, and tossing rings onto 12 cases of Coors Light bottles in hopes of winning one of the nice prizes.

At the end of the evening over 450 people reached into their pockets and helped raise over $25,000 during the live auction which was a huge increase from last year and by the time the lights went out on this event more than $35,000 had been raised to help those hungry and less fortunate.

One down and one to go in the Oregon Tuna Classic Tournament Series as we now ride into Garibaldi for the season finale on August 22nd. & 23rd.

I hope to see everyone down there as we ride this high and keep the momentum rolling.

Tight Lines

Del Stephens

OTC Chairman



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2014 Oregon Tuna Classic News Release 5/29/2014

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Every summer for the last nine years, fishermen from all around the Pacific Northwest have joined forces to help support the Oregon Food Bank and food pantries of Pacific County Washington by competing in tournaments up and down the Oregon & Washington coast.  At each of these events, they catch and donate tuna, as well as a cash donation to the Oregon Food Bank once the season wraps up. The Oregon Food Bank is a regional food bank that not only serves Oregon food pantries but Clark County and Southwest Washington as well. Additionally, the tuna is distributed either canned or fresh to needy families in the ports where the events are held.

How it all started…….

The ’I Fish For Food’ Tuna Tournament was born in 2005, when a small group of fishermen decided to share their catch with others.  The first year, twenty boats signed up.  In a single day, over 100 tuna totaling 2100 pounds was waiting to be canned and donated to the Oregon Food Bank.

Having discovered a way to funnel their passion into giving back to the community, the group officially organized in 2006 as the non-profit ‘Oregon Tuna Classic’ (OTC) and decided to make the tournament an annual event.  Each year has been bigger than the year before it.  In 2006, they had over 181 teams and over 900 participants who donated enough tuna to produce over 5200 cans and a check for $12,000 which helped provide over 60,000 pounds of food to those in need.  In 2007, the event generated over 7300 pounds of tuna and a $25,000 check was presented to the Oregon Food Bank.

In 2008 the events yielded our best catch yet.  On November 14, 2008 we presented over 13,000 lbs of canned tuna and a check to the Oregon Food Bank in the amount of $46,000.  Given the current economic crisis, the OTC’s donation could not have come at a better time.  The Oregon Food Bank and its network supplies over 200,000 food baskets a month in Oregon and Southwest Washington.  The OTC’s donation helped the food bank purchase five pounds of food for every dollar donated, equivalent to a contribution weight of over 230,000 pounds of food.

That same year the Oregon Food Bank selected the Oregon Tuna Classic to receive the Stone Soup Award for outstanding leadership and support of issues affecting low income people.

The Oregon Tuna Classic is made up 100% volunteers who donate their time and energy to make these tournaments a reality.

The focus of these tournaments is to feed the hungry but in 2010 The Governor of Oregon recognized the economic impact the tournaments were having on the coastal communities where the events were being held and awarded the Outstanding Oregon Tourism Volunteer Award to the OTC.

Today, after nine seasons, the Oregon Tuna Classic has reached a milestone eclipsing 1 million pounds of food donated to the Oregon Food Bank and food pantries along the Oregon and Washington coast.

There are only a few details left to finalize for the 10th anniversary season and as many of you know I took a two year break from running things but now I’m back in the saddle again and charged up as ever.

This year The Deep Canyon Challenge in Ilwaco WA will be on August 1st & 2nd and the Oregon Tuna Classic will be on August 22nd. & 23rd. in Garibaldi to wrap up the season finale. Each event draws 750-900 participants from Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, Montana and Nevada.

The teams will start rolling into town Thursday then about half of them will spend Friday offshore pre-fishing and scouting out their favorite fishing hole. For those that wish to have a little more competition they can participate in the optional Big Fish Friday side pot. Friday afternoon, at 4:00pm, the Blue Water Girls will be hosting a social that will fill the big tent with people –some engaged in games, (part of the new format) others will partake of the food, drinks and a lot of catching up among friends. Then at 7:00pm the fun will get put on hold briefly while we hold a 30 minute captains meeting before the Blue Water Girls crank things back up. All the Friday fun will come to a close at 9:00pm when the tent gets buttoned up for the evening and participants start heading for their beds to catch a little rest to get them through the next day. The following morning the harbor will come to life in the dark hours of pre-dawn as they get their boats and crew ready before joining the flotilla one boat after another motoring out to the official starting line a mile offshore. Then at 6:00am Saturday morning the Coast Guard will shoot a flare signaling the beginning of the competition. This is where pent up testosterone and caffeine mix together causing throttles to get pushed to the stops when charged up fishermen let things fly. Boats leap out of the water, sending a few of them airborne a couple times, before they quickly get jolted back to the reality of running a boat on the ocean without killing yourself or your crew. A little bruised and hopefully still intact they’ll slow down to a normal cruise speed settling in for the long 50 mile run offshore to the warm blue water.

About the same time the flare sends the competition racing offshore the guys from Northwest Wild Country www.nwwildcountry.com will be doing their own version of going airborne charging up the microphones on the stage inside the big tent. This popular TV and radio show will be broadcast in front of a live audience as Joel Shangle, Bill Herzog and Duane Inglin bring their banter and good fun to the sleepy little town on the coast.

If the ocean is calm and all the teams make it offshore there will be 150-200 people sitting down with their coffees and a fireman’s style breakfast while the crew fills the tent with their own Wild Country style energy. A sporty ocean will change things dramatically as some teams will choose to stay landward pushing the size of the crowd quickly to well over 400 caffeine energized tuna–holics inside the tent. They’re not hard to spot. They’ll be the ones wearing well used Grunden bibs and look like they’ve downed a bottle of energy drink.

If you’re not part of all the action 50 miles offshore there is a scavenger hunt with a nice OTC passport to great deals in nearby shops and businesses. Get that passport stamped by all the participating businesses and you might have a chance at the great prize, worth over $1,000, for the winner of this contest.

Later that day boats will start straggling back into port with their catch hoping they have 5 fat tuna that will send them to the top of the leader board and the podium during the awards ceremonies later that evening.

During all these festivities and fishing you might also notice a couple film crews walking around, climbing on a few boats and in the middle of all the action. This year both OTC events are being filmed for a one hour network special to be aired on Comcast Sportsnet later in the fall and winter. It will be a compilation of fishing action, festivities and documentary of why we do all this. We are proud to have the Emmy award winning crew from Wheeler Films filming and producing the show. You might recognize Bob Wheeler and Danny Kirsic from when they were last out in Garibaldi filming an episode of “The Best and Worst of Tred Barta” during one of the past OTC events.

We are so proud of all the sponsors that have supported the cause and have been an integral part of the success all these years. This year we have a number of new additions to the sponsor list including the Ford Street team as they will be joining us to support the cause and will have a nice display on hand in front of the tent. Harmon Brewing Company of Tacoma will be providing a nice selection of micro brews and we are in the process of securing a hard liquor distiller to add to the mix. Aerial filming will be provided by 3D Robotics with a couple aerial drones capturing a different perspective.

The sponsor list continues to grow as the fever spreads that is the Oregon Tuna Classic giving a little more hope for those less fortunate and in need while also giving an economic jolt of good fortunate to those businesses along the coast.

You don’t have to be on a boat to join all the fun, games or energy with activities geared towards both guys and gals as everyone is welcome to join in on all the Friday games or Saturday festivities. Friday is free for everyone and a dinner ticket is all you need to get in the door Saturday evening.

There will be a few more emails with updates as we get a little closer.

I look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Tight lines,


Del Stephens


Oregon Tuna Classic

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Oregon Tuna Classic 2014 Update



Oregon Tuna Classic Eclipses 1 Million Pounds Donated to the Hungry

The Garmin Oregon Tuna Classic wrapped up its 9th season this past summer and we are now making plans for the 2014 season. After 9 years of donating tuna along with cash the OTC has finally eclipsed 1 million pounds of food donated to the Oregon Food Bank and affiliate coastal food pantries in Oregon and Southwest Washington. This accomplishment was from the monumental efforts of a lot of people. Great sponsors that sometimes get nothing in return but want to be a part of the effort. Volunteers that get caught up in the contagious energy that surrounds these events and we can’t forget all the Salty Dogs as well as our fellow fishermen/women from as far away as Idaho, California, Nevada and even Samoa who have brought teams to these events to join in the fun chasing tuna then at the end of the day share their stories and experiences with others as we all come together working to help those in need.

Thank you to everyone who has been involved at every level and especially thank you to all those that have stayed the course and stuck with the tournaments all those years.

Garmin is the title sponsor again this year as we enter the 10th year anniversary and after taking a 2 year break from overseeing things I have stepped back in as Chairman.

Going into the 2014 season you’ll see a few changes as we change the format back to what it was when we had Big Fish Friday as an optional day and the main competition on Saturday followed by the awards BBQ that same evening in the big tent. Something we are adding this year is a social event on Friday afternoon prior to the captains meeting which will feature free Crown Royal served by the Crown Royal girls. These changes are based on a lot of the good feedback after the events of this past summer.

One of the other big changes is the Ilwaco event will now be called “The Deep Canyon Challenge” and will still be sanctioned and operated by the OTC but by giving the Ilwaco event its own separate identity it will now meet the requirements to be listed as a qualifying event for the Offshore World Championships (OWC) and as such the winning team from this event will get an official invite to compete in the OWC.

The Garibaldi event will still be called the Oregon Tuna Classic and it will also send a team to the OWC. So now you have two chances to win and get an invite to the Offshore World Championships in Quepos, Costa Rica.

We are still working out the details but I can tell you there are a lot of ideas swirling around for ways to spice up these events and I can assure you things are going to be a hoot at these events. As we finalize more details we will put up a post on IFISH.net and send a short note out to everyone in an effort to keep people in the loop as to some of the things to look forward to. We have created a YouTube channel where you’ll soon see videos from a competition we will be promoting and will soon post the details of this fun competition. You can find us on Facebook where we welcome you to upload photos of your experiences with the OTC.

If you make it out to the Pacific Northwest Sport Show February 5th -9th stop by the OTC booth and learn more about some of the exciting changes and additions coming.

The dates for this year’s events are as follows:

Deep Canyon ChallengeIlwaco, August 1st. & 2nd.

Oregon Tuna ClassicGaribaldi, August 22nd. & 23rd.

If you’ve ever had an interest in being involved in these events as a volunteer serving on the OTC board or possibly in another capacity please drop me a note to discuss the opportunities.


Tight Lines



Del Stephens

OTC Chairman

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2013 Oregon Tuna Classic Garibaldi Results & Season Wrap-up

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August 19, 2013

For Immediate Release:

Some of the finest anglers in the Northwest gathered in Garibaldi this past weekend to compete for the Garibaldi title and to see who would become the Overall Garmin OTC Series Champion and secure the invitation to the Offshore World Championship.  Once again the City of Garibaldi with our Port Sponsor Duckworth and Weldcraft boats graciously welcomed the 47 teams of anglers to this quaint Oregon coastal port.  Unlike last year, this year the weather was fantastic and the ocean was even better.

When the Friday results were released it was obvious that the Oregon Food Bank was the real winner! 40 teams turned in 200 tuna for a total of 4,366.35 lbs. Team “Priorities Strait” finished in first with 126.10 lbs. for  total weight of the 5 fish turned in for the competition. The second place team was “Team Englund Marine/Oppor-Tuna-Ty” with 119.4 lbs. and just edging out “Team Big Wave” who finished with 119.30 lbs.  Taking the Big Fish Pot sponsored by Westlie Ford was “Priorities Strait” with a 33.5 pound albacore tuna.

As the Saturday results were released team by team the excitement continued to build as it would be a night of “firsts”.  We ended up with only 36 teams turning in fish as a few boats either couldn’t find fish or encountered mechanical issues.  This led to the first annual “Irish Mooring Café Sportsman Award” that was given to Captain Jason Ludwig and his crew “Team Bad Blood”. Jason and crew had stopped to tow in a fellow competitor with boat issue.  As a result of their actions they were not able to cross the finish line by the deadline.  As the results were released, every one realized that another first had taken place and karma was on this team’s side.  They had not made the finish line last year as they too had stopped to help a fellow competitor and just missed the finishing time.  This year was another story.  The crowd of 450 people was ecstatic as port captain Bud Hosner announced “in 1st place with 129.90 lbs. was “Team Ice Lady” from Garibaldi”.  This meant that Kelli Bestwick became the first woman captain to win in the 9 years of tournament history.  2nd place with a strong finish and 128.9 lbs. was “Team Teton/FLIR” and 3rd place with 126.70 lbs. was Team Tuna Time.  The Big Fish Pot also went to “Team Ice Lady” with a very nice 34.2 pound albacore.  Total tuna turned in for the Saturday competition was 3,953.2 pounds.

The Garibaldi overall winner and overall 2013 Series Champion was all that was left to be determined.  When it was all added up for Garibaldi, the weekend championship was decided by only 1.2 pounds with “Team Ice Lady” edging out “Priorities Strait”.  It was a special moment when the trophies and Shimano/PowerPro prize package were handed over to Kelli and her crew.

The Overall Series Championship and the invitation to the Offshore World Championship went to a new team “Team Englund Marine/Oppor-Tuna-Ty” captained by Jad Donaldson which had a 1st and a 2nd in Ilwaco and finished 2nd and 5th in Garibaldi.  They finished 15 points ahead of “Team Eat Me Lures”.

The real winner though was the Oregon Food Bank with a total of 10,020 pounds of tuna after including the 85 additional tuna donated by fisherman. Overall, the two events (Ilwaco and Garibaldi) of the 2013 Oregon Tuna Classic donated 15,837 pounds of tuna to the Oregon Food Bank and local food banks of Pacific County.

We again would like to thank all that participated, sponsors, vendors, and the many volunteers. The participants, the contributions from our sponsors and all the volunteers whose efforts allow the Oregon Tuna Classic to remain a premier fishing event, benefit the local communities and support the local food banks.

Greg Elliott

OTC Chairman

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Thank you from the HIS Supper Table

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To all:

Just wanted to share with you a thank you we received from Mike at HIS Supper Table after Ilwaco event.  The fish from the event went to both sides of the river.  Reminds us all why we participate and volunteer.  Also, why the Oregon Tuna Classic and our food banks need everyone’s support from the community, volunteers, sponsors to the participants.  We all have a role in helping out. The Oregon Tuna Classic thanks you to all for your support.

Hi There Ilwaco OTC/Greg

This is Mike from HIS Supper Table and we just want to THANK YOU so much for the 33 Tuna we received from you and we just couldn’t be happier. We served it for dinner on Monday and everyone loved it. We served over 100 meals and still have enough to serve three more meals. We cut it up and deep fry it and it is simply delicious. What a treat for everyone to have a wonderful Tuna dinner and you made it possible.

Thank You.

Mike for HIS Supper Table

Garibaldi is next week.  It is not too late to signup if you haven’t yet.


Thank you again for  your support,

Greg Elliott






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2013 Oregon Tuna Classic Ilwaco Results

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July 29, 2013

The Ilwaco leg of the Garmin Oregon Tuna Classic was held this past weekend.  We had

40 teams that were entered and ready to enjoy some friendly competition and catch some tuna for the local food banks of Pacific County and Oregon Food Bank of Clatsop County only to be met with gusting winds offshore and an unpleasant ocean.  Fishing offshore

was rough to say the least.  Less than half the teams turned in fish as many of the teams chose to stay in port due to the weather and ocean conditions.

At the end of the day on Friday, 18 teams turned in 87 fish with a total weight of 1705.85 pounds.   Team Eat Me Lures finished the day in first with a total weight for their 5 fish of 129.25lbs.  Team Englund Marine/Oppor-tuna-ty claimed second with a weight of 114.65lbs and in third place was Team Fat Cat with 107.85lbs for their 5 fish.  Taking the big fish pot was Team Eat Me Lures with a 29.6lb tuna.

Saturday was very similar to Friday as the ocean conditions remained rough on the tuna grounds.  As the day went on the winds started to subside, making conditions much more manageable but still only 18 teams managed to turn in fish.  The 86 fish turned in weighed a total of 1771.5lbs. Finishing strong again was Team Englund Marine/Oppor- tuna-ty, with 112.65lbs and claimed first place for the day.  Second through fourth place was separated by a mere .15lbs. Team Bad Fish came out in second with a weight of

110.45lbs and taking third place was Team RedDog/Bushwhacker with 110.35lbs. Finishing just out of the top three was Team ProMotion Fishing Products with a total weight 110.30lbs.  The big fish pot was won by Team Engage. There also was a blue fin tuna (12.35lbs) caught by Team Bad Blood, taking the pelagic pot.

The overall winner based on combined weight for the two days was Team Eat Me Lures, winning a Shimano Prize Package.  This also puts them in the driver’s seat heading into Garibaldi by taking overall series points lead but Team Englund Marine/Oppor-tuna-ty is following close behind. The team with the most overall points from the Ilwaco and Garibaldi events will get an invitation to go to the Offshore World Championships in 2014.

A few anglers turning in 130 extra tuna helped boost the total fish counts for the 2 days. At the end of the weekend we had a total of 5,817.5 pounds of fresh albacore split between the local food banks of Pacific County and Oregon Food Bank of Clatsop County.

We thank all that participated and we would not be able to put this on without our countless sponsors and volunteers.  A special thanks to Garmin our title sponsor and Defiance Marine our port sponsor in Ilwaco. See you in three weeks when we roll into Garibaldi for the final leg of the tournament series on August 16th and 17th.

We hope to see you there.

Greg Elliott

OTC Chairman


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2012 Wrap up and 2013 Tournament Dates


December 18, 2012

 For Immediate Release:

 As 2012 comes to a close, as a result of the success and support of this year’s tournaments the Oregon Tuna Classic would like to announce that we will be presenting the Oregon Food Bank with a check for $20,000 later this month. 

 This goes along with the 10,640 pounds of fresh albacore split between the local food banks of Pacific County and Oregon Food Bank of Clatsop County from the Ilwaco tournament back in August.  The Garibaldi event generated a total of 6,355 pounds of tuna that was processed and canned with the help of  local Rotary, Tillamook Bay Boathouse and the Smiley Brothers and distributed to the North Tillamook County Food Bank (769 cans), Tillamook Regional Food Bank (579 cans) and the Nestucca Valley Backpack Program (1,779 cans) just this past week.

 We are diligently working on the 2013 events and hope for the equal or better success this coming year.  The dates for the 2013 Garmin Oregon Tuna Classic events are July 26th and 27th for the Ilwaco and Garibaldi is set for August 16th and 17th

  Again, we would like to thank all those who participated in helping with the success of the 2012 Garmin Oregon Tuna Classic events.  We could not have met our goals without the countless volunteers, local community organizations, sponsors and of course the participants.  We are eagerly working on next year’s events and hope that we enjoy the same support and success we were blessed with this year.

 Greg Elliott

OTC Chairman

 The Oregon Tuna Classic is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization made up of 100% volunteers. It prides itself of the way it manages and safeguards the generous donations made by the corporations, individuals and organizations that help support our cause.

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2012 OTC Wrap-Up. It’s been an exciting year


August 27, 2012

 For Immediate Release:

 The final leg of the 2012 Oregon Tuna Classic is in the books.  The finest anglers in the Northwest gathered in Garibaldi this past weekend to compete for the Garibaldi title and to see who would become the Overall OTC Series Champion and garner the invitation to the IGFA World Championship.  The City of Garibaldi with our Port Sponsor Duckworth and Weldcraft boats graciously welcomed the teams of anglers to this small Oregon coastal port.  The weather was a little sporty with several of the 53 teams entered deciding to sit out the event both days or just sitting out Saturday.  Overall 30 teams turned in fish (albacore tuna) over the 2 days.

 Exciting changes were made to the Ilwaco and Garibaldi events this year by adding an extra day of competition thus increasing the opportunities to win with 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners on both Friday and Saturday.  We also added an overall winner for the two days combined earning a Shimano/PowerPro prize package as well as the opportunity to win the Garmin Grand Giveaway by the winning team having and using Garmin products on their boat.

 This year the meal, auction, results and awards were held on Sunday with a tent filled with 300 fisherman and families set to see the final results.  Pig Out BBQ put on the meal as the results were released and the auction exceeded expectations.

 A few unfortunate teams with boat issues and with the rough seas were not able to make the finish line in time and unfortunately eliminating them from Friday’s competition and being unable to get repairs done in time, they ultimately missed Saturday’s competition.   Despite this both teams donated their fish to the Oregon Food Bank.

 After Friday’s results were released it became apparent that despite the weather the Oregon Food Bank was the real winner!  187 tuna were turned in for a total of 3,272 lbs. with the winning team “Garmin-Bad to the Bone” donating an extra 50 fish.  Their total weight of 5 fish turned in for the competition was 124.70 lbs.  The second place team was “No Quarter Given” with 122.90 lbs. and rounding out the top three with 116.50 lbs. was “Team Scarab”.  Taking the Big Fish Pot sponsored by Westlie Ford was “Sea Ya” with a 30.30 pound albacore tuna. 

 The Oregon Tuna Classic series is an IGFA World Championship qualifier event.  Thus the overall champion team “Garmin-Bad to the Bone” leading the overall series heading into Garibaldi positioned themselves well with their first place finish and with team Defiance (2nd place entering the Garibaldi event) not making the weigh in time due to mechanical issues it was looking like Garmin-Bad to the Bone had it wrapped up.

 Saturday’s weather forecast was not good calling for 20-25 mph winds in the morning but softening in the afternoon.  While many teams stayed at the docks 24 teams headed out hoping the fishing would be better and the seas would calm in the afternoon.

 As the Saturday results were released team by team it appeared the fishing was much better with all 24 teams turning in their largest 5 fish for the competition.   After all results were released, finishing in 1st place with 140.60 lbs. was “Ellie’s Anglers”, 2nd place with another strong finish 129.80 lbs. was “Garmin-Bad to the Bone” and 3rd place with 123.20 lbs. was 2011 Overall OTC Champion, Team Kingfisher.  The Big Fish Pot went to “Garmin-Bad to the Bone” with a very nice 34.90 pound albacore.  Total tuna for the day was 3,083 pounds as several teams donated additional tuna to the cause.

 The Garibaldi overall winner and overall series winner was all that was left to be determined.  When it was all added up for Garibaldi, the weekend championship was decided by only 2 pounds with “Garmin-Bad to the Bone” edging out “Ellie’s Anglers”.  This secured the Overall Series Championship and the invitation to the IGFA World Championship for “Garmin-Bad to the Bone” giving them a total of 340 points, 2nd place was “Ellie’s Anglers” with 260 points and third place was “No Quarter Given” with 215 points.

 The real winner though was the Oregon Food Bank with a total of 6,355 pounds of tuna going to local Oregon Food Bank.  In a show of true sportsmanship and “fishing for the cause”, Team Garmin-Bad to the Bone donated their 1st and 2nd place winnings back to the Oregon Tuna Classic.  Tillamook County Boathouse graciously donated their facilities to the event and with the support of the local Rotary will be caring and preparing all the tuna for the Oregon Food Bank. 

 Overall, the two events (Ilwaco and Garibaldi) of the 2012 Oregon Tuna Classic donated 16,955 pounds of tuna to the Oregon Food Bank and local food banks of Pacific County.

 We thank all that participated and we would not have had this success if it wasn’t for the many contributions from our sponsors and all the volunteers who efforts allow the Oregon Tuna Classic to remain the premier fishing event it has become.     

Greg Elliott

OTC Chairman

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