July 31, 2012
The Ilwaco leg of the Oregon Tuna Classic just wrapped up this past weekend and we were pleased that the weather and ocean was the best we have seen in some time. Light winds and minimum seas allowed for a very pleasant fishing experience over the two days of fishing Friday and Saturday. Garmin, our new Title Sponsor for 2012 and 2013, must have brought fantastic weather with them.
We made some changes to the event this year by adding an extra day of competition to the event 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 and also the opportunity to win the Garmin Grand Giveaway by the winning team using Garmin products on their boat. In addition we added a Charter Division on Saturday where individual fisherman competed against each other with their single largest fish.
This year we held the live weigh in, lunch and auction on Sunday with a tent filled with 260 fisherman and families set to see the final results. Pig Out BBQ put on the meal as live weigh in took place and the teams eagerly awaited the results.
With 45 teams entered, 41 took off to the grounds on Friday morning. We had a couple of unfortunate teams with boat issues keeping them in port. 38 teams turned in fish at the end of day and all 38 turned in 5 fish for a total of 190 fish weighing 4,144lbs. The bite was on early in the day and most teams arrived back at port well before the 6:00pm cut-off time. The albacore didn’t stand a chance. The size of the fish were smaller than many had hoped for (a solid 18-20lb average) with the exception of those teams that found the larger fish! The team fortunate enough and taking the top honors was our port sponsor team, Defiance Boats with a total weight of 126.95lbs. Following in 2nd place was team Ellie’s Anglers with 122.75lbs and 3rd was our title sponsor team Garmin – Bad to the Bone with 116.85lbs. Taking the big fish pot was team, Garmin – Bad to the Bone with a 29lb tuna.
Saturday was much the same as Friday as the ocean conditions remained calm but with some new teams on the board and slightly bigger fish. This time 42 teams started the day and 39 teams turned in fish. Again all 39 teams turned in 5 fish. The 195 fish turned in weighed a total of 4,084lbs. Taking the top honors was Just Keep Fishing with 135.8lbs, 2nd place was Defiance Boats with 131.95lbs and 3rd place was another Defiance team, Usual Suspects with 128.25lbs. Unfortunate circumstances kept team ProMotion Fishing products off the board as they were unable to cross the finish line before the 6:00pm deadline. Did I mention that their top 5 fish would have swept the day?! Big fish pot honors, with a whopping 35.75lb tuna, went to No Quarter Given who finished just out of the top 3 in 4th place for the day. Current IFGA rankings are still being calculated and will be released shortly.
The Charter division sponsored by Colbach Law, Wilcox and Flegal and Phenix Rods was won by David House with a 27.3lb tuna, coming in second was yours truly with a 27.05lb tuna and 3rd was Matt Coppo at 22.70lbs. All were fishing aboard the Pacific Dream skippered by Tom Merriman.
A few anglers turning in 112 extra tuna added to the ending fish counts for the 2 days. A number of fish were even turned in by a private boat not even fishing in the event and we thank them for their contribution! At the end of the weekend we had a total of 10,640 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. See you in four weeks when we roll into Garibaldi for the final leg of the tournament series.
We hope to see you there.