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.