Gone Fish’n! Golden North Salmon Derby

Most people who know me are aware that I’m not available for work this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  For those of you who don’t, I’m out fishing, but nothing for the freezer or the grill.  I’ll be giving every fish away.

The Golden North Salmon Derby has been around a lot longer than I have.  This will be the 61st year.  This event started in 1947.

Territorial Sportsmen runs the derby as a fundraiser to offer scholarships to Juneau students.  In fact, over 1.2 MILLION dollars to over 200 students in scholarships have been awarded.

This year, I was chair of the prize committee.  That was my punishment for winning the derby in 2005.  Generous local businesses have donated over $87,000 in prizes this year!  In addition, there are tagged fish worth $1,000 to $100,000.  There are a lot of special prizes and drawings as well.

Debbie's Big Fish

This wasn’t the largest fish to ever win the derby – in fact it was one of the smaller ones.  What mattered though was that it was the largest fish THAT year.  I turned it in 54 minutes before the end of the three day event.

Catching this fish was a blast!  My father in law is a charter boat captain and knows the waters around here quite well.  My husband also runs fishing charters when he can switch around his schedule to do so.

Fishing in the derby in many cases is a family event.  My teenagers never really took an interest so this is a special time for me and my husband to spend time with his father on the boat.

Rain or shine, we are out there fishing for a good cause.  Around here, participating in the derby is like flying your flag or baking an apple pie.


Not to say that I’m not under a little pressure.  The derby is a lot of fun, but I’ve also got a reputation to keep up with.  Including the year I won, 2 other times I placed in the derby.  Several other times I have ended up with nice scholarship fish prizes as well.  I fully expect to get skunked this year, but I’m going to have fun!

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