Numbers down, fish bigger in annual derby
MANISTIQUE – Unseasonably cool weather during three days of pre-fishing had would-beparticipants wondering what to expect when they hit the waters of Lake Michigan for the 28th annual Schoolcraft County Sprotsfishing Association’s Salmon and Trout Derby last weekend.
Struggling to find the fish, local sports fishing enthusiast Brett Tallman confirmed fish were there when he returned to Port Manistique with a boat load of fish on the last day of the pre-fishing contest. The biggest that morning weighed in at just over 21 pounds. Unfortunately, over the course of the two-day event, Tallman’s catch would not have qualified for one of the cash prizes; the top eight slots for salmon all weighed in at well over 25 pounds. In fact, the top prize this year weighed in almost 10 pounds more then last year.
Brian Helgemo, of Escanaba, took first place in the salmon division with his 39 inch, 30.65 pound monster.
First place in the trout division went to annual derby participant Luciano Defend, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. His catch weighed in at 12.40 pounds and was 31 inches.
Although the size of the fish increased drastically this year, the number of registered anglers continues to decline. In 2010, 486 took part in the event; this year only 290 left the harbor.
The association will be having a member’s only one-day tournament on Aug. 10. A membership application is available on page A2. For more information on the tournament or the Schoolcraft County Sports Fishing Association, call 341-8264 or 341-5536.
First place $3,000: Brian Helgemo, Escanaba, 39 inches, 30.65 pounds.
Second place $979: Jim Helgemo, Escanaba, 38 1/8 inches, 29.85 pounds.
Third place $783: Ken Seppanen, Michigame, 39 inches, 27.45 pounds.
Fourth place $587: Vern Barton, Manistique, 39 1/2 inches, 27.05 pounds.
Fifth place $457: Scott DeKeyser, Cooks, 39 1/2 inches, 26.45 pounds.
Sixth place $327: Cole Riebott, Marquette, 37 inches, 26.40 pounds.
Seventh place $261: Donnie St. John, Manistique, 37 1/2 inches, 25.40 pounds.
Eighth place $196: Jay Merrill, Baraga, 39 inches, 25.35 pounds.
First place $2,000: Luciano Defend, SaultSte. Marie, Ontario, 31 inches, 12.40 pounds.
Second place $783: Lloyd Martindale, Newberry, 30 1/2 inches, 9.95 pounds.
Third place $653: Tim Albon, Dafter, 28 1/2 inches, 8.65 pounds.
Fourth place $522: Travis Barber, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, 28.5 inches, 8.5 pounds.
Fifth place $392: William Ortiz, Rapid River, 25 inches, 8.4 pounds
Sixth place $261: Rick Chrisman, Niagra, Wis., 25 1/2 inches, 8 pounds.
Seventh place $196: Chris Pawley, Manistique, 25 1/2 inches, 6.35 pounds.
Eighth place $131: Michael C. Arrowood, Lake Orion, 25 1/4 inches, 5.85 pounds.