STORY & PHOTOS & Video: The Northern View’s inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby

The Northern View’s inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby netted more than $10,000 for North Coast Community Services. Pictured right to left: The Northern View’s Ed Evans, sales representative, and Melissa Boutilier, office manager, and NCCS’ president, Twyla Chamberlain, and executive director Sherry Beal. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Greg Willcocks from Burns Lake caught an impressive salmon weighing 8.9 lbs. Willcocks drove up to Prince Rupert this weekend to participate in The Northern View’s inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Fabio Pomponio, halibut 21 lbs. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Frank Bomben, halibut 33.7 lbs. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Laverne Sunduk caught a fish longer than his grand daughter! His salmon weighed 8.9 lbs, winning him a hidden weight prize. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Laverne Sunduk caught a fish longer than his grand daughter! His salmon weighed 8.9 lbs, winning him a hidden weight prize. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Executive director of North Coast Community Services, Sherry Beal and her husband Warren who volunteered as weigh-master, were all smiles at the fishing derby. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
All in a days work for David Main and Bob Taylor. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Damien Radison with his little salmon weighing 4.5 lbs. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Jeremy Pierce, salmon 11.7 lbs. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Pheonix Robinson was a big help in selecting our hidden weights! (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Rick Gilker, salmon 12.8 lbs. Gilker finished 8 in our top 10. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Eddy Vermeeren may not have caught the largest halibut of the day however, he did catch a break in the 50/50 draw earning himself $1,020. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Mark Hart from Terrace (left) and fishing buddy Jordan Vanderwiel (left) slid into third place with a halibut weighing 54.8 lbs. Beating fourth place by just one pound. Hart received a $500 cash prize. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Bob Taylor won the grand prize of $2,000 in the salmon category, with a catch weighing 18.2 lbs. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Bob Taylor (left) might have his name on the check - presented here by Sherry Beal, executive director of North Coast Community Services - but he is sharing the earnings with fishing bubby Greg (right). (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
The Pottle and Derry clan received a check of $2,000 presented by Sherry Beal, executive director of North Coast Community Services. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
The Pottle and Derry clan received a check of $2,000 presented by Sherry Beal, executive director of North Coast Community Services. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
The Pottle and Derry clan received a check of $2,000 presented by Sherry Beal, executive director of North Coast Community Services. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Kasha Pottle and her best friend, Amaya, holding up the biggest halibut catch of the day. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
David Main went out fishing with daughter Vanessa Main and placed second for largest salmon. David Main won $1,000. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
A dynamic duo from Smithers, Derek Finlayson and Leah Smith, won $1,000 for catching the second largest halibut of the day, weighing 55.4 lbs. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Mark Hart from Terrace (left) and fishing buddy Jordan Vanderwiel (left) slid into third place with a halibut weighing 54.8 lbs. Beating fourth place by just one pound. Hart received a $500 cash prize. (Jenna Cocullo / The Northern View)
Karla Starr caught a salmon weighing 11.3 lbs at The Northern View’s inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby. (photo submitted by Karla Campbell Starr)
Jenn Stratton out in the waters showing off her 9.8 lbs salmon. (photo submitted by Jenn Stratton)
Ever wondering what it looks like inside a halibut’s mouth? (photo Melissa Boutilier)
Ever wondering what it looks like inside a halibut’s mouth? (photo Melissa Boutilier)
Amaya with best friend Kasha Pottle and Oscar Pottle. (photo submitted by Renee Pottle)
Amaya with Oscar Pottle are excited about their find. (photo submitted by Renee Pottle)
Girls who fish together stick together. Left to right: Macy Derry, Kasha Pottle, and Amaya. (photo submitted by Renee Pottle)
(photo submitted by Renee Pottle)
The Pottle and Derry clan let friend Amaya stow away on their boat for a day. (photo submitted by Renee Pottle)

More than $10,000 was raised for North Coast Community Services at the inaugural Northern View Tyee Fishing Derby on Saturday,

Participants didn’t wait for daylight to break before starting their quest to catch the biggest salmon or halibut, with several boats taking off from Rushbrook Harbour or other launching areas in pitch black conditions.

Enthusiasm remained steady as the sun broke over the horizon, with boats being launched right up through 9 a.m., just after the final entries were sold. In all, 240 tickets were bought by those hoping to bring home the top fish – and support a worthy cause.

“I was amazed at how much support we had from our community,” Sherry Beal, executive director at North Coast Community Services (NCCS), said. “From the sponsors to the people who participated in the actual event, it was very successful, and we all came away really happy.”

Beal and the NCCS will be putting the proceeds from the event toward their goal of building a new child care development centre in Prince Rupert. With the success of the first derby in the books, she believes this could be a reality in the next few years.

Karla Campbell Starr was the first contestant to return to the Northern View offices for weigh-in, sporting a salmon checking in at 11.3 lbs.

“Blue sky, calm waters, lots of whales,” Starr said of the picturesque fishing day.

As the day progressed the weights got larger and larger, and the weigh-in lines got longer and longer. Thousands of pounds of fish ended up travelling through the Northern View mail room during the course of the day, leading to periods where the line spilled well out onto Fraser St.

“Everybody was really enthused, and they were really excited about getting their fish weighed,” Beal said.

A barbecue held by NCCS accompanied the event, providing a chance for those who had spent the last several hours out on a boat to recharge with some burgers, hot dogs and snacks.

On the salmon side, it was Bob Taylor who walked away with the top prize of $2,000 after reeling in a catch of 18.2 lbs. “We went to somewhere I’d never been, so we just thought we’d try it out. Tip up; reel, reel, reel,” Taylor said of his winning strategy. He split the winnings with friend Gregory de Boo, his fishing partner on the day.

David Main was close behind with a 15.4 lb. salmon, while Kirk Solmundson placed third with his catch of 14.5 lbs.

On the halibut side, a monster fish of 61.8 lbs. won the day. It took two families to finally reel it in, as Renee and Kevin Pottle, along with Tyrell Derry, worked to conquer the giant fish. All the parents were aided by their children, if not in strength then certainly in spirit.

Derek Finlayson and Leah Smith from Smithers had a sizeable catch of their own, with their 55.4 lb. halibut coming in second place. Garry Vanderwiel and Mark Hart snagged the third prize with a 54.8 lb. haul, just beating out Rick Gowler’s catch of 53.7 lbs.

More than $12,000 in door prizes were also given away, heartily increasing the total amount of winners on the day. Fishing gear, gift cards, a smoker and more were among the items donated for the cause.

Beal says there is no doubt the event will have anglers back out on the water again.

“We’re definitely going to have another derby,” Beal said. “Plans for the future are to have even more sponsors, and even more prizes, because now we now how many people in the community will support us to get the child development centre.”

READ MORE: The Northern View’s fishing derby helping NCCS raise money for child development centre

READ MORE: Winners of The Northern View’s inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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Alex Kurial | Journalist
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