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28th Annual Blue Knuckle Derby was smooth sailing

Prince Rupert Lions Memorial Blue Knuckle Derby was a record year in 2020
Bill Kristmanson is the first place winner of the 28th annual Lions Memorial Blue Knuckle Derby held on Dec. 27.(Photo: supplied)

It was a record-setting year for the 28th Annual Prince Rupert Lions Memorial Blue Knuckle Derby held on Dec. 27, with the number of tickets sold, the number of sponsors supporting the community event, and the number of chinook salmon weighed in, event organizer Jamie Scott said.

“The derby was a great success. A record number of tickets were purchased and calm seas meant boats were fishing far and wide,” Jamie Scott Lions Club president, told The Northern View.

The first-place prize was awarded to Bill Kristmanson whose chinook weighed in at 15.83 lbs catching him $1200 from Harbour Machining.

In second place came Mike Pearson who netted $800 from Lighten up Electric for catching his fish of 15.34 lbs.

Nick Roemer hooked third place with a 14.5 lb fish winning $500 from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

Alexa Ryan won the under 16 youth prize, with a catch of 9.94 lbs. MacCarthy GM provided Apple earbuds for the winner.

The Gateway Dental $1000 door prize was won by Gert Desautels.

READ MORE: Tom Kingshott wins 2019 Lions Club Blue Knuckle Derby

Changes to the weigh-ins and prize-giving processes due to COVID-19 restrictions were happily accepted by participants with a record of just less than 120 fish were weighed in on the day at the Canfisco parking lot. Many boats came directly from the Rushbrook boat launch, Scott Said.

For the first time in the history of the yearly event, the prize draw was held virtually by being broadcast live on the Prince Rupert Lions social media page.

“This format seems to have been well received and we’ll probably use a hybrid format next year, awarding prizes at the Moose Lodge but broadcasting the ceremony online again,” Scott said. “Prize pickup also worked well, with winners coming down to the Moose to collect their prizes.”

Sponsorships were also record-setting this year, the club president said.

“We had a total of 95 prizes which were awarded as door prizes and hidden weights,” Scott said. “Money earned by the PR Lions Club will be used to support many worthy causes throughout the community, reflecting the local nature of the event.”

READ MORE: 17-pound catch wins first place at the 25th Blue Knuckle Derby

K-J Millar | Journalist
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Mike Pearson is the second-place winner of the 28th annual Lions Memorial Blue Knuckle Derby held on Dec. 27. (Photo: supplied)
Second place winner of the 28th annual Lions Memorial Blue Knuckle Derby held on Dec. 28, is Mike Pearson standing next to the third-place winner Nick Roemer. (Photo: supplied)