A 26-pound fish won the 64th Annual Golden North Salmon Derby and the man who reeled it in is surprised.
Ted Quinn, who lives in the Mendenhall Valley, caught the winning king salmon Friday afternoon.
"I think it's pretty cool," Quinn said. "I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would have. To catch it early Friday morning and have a fish like that stand up to the entire weekend is even more surprising."
Quinn said it's the smallest winning salmon to ever win the derby, which his friends relish giving him grief about. In the last 10 years, the next closest to Quinn's 26-pounder was in 2004 with a 26.5 pound salmon.
On and off for the past 38 years he has participated in the derby, but never placed in the top results.
"I'm really not a very good fisherman," Quinn admitted. "It's better to be lucky sometimes than good."
He appreciates the work the derby coordinators did this year - and mother nature.
"Last year's derby was absolutely (horrible) - raining and blowing," he said. "To have a derby this year with sunshine and the heat, it was fantastic."
As the one who reeled in the top fish, he wins $10,000 cash, a trophy and other goodies.
Sandy Williams, event co-chairman, said the three-day derby turned out wonderfully.
"There was a whole lot of things that came together," he said. "The weather, of course, was perfect. The fishermen were able to stay on the water the entire derby. The fish that were caught this year were in great shape. I thought the fishermen took very good care of the fish. They heard our plea to keep them in slushed ice. The buyer was very pleased with the shape of the fish when he got them."
He thanked the media for getting information out to the participants, adding that the publicity made it more fun for the fishermen.
Williams said it was an excellent turn out as well, with approximately 2,000 participants.
"That's very, very good," he said. "I think what happened is they got that weather report on Thursday. I know one of our vendors sold over 500 tickets on Thursday."
Williams also noted that more fish were turned in this year as well.
Since the derby is in its 64th year, the people who caught the top 64 fish receive awards. Those people must attend the awards ceremony 7 p.m. Thursday at Centennial Hall with their derby ticket.
Scholarship fish ticket drawings will also take place Thursday evening. The results for the derby were certified Tuesday.
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