Always a success, our family-oriented Perch Derby grew to 300 participants this year. As usual, it was a mix of great people, great prizes, great trophies, and some GREAT fish. Most interesting this year was the “Dark Horse” entry. Though he had never surfcast the Monterey Bay, Ventura angler Joe Voss took top honors with a 15-.5-inch BSP caught on a bloodworm, and went home with the BIG trophy.
A sellout crowd of 300 anglers participated in the 2015 Sand Crab Classic Perch Derby last weekend, the biggest turnout in 11 years. This derby is getting bigger and better every year, and qualifies as the largest surfcasting tournament on the West Coast.
As usual, all proceeds beyond derby costs go to the Monterey Bay Salmon and Trout Project to support MBSTP education, hatchery and habitat restoration efforts.
Anglers fished from Pacifica down to Carmel. Despite a recent slowdown for surfcasting perch, a number of impressive fish were weighed in.
Top honors this year went to Grand Master Joe Voss. Voss came all the way from Ventura in his first try at the derby. He found a couple good holes at Salinas River State Beach on Friday to which he returned before sunrise Saturday.
Using bloodworms, he nailed a 15½-inch barred surf perch which proved to be the biggest fish for this year’s event. He left Saturday night for his home down south. But he’ll be back.
Other winners included Grace Volz, who captured the Grand Master Trophy last year, coming in No. 1 for Women’s Barred Surf Perch with a fat 10½-inch BSP. A.J. Foster won in the Seaperch Division with a 15-inch striped perch. Michael Calura took the Men’s Barred Surf Perch category with a fish measuring 15¼ inches. The Women’s Seaperch trophy was captured by Judy Foster with a striped perch nearly 14 inches long.
In the Junior divisions, Caleb Arroyo won the sea perch trophy with a 13 5/8-inch striped perch and Madison Jauregi captured the Junior Barred Surf Perch trophy with her 12¼-inch fish.
Second and third-place trophies and prizes were awarded in all categories. Full results and photos of all trophy winners can be viewed at sandcrabclassic.com.
Now it’s time to tune up our tackle and spruce up the boats, as the beginning of April features twin openings of both salmon and rockfish seasons. Next week’s report will discuss details and strategies for pursuing both these popular species in the Monterey Bay.
Send your reports and photos to Allen Bushnell at: firstname.lastname@example.org