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Perch’n on Peninsula tourney biggest ever

Article and photos by Charlie Holthaus
04/22/15 -- The Samoa Peninsula Fire District’s 6th Annual Perch’n on the Peninsula, Surfperch Fishing Tournament and Fish Fry Fundraiser was a huge success. “The event was held on Saturday April 18 and more people attend than ever before.

Over 130 meals were served and over $4,000 in tournament and raffle prizes were handed out. The Petrale sole and Humboldt Bay oysters were a big hit once again.

Casey Allen took first place with this redtail surfperch measured at 15.4 inches, photo by Charlie Holthaus
Casey Allen took first place with this redtail surfperch measured at 15.4 inches

Despite the less than perfect ocean conditions 59 people entered the tournament and went fishing this year, including 10 Junior Category participants. This year’s participants were greeted with the typical foggy overcast weather conditions for which Humboldt County is famous.

The winds were light out of the northwest and the waves were on the large side with 8-10 footers rolling in every 12-13 seconds. The fishermen/fisherwomen were spread out all over Humboldt County with folks reporting in from as far away as Centerville beach to the south, Gold Bluff beach to the north and almost everywhere in between.

Most folks reported relatively good fishing early in the day when the tide was low and slower fishing later in the day as the tide came in. The large swell seemed to have dirtied up the water and produced heaver currents which made holding bottom a challenge for many. Those that headed for more sheltered locations like Trinidad and Humboldt Bay reported good action with somewhat calmer conditions.

As in years past, many of the biggest perch were caught at Gold Bluff beach and Centerville beach; however, Stone Lagoon beach appeared to also be a hot spot this year. Jessica Bishop and Lars Cox fished the more sheltered waters at Luffenholtz beach and found many striped surfperch on the bite. Jessica brought back a 14.8 inch striped surfperch this year which is the largest of this species we have ever had entered in the tournament. Jessica’s catch landed her the 5th place standing in the Adult Category in this year’s tournament. Way to go Jessica!

Tournament Results:
Adult Category
Out of the 49 adult tournament participants 16 returned and entered fish.

First place in the Adult Category with this year’s largest Surfperch was Casey Allen!

Casey fished at Gold Bluff beach this year with good friend Margaret Morris. Casey’s tournament wining Redtail Surfperch measured 15.4 inches. Margaret also got into the action and returned with a 14.7 inch Redtail Surfperch that earned her the 6th place standing in the Adult Category. Casey took home a full day guided drift boat fishing trip on the upper Trinity River with Sweet Trinity Guide Service for his tournament prize.

There was a tie for second place in the Adult Category this year. Both Tyronne Bachus and Thomas Jones brought back Redtail Surfperch that measured 15.02 inches. This is the first time there has been a tie in the top tournament entries. As per the tournament rules, to break the tie the participants’second largest fish was measured. Tyronne Bachus fished at Stone Lagoon beach and was awarded second place in the Adult Category this year because Tyronne returned with a second fish. Tyronne took home the full day Klamath River Jet Boat fishing trip with Steve Huber Guide Service for his catch.

Thomas Jones fished at Gold Bluff beach this year and returned with a single fish, because all his smaller fish had been cleaned and filleted already, Thomas’s catch earned him the third place standing in the Adult Category. Thomas chose the full day charter fishing trip with North Wind Charters as his tournament prize.

Juniors Category
Out of the 10 juniors that entered the tournament, 9 returned with fish.

Brothers Sammy Luna (8) and Oliver Luna (5) of Mckinleyville smoked the competition this year, taking both First and Second Place in the Juniors Category. They fished with their dad Jake Luna at Stone Lagoon beach and returned with a full bucket of fat Redtail Surfperch. Sammy Luna was awarded First Place in the Junior’s Category with his 14.7 inch Redtail Surfperch and took home with a full day charter fishing trip with Coastline Charters.

Oliver and Sammy Luna of McKinleyville fished at Stone Lagoon beach and caught these award winning perch.
Oliver and Sammy Luna of McKinleyville fished at Stone Lagoon beach and took first place and second place in the Junior Category.

Little brother Oliver Luna was awarded the second place standing in the Juniors Category with his 14.3 inch Redtail Surfperch and went home with a ½ day charter fishing trip with Windrose Charters. Abbey Ziesak (12) from Eureka took the Third Place prize in the Juniors Category with her 13.8 inch Redtail Surfperch, Abbey took home a ½ day charter fishing trip with Patricks Point Charters for her catch. Abbey was fishing with her dad Matt Ziesak at Stinky beach in Humboldt Bay.

We also want to congratulate Milo Boyer for catching his first fish ever during the tournament. Milo returned with a 13.6 inch Striped Surfperch he caught, with some help form Dad, near Trinidad. Milo earned the Fourth Place standing in the Junior’s Category for his catch.

Congratulations to everyone that participated and thank you for supporting the Samoa Peninsula Fire District Volunteer Organization. With the proceeds from this annual fundraiser event the volunteers were able to purchase a used fire engine in 2014 which is now fully equipped and responding to emergency incidents on the Samoa Peninsula and surrounding areas.

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