Steven Bogert said it’s been awhile since he caught a king salmon.
“I caught a 20-pounder, oh, 40 years ago,” Bogert said, his winning fish still hanging from the weight hook. That was shortly after noon Sunday, when Bogert pulled in to the Mike Pusich Harbor in Douglas aboard a 20-foot aluminum skiff known as the Heavy Metal.
Bogert’s king weighed in at an even 24 pounds, the largest fish caught in this year’s Golden North Salmon Derby.
“Captain Tom Chapin, he took me to the right place,” Bogert said.
When asked where exactly the right place was, Chapin replied, “We ain’t going to tell you. It’s outside of Douglas.”
Bogert and Chapin had been on the Heavy Metal since Friday and hadn’t had much luck until the winning fish came in.
“We hadn’t caught a keeper yet and then, first thing this morning, there it was,” Bogert told the Empire by phone Sunday evening.
The second-place fish, a 23.4-pound king, was caught by Jackie Dimond, while third place went to Douglas Duncan with a 22.9-pound king.
As the first place winner, Bogert will receive a number of prizes, most notably $10,000. Other prizes include a custom jacket and trophy.
The angler who places 73rd will receive prizes totaling $2,569, including a number of gift cards to local businesses.
All other winners will have their choice of prizes from a list compiled by derby organizers.
King salmon hadn’t been allowed in the derby since 2016 following an order from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. ADF&G prohibited the fishing of king salmon that year due to low levels of stock production.
The winning fish for 2017 and 2018, both cohos, were under 20 pounds.
The derby was postponed this year for the first time in 70 years due to a National Weather Service forecast of gale force winds in the area on the weekend of Aug. 17-18.
An awards dinner will be held Thursday evening at Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall in downtown Juneau at 7 p.m.
Derby co-chair Jerry Burnett told the Empire he wanted to thank everyone for their patience concerning the postponement.
“We appreciate everyone participating, our sponsors and volunteers,” he said.
Official results won’t be finalized until later today, at which point the number fish caught, poundage and funds raised will be posted to the derby’s website, goldennorthsalmonderby.com.
People who turned in fish that weren’t weighed in as derby entrants were issued raffle tickets that can be redeemed for prizes. Raffle winners are currently posted online, and prizes can be collected at the awards dinner Thursday night.
• Contact reporter Peter Segall at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.