Gigantic Fish Reeled In at 9th Annual Salmon Masters Tournament

Haida Gwaii, B.C. – (June 3, 2011) – Move over Stanley Cup Finals, there are other big sports tournaments happening in B.C. this weekend with a huge Chinook salmon reeled in. Between June 1st and 4th West Coast Resort’s Salmon Masters Tournament pits North America’s best fisherman against one another. Anglers pay a $7,000 entry fee, for a spot to compete for North America’s top cash prize of $115,000. Proceeds of this tournament support Pacific Salmon Foundation and Make a Wish.

There has been some big scoring right away. Several people have caught 40 pounders. A 59 pound Chinook was taken last Friday. Yesterday Steve Fancsy, an angler from Harrow, Ontario caught the biggest to date with a 70.8 pound Chinook salmon.

“In 15 years of operations, we’ve had over 50,000 anglers up to lodges at West Coast Resorts (WCR) and this is only the second salmon over 70 pounds,” says George Cuthbert, President, West Coast Resorts. “How’s that for odds?”

The largest Chinook ever caught was taken in a fish trap in Alaska in 1946. It weighed 126 pounds.

The huge Chinook in the Haida Gwaii area migrate south. The DNA and coded wire tags on previous large Chinook confirmed these fish are often a Rivers Inlet Wannock River Chinook, where sport fishermen have been supporting the Wannock River hatchery program for over 20 years. Cuthbert anticipates the DNA from this particular fish will reveal it’s a Rivers Inlet Chinook.

Currently Good Hope Cannery Fishing Lodge sponsors the Hatchery program there; recently providing a $100,000 funding commitment and making further contributions to Pacific Salmon Foundation

At the pre tournament reception in Richmond, Salmon Master’s Angler Barry Stewart announced an additional $50K contribution to the Pacific Salmon Foundation. This was made in the name of his long time fishing guide and Haida artist Jesse Jones who passed away earlier this last year.

The tournament ended on Saturday, June 4 with angler’s flying back on charter aircraft to Vancouver’s south terminal on Sunday.

The Salmon Masters Tournament is hosted by West Coast Resorts, The tournament’s grand prize of $115,000 will go to the lucky angler who lands the largest Chinook salmon. There is a total of $360,000 in cash prizes up for grabs.

West Coast Resorts is BC’s largest remote sport fishing lodge operator with five premier saltwater wilderness-fishing destinations in Western Canada. These lodges provide unsurpassed fishing and outdoor adventures to individuals and corporate groups and offer a full range of sport fishing opportunities for all ages and skill levels.  For additional information visit www.westcoastresorts.com

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