Terrace angler John Lukasser landed a 38-pound spring salmon on July 10 to win second place in the recent Kitsumkalum Tempo Fishing Derby.
Lukasser landed it from the shore of the Skeena River with spin and glow hook and eggs, and said it didn’t put up much of a fight.
“I didn’t think it was actually a big fish at all… just the way it bit, I thought it was a little one until I pulled it into the shallows,” he said.
“It was kind of funny actually, like ‘holy cow, it is pretty big!’” he laughed.
The derby finished later that day, and the first place winner was Peter Mullin with a salmon of 41.1 pounds. Lukasser took second with his 38.1-pounder and third place went to Joe Branco with a 37.1-pounder.
Lukasser said he felt it was “a total shocker” to win second, estimating that the average spring salmon is close to 25 pounds.
He hooked his catch from the southern side of the Skeena, just downstream of where it crosses the Kitsumkalum River near the Kitsumkalum Tempo Gas Bar. He and nearly 15 family and friends camped on the river’s edge in tents over the weekend, accessing the area by boat.
Having grown up near the Copper River with a family into angling, Lukasser said he has been casting on rivers here since as early as he can remember.
He and a family member or friend visit local rivers nearly once a week, casting for trout or salmon.
He says July and August is the time to catch spring salmon and sockeye, and the coho come in around September.
“In August everything is coming into the river… and the steelhead run all year,” he said, adding that winter is a good time for steelhead fishing because there is not much else to catch then.
The recent Kitsumkalum derby also gave a prize for the largest trout, which was landed by Lori Marion and weighed 3 pounds. Jay Cooley caught the second largest trout at 2.6 pounds and Jess Colley third at 1.9 pounds. Philip Pond and Myles Johnson tied for catching the smallest legal trout, both weighing 0.5 pounds.
The derby was a fundraiser for the Dr. REM Lee Hospital Foundation, and with support from Mr. Mikes Steakhouse, collected a record $8,795.25 for urology equipment at Mills Memorial Hospital.