Out with his family for their first ocean fishing experience, 8-year-old Jared Clark of Veradale topped all anglers in last week’s Ilwaco king salmon derby with the bright beauty he’s posing with.
Clark landed the fish on Friday while fishing off the Washington Coast with Captain Rob Gudgell of the Katie Marie booked through Pacific Salmon Charters.
Jared had just begun reeling in to check his bait when the chinook struck.
His dad had to help steady the rod, but Jared manned the reel, reports his mother, Shelly.
“The captain got so excited when he saw what Jared had on his line, he ran down to net the fish himself, even though there were two deck hands helping the fishermen,” Shelly said.
The king salmon weighed 21.90 pounds after it was cleaned, earning Jared a handsome $100 prize in addition to being able to take home enough dinner for the neighborhood.
“Jared’s been saving money to buy his own (hand-held computer),” Shelly said, noting that the derby prize is more than a huge windfall for an 8-year-old. “When he heard how much he’d won, he said, ‘This is my dream day.’’ ”