BULLHEAD CITY–The Best of the West Fishing Derby was last weekend and had over 60 adult and youth participants. Anglers from all over the Tri-State area gathered at Rusty’s Marina early Saturday morning to register for their categories, which included largest striper and largest catfish.
Over the two days, fisherman cruised the Colorado River in search of the first place fish to weigh in.
“It was great seeing the comradery amongst all the anglers competing against each other,” said Recreation Supervisor Ashlee Bennett. “The adult striper category was by far the most popular bringing in over 50 fish to be weighed in.”
First place went to Todd Parker (main picture) with a 16.3 lb. catch; Kenon Guleryuz came in second with a 13.65 striper and Jordan Panster was a close third with a 12.8 catch. Adult cash prizes consisted of $500 for first, $300 for second and $100 for third.
The adult catfish category had one entry and the cash prize for first place went to Ernie Calma weighing in a half pound catfish.
Anglers were weighing in until the very last minute on Sunday which made for a nail biting conclusion, said Bennett.
Fisherman and spectators gathered around at 5 p.m. to witness the last official weigh-in and awaited the announcement of who took the title in each category.
Youth catfish category went to Kayden Calma with a 2.22 lb. fish. The youth striper category went to Jake McKee with a weigh in of over 5 lbs. Following him was Kayden Calma with a 4.5 pounder and Ryan Barry in 3rd with a little over 2.5 lbs. The youth prize pool, which was sponsored by Anderson Auto Group, consisted of $150 for first, $75 for second, and $25 for third.
“Special thanks to local businesses and organizations that helped make the event possible, which included event sponsor, Anderson Auto Group,” said Bennett. “Anderson sponsored the youth category and provided free contest entry for the first 25 youths to enter as well as providing special $500 cash youth prize pool.”
Best in the West Fishing Derby raffle prize and in-kind donors including Aquarius Hotel and Casino, Aquatic Pools, D’Angelo’s Italian Restaurant, Foam and Froth Car Wash, Tow Boat U.S, and Mad Dogs Fitness.
The event host was Rusty’s Marina and the Mohave High Fishing Club.
Several volunteers spent the weekend helping with registration and at the weigh in station, said Bennett.
“We look forward to another great event next year’s event. Be sure to mark your calendars, Best in the West Fishing Derby will return February 23-24, 2019 and don’t miss out on the new categories: heaviest stringer and women’s category,” said Dave Heath, Parks and Recreation Superintendent.