Coho Derby preview: Angling for awards
Written by Sheboygan Press   
Thursday, 10 August 2006 18:04

It's the Coho Derby, and it's been so-named for 36 years. But if one local charter-fishing captain is right, king salmon will steal the show this weekend.

"We're seeing a lot of kings pushing 20 pounds already, or bigger," said Roy Kalmerton, owner of Wolf Pack Adventures LLC. "There are some big kings out there. If you find the bait, the fish are going to be there."

The Coho Derby, hosted by The Wharf and Merchants of the Riverfront, is Saturday and Sunday. Grace Brown, co-owner of The Wharf and one of the Derby's main organizers, said tickets are on pace to meet or surpass the 850 anglers who registered last year.

"The fishing's been real good for the week, and we're having a banner year again," she said. "Last year was good, too. This year is just as good, if not better."

During the busy charter season, Kalmerton reports that his boats have been scoring large kings — 15 to 20 pounders.

"We're seeing bigger fish than we did last year," Kalmerton said. "There are a lot of 4-year old fish."

The biggest king registered at last year's Derby weighed 21.04 pounds. It wasn't even the largest fish caught during the Derby. That honor went to Jerrad Kalmerton's 21.32-pound brown trout.

Derby tickets are still available and must be purchased before 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, when the contest begins.

Individual Derby tickets are $20 for both days. Fish categories are: king salmon, Coho salmon, rainbow trout, lake trout and brown trout. A valid Wisconsin fishing license and Great Lakes trout stamp is also required at the time of registration.

Derby tickets can be purchased at: The Wharf, 733 Riverfront Drive; Gander Mountain, 4308 county Highway J; Genuine Mechanics, Inc., 1453 North 40th St.; and Thomson Marine, 5424 Racetrack Road, Sheboygan.

Deadline for boats to enter the two-day Super Derby ($100 entry fee) is 6 p.m. Friday. The first-place boat in the Super Derby wins $3,000.

More than $20,000 in prizes is available this weekend. The overall winner, selected by a random drawing from the first-place winners in each category, receives a 15-foot Smoker Craft Alaskan boat, equipped with a Karavan Trailer and 25-horsepower four-stroke Mercury Motor. The other category champions receive $1,000.

Proceeds from the Coho Derby will be donated to the Camp Y-Koda Outdoor Skill & Education programs of the Sheboygan County YMCA. A contribution will also be made to the Sheboygan Great Lakes Sports Fishing Club to enhance fishing in the area.

Provided rain stays out of the forecast, and a westerly wind develops, Kalmerton said there should be lots of happy anglers.

"If the weather stays, and it's starting to stabilize, we'll be way above what we caught last year," he said.


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