Coos Bay Tuna Tourney Yields 6,145 Pounds For Area Food Banks

(OREGON TUNA CLASSIC PRESS RELEASE)

Fishing the Northwest you have to be hardy but to fish the Oregon Tuna Classic this year
you also have to be patient and wait for Saturday morning.

When teams rolled into Charleston/ Coos Bay for the third leg of the tournament series they quickly heard about the bar restriction limiting boats 40 foot and under to crossing the bar. Later that evening, during the captains meeting, most everyone was anxious to hear what the Coast Guard had to say about the prediction for Saturday morning.

The message… “better get out there early before the ebb gets going strong” and early it was when 44 teams crossed a flat bar in the dark, well before daylight, and waited while roll call was repeated numerous times. It was just breaking daylight when all the boats finished checking in and the Coast Guard was told to shoot the flare sending teams west
in search of warm water and hopefully a few fat tuna.

At the end of the day 37 teams weighed in 4045 pounds of tuna at the Mill Casino where a large crowd of spectators and teams watched as the weights were called out by Mike “The Bear” from KDOCK radio. An additional 2,100 pounds of extra fish was also donated taking the total well over 6,145 pounds of fresh tuna going into the community food banks along the south coast.

Team Wildcat made their second appearance on the podium for this venue by taking the top honors with a 33 pound brute that pushed them well over the other teams with a five fish total of 131.10 pounds. They also won the Big Fish pot which paid out $750 on top of the $3,000 first place prize money.

Second place honors went to another new team to the tournaments this year by Team Chillabit with 124.15 pounds. Team Gales Creek Tuna Gafers secured the third place spot with 118.45 pounds giving them another podium placement for the season. The third place through sixth place teams were only separated by .9 pounds causing a close call for a few teams including mine for missing the podium by less than a pound.

The leader in the points standings for the official invite to the IGFA Offshore World Championships is now Team Just Keep Fishing followed closely by Team Green Lightning Laundry and Team Gales Creek Tuna Gafers.

Although anyone of the next three teams, Team Chillabit, Team Wildcat and Team Daiwa “Bad To The Bone” are not far behind the leaders and could steal it away if the leaders fail to score very well going into the season finale in Garibaldi in two weeks.

Captain Tred Barta will be there to film the event for his award winning show “The Best and Worst of Tred Barta” and will have the honors of crowning the season champion and hand out the official invite to the IGFA Offshore World Championships to be held next May in Cabo San Lucas.

This event draws close to 700 people and it should be a good time as we close the season on another tournament year. This event is the final push to generate funds for the food banks and will have a silent as well as live auction with a lot of great items. You don’t have to be part of a team to join us for dinner and enjoy the evening.

See you in two weeks when we roll into Garibaldi for the fourth and final leg of the tournament series.

— Del Stephens
OTC Chairman

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