The 65thAnnual Rio Vista Striped Bass Derby had all the makings of a roaring success – great weather, good fishing and a full schedule of wholesome, family-oriented events.
The only thing missing were the anglers.
Fewer than 500 people bought tickets to fish.
The big winner in the derby was Tuan Nguyen, who came closest to the target length of 33.75 inches with a 33.73-inch striped bass. The striper earned Nguyen a first prize of $1,500. Second place went to Brandon Chadbourne (33.70 inches, $1,000) and third was a 33.63 inch striper caught by Kelly Walters, good for $500.
The target size for sturgeon was 61 inches and only three were caught. All were caught with shad near Pittsburg. First place went to John Gonzales with a 59.67 inch sturgeon.
The salmon category was a disappointment. Despite recent reports of very good salmon fishing, only five salmon were weighed in and the largest was a 23 pounder caught by Martin Morley. That salmon was almost two pounds larger than Mark Cole’s second place salmon and earned Morley $500. It was the second year in a row Morley captured the salmon category.
The High Roller pot was taken by Peter King. King had the ninth place striper but he was one of the few to buy a $10 kicker ticket that qualified him for the extra pool. King took home $1,146.
Brandon Hanson of Clear Lake won the boat raffle.
Kid’s winners were Riley Chaney with an 18.15 pound striper and Aurturo Loredo with a 1.11 pound catfish.
The downtown crowd enjoying the parade and fireworks was large.
“You get a night with 75 degree weather and no wind and you’ll get a crowd for fireworks,” said tournament chairman Barry Canavero. “There were tons of people out for the fireworks.”