The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

Houston angler nabs truck in Silver Derby


August 17, 2017 | View PDF

Becky Carver/Seward Chamber of Commerce

Ian Wetherhorn plants a kiss on the tiny 3.62-pound silver that earned him a new truck from Chevrolet of South Anchorage on Monday.

Ian Wetherhorn will be the first person to tell anyone bigger is always better. Especially when it comes to competing in the Seward Silver Salmon Derby.

Wetherhorn landed the first "big" fish of the week-long tournament on Monday afternoon when the Houston, Alaska, resident presented a 3.62-pound tagged coho to derby officials. The tag marked #569 earned him a 2017 Chevy Silverado pickup truck, courtesy of Chevrolet of South Anchorage.

"I feel like a little kid in a candy store," said Wetherhorn. "I wish my dad and grandfather could have been here to see this. I've never had a new truck before."

Wetherhorn admits he wasn't initially excited about the small fish. About the time he caught the silver, the other line he had in the water was hit by a much larger fish.

"At the time I caught it, the other reel was hooked so I was trying to get the tiny one onboard and hit it so I could get to the bigger one," he said. "The other fish was much larger so, really, I didn't even notice it at the time."

Once he had landed the larger silver, he noticed the blue tag on the smaller one.

"I was like, 'What is this?'" he said. "Then, when I realized what it was, it was get back to the harbor as fast as I could. It didn't matter if everyone got beat up on the way back or not.

"I never dreamed a tiny 3-pounder would win a new truck."

Wetherhorn, who entered the derby aboard his own boat, landed the tagged fish at approximately 11:30 a.m. near Agnes Cove on Monday morning-just two days after the official start of the tournament.

He credited his good fortune to his father and grandfather, who used to bring him to Seward every year as a youngster to fish.

"I've been coming here for years and years," he said, noting the 3.62-pounder was among the smallest of the seven fish he landed on Sunday. "Now that I have a new truck, you can bet I'll be here next weekend to show it off."

Becky Carver/Seward Chamber of Commerce

Ian Wetherhorn's wife, Alice, reacts in shock after it was announced that her husband had landed a tagged fish that netted him a 2017 Chevrolet Silverado truck during the Seward Silver Salmon Derby.

After the tag had been verified, Wetherhorn was presented with the envelope. Inside the enveleope was a printed note from the Anchorage car dealership congratulating him on winning the truck.

"We are thrilled to announce that the first tagged fish of the 2017 Silver Salmon Derby has been weighed in," said Seward Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Cindy Clock.

"I just want to thank everyone who helped or sponsored this," said Wetherhorn. "I never dreamed my pole would reel a truck. Now I just have to keep my wife from talking me out of it."

The 2017 Seward Silver Salmon Derby will end at noon on August 20. An awards banquet will be held at 4:30 p.m. at the Breeze Inn.


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