LONG BEACH - The "World's Longest Beach" played host to over 75 fishermen looking to catch their limit at the third annual Surf Perch Derby Saturday.
Twenty-six three-man teams and four individuals braved the crashing waves of the Pacific from early morning to evening Saturday in search of the fat fish that "filet out real nice and taste good."
"I think this was the best year yet," said event coordinator Al Harper of the Long Beach Lion's Club, one of five event sponsors. "The fish have been great and quite a few caught their limits. The size of the fish were really good, many over two pounds."
In fact, the biggest fish caught that day was that of Norman Lemke, who pulled in one weighing 3.40 pounds.
Besides the Long Beach Lion's Club, other sponsors of the event include the city of Long Beach, the Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club - who served a hot breakfast to all entered. The Ocean Park Lion's Club, along with their Long Beach counterparts, served a lunch to the participants, causing Harper to comment, "We had really good chili this year."
And Harper said that this event isn't so much a fund-raiser as it is an attraction for the area.
"We're doing it in the hopes to bring people to the Peninsula," he said.
Harper said of the people who attended the event, many came from as far as Seattle, Hood River and Medford. And though the weather was very unpredictable the entire day, Harper said it's all relative.
"The weather is always an iffy thing. But what's the difference of standing out in there in the waves or getting rained on?"Winners in the 2003 Surf Perch Derby Individual
First place: Jim Chambers
Second place: Robert Hunt
Third place: Scott Rogers.
First place: Scott Rogers, Phil Henry and James Rogers.
Second place: Curtis Barnett, K.C. Lyttle and Norman Lemke.
Third place: James Taylor, Robert Hunt and Mike Reynolds.
Norman Lemke, 3.40 pounds