2017 Trinidad Pier Youth Fishing Derby

Although chilly the previous afternoon, Sunday, September 17, 2017 turned out to be a beautiful day at Trinidad, the small town located on California’s scenic redwood-forested, northwest coast just 24 miles north of Eureka. It was a perfect day to go fishing! Luckily, a kids fishing derby just happened to be scheduled at the Trinidad Pier. The event was the 4th Annual Trinidad Pier Youth Fishing Derby sponsored by United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC), the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers, Pacific Outfitters, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Free loaner rods and reels, free terminal tackle, free bait, free hot dog lunches, raffle prizes, and a winner in each age group helped generate excitement. In response, 45 youngsters along with roughly 60 adults turned out to enjoy the short-sleeve weather and fishing which, although a little slow, did produce a variety of fish—striped seaperch, cabezon, kelp greenling, rock greenling and one ugly buffalo sculpin.

The Trinidad Memorial Light House

The Trinidad Pier

Setting up

Cutting bait

Trinidad Rancheria Booth

The kids and families were ready

What would be the catch?

Douglas and David Shigematsu.

Looks like they’re ready!

All ages were present!

First fish of the day, a striped seaperch caught by David Shigematsu

Nothing like spending a little time in the great outdoors!

Ready for action!

What’s the best spot?

Fish slayer!

Avalon, owned by Ed Roberts, was the unofficial mascot for the derby!

The second fish of the day was another striped seaperch caught by David Shigematsu

Sit back and wait for the fish to bite!

They look like fishermen!

He was ready!

How about a rock crab?

Anglers at the railing

A young “Lady Angler”

They look HAPPY!

A small kelp greenling

What a grin!

What a smile!

Young Angler!

Trinidad Pier

The biggest fish was this striped seaperch caught by Desirae Ferguson

Wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife

A happy family!

Pier Fishing In California member Jose and his family

Ken Jones (me) and Jose; he had once sent me a question on PFIC asking how to fish rocks and practiced on the rocks at the Trindad Pier.

Another rock crab

A rock greenling caught by Malachi Costa


A buffalo sculpin caught by Nate Ferguson

Robert Gardner, Vice President of UPSAC, traveled up to the tournament from the Bay Area, served as a judge, and got a little fishing in himself.

Each age group winner received a trophy from United Pier and Shore Anglers of California, a beautiful certificate from the International Game Fish Association, and an autographed copy of Pier Fishing In California by Ken Jones (and pierfishing.com).

The under age 6 category winner was Leo Dixon of Trinidad

The age 6 category winner was Malachi Costa of Trinidad

The age 7 category winner was Anyia Benemann of Trinidad (not pictured)

The age 8 category winner was Lucy Bertrand of Arcata

The age 9 category winner was Kalgin Drake of Eureka

The age 10 category winner was Evan Unmack of McKinleyville

The age 11 category winner was David Shigematsu of Davis

The age 12 category winner was Seth Noel of Hidsville

The age 13 category winner was Desirae Ferguson of McKinleyville

The age 14 category winner was Kodiak Drake of Eureka

The age 15 category winner was Lilly Thiesfeld of McKinleyville

The Grand Champion was determined by total points. The winner was David Shigematsu. Here is is with Ed Roberts and a nice rod and reel from Pacific Outfitters.

Next up was the raffle with EVERY entrant winning at least one gift. Gift items were bought from a donation by the Humboldt Salt Water Anglers Club supplemented by a few gifts from United Pier and Shore Anglers of California.

A separate raffle was held by “Bass Man Dan” for a custom-wrapped fishing rod with all proceeds going to UPSAC for next year’s event.

Ed Roberts and the rod to be raffled!

And the winner was… Kodiak Drake

“Bass Man Dan” decided to offer a second rod for the raffle and we soon had another winner.

Ken Jones (me) and David Shigematsu, the Grand Champion.

A big thank you is due to all who contributed gifts and helped out at the tournament.

Donating money, food and gifts for the meals, insurance and prizes were a variety of different groups and businesses—Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria, Humboldt Area Saltwater Anglers (HASA), Pacific Outfitters, United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC), Ken Jones—Pier Fishing in California (pierfishing.com), and Ed Roberts. A custom built rod made by Dan Troxel of “Bass Man Dan’s Custom Fishing Rods” was raffled off with proceeds going to help pay next year’s costs.

Organizers were Ed Roberts of the California Fish and Wildlife Department, Ken Jones, President of United Pier and Shore Anglers of California (UPSAC) and owner of pierfishing.com, and Grant Roden of the Cher-Ae Heights Indian Community of the Trinidad Rancheria.

Helping out at the event were a number of different people. Several came from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife—Dustin Hixon, Carly Stanton, Kevin Butler, and Russell Janak. Robert Gardner, Vice President of UPSAC traveled north from the Bay Area. Local residents providing assistance included Nate Ferguson, Dan Troxel, Ed Roberts and Grant Roden.

“Good By” to Trinidad for another year. Looking down from the “Trinidad Memorial Light House” with the pier just barely poking out around “Little Head Rock” (which sits next to the pier).  

Trinidad Memorial Light House

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