Journal of the San Juan Islands


Wilson Derby, Week 3: Ladies in the lead

Journal of the San Juans Editor
February 25, 2014 · 4:15 PM

Brenda Schmidt, left, gets a hand with her Wilson Derby leading salmon from fellow fisherwoman and friend Vicki Telfor, who snagged third place in Week 3 of annual fishing competition. / Contributed photo

Move over guys, the ladies have taken the lead.

Avid angler Brenda Schmidt of San Juan Island reeled in a 21.33-pound salmon to take over the lead in Week 3 of the 10th annual Frank Wilson Memorial Fishing Derby. By landing a 20-plus pounder, she bumped Week 1 and Week 2 winner Johnny Jackson into second place.

Schmidt's derby-leading catch is about one-pound shy of Geno James’ winning fish of 2012 and gives Schmidt a commanding lead with five weeks left in the annual competition.

If Schmidt’s lead holds, it appears that she would be the first-ever female to win the Wilson derby.

“I hope I can hold onto the lead,” Schmidt said. “It’s exciting, but you just never know what might happen. But I wouldn’t mind claiming that one (first female derby winner).

Along with the top spot on the derby leader-board, Schmidt pocketed $75 for landing the biggest of the week. She hooked the burly behemoth Sunday morning, somewhere (she won’t say where) off the north side of San Juan Island.

“The big boy fought me for about 20 minutes,” she said. “He was all about trying to get away.”

Schmidt isn’t the only female angler making her presence known in this year’s derby, which, like prior 10-week fishing competitions, is a benefit for San Juan EMS.

Vicki Telford, one of Schmidt’s boat mates on Saturday—Kevin Klein and Schmidt’s husband, Peter, were also along for the ride—took over third place by landing a 10.76 pounder.


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