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Carter Whalen holds on to derby lead; Chuck Payne trails by less than a pound | Fishing

Carter Whalen leads the Frank Wilson Blackmouth Derby with a 21.41-pounder. Bottom photo, Chuck Payne is in second place with a 20.67-pounder.                                                  - Contributed photos
Carter Whalen leads the Frank Wilson Blackmouth Derby with a 21.41-pounder. Bottom photo, Chuck Payne is in second place with a 20.67-pounder.
— image credit: Contributed photos

Carter Whalen of San Juan Island grabbed the lead and Chuck Payne trails by less than a pound as both anglers netted 20-plus pound fish during Week 5 of the annual Frank Wilson Blackmouth Fishing Derby.

Whalen earned a third $75 gift certificate for biggest blackmouth of the week by hauling in a 21.41-pounder. He also hooked the largest fish in Week 1 and Week 4, 18.75 and 14.44 pounds, respectively, and bumped Raymond Ploghoft, who reeled in a 19.87-pounder in Week 3, off the top the leader board with his most recent weekly winner.

Payne broke the 20-pound barrier in Week 5 as well. But his 20.67-pounder fell just shy of topping Whalen’s derby-leading catch.

A total of 13 fish were weighed during the fifth week of the annual event, proceeds of which benefit San Juan EMS. Gene James and Travis Berwald each hooked 13-plus pounders in Week 5.

Thomas Smythe, who snagged a 16.32-pounder on Sunday, leads the field for the Week 6 weekly prize. (A derby week is Sunday through Saturday).

As of Monday, nearly 90 fish had been turned in by 69 anglers taking part in the competition.

Tickets are still available, at $50 per person, and there’s another four weeks of derby fishing still to go. It ends April 15.

Derby contestants vie for weekly gift certificates and an assortment of cash prizes and awards. The grand prize, awarded to the angler with the largest fish over the 10-week derby, is a $1,000 check. Second place receives a $500 check and third place earns $250. All other contestants qualify for the “Mystery Fish” drawing, a quasi-raffle in which the winner nets a $1,000 check.

To enter, or for more information, call King’s Marine, 378-4593.

At a Glance
Weekly winners of the Frank Wilson Blackmouth Fishing Derby, with fish weight.

— Week 1: Carter Whalen, 18.75.
— Week 2: Pete Nelsen, 14.12.
— Week 3: Raymond Ploghoft, 19.87.
— Week 4: Carter Whalen, 14.44.
— Week 5: Carter Whalen, 21.41.

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