IABA Big Catch Derby, ‘The Geographically Largest Fishing Tourney In the Nation’, ends Wednesday

The IABA Big Catch Classic, "The Geographically Largest Fishing Tourney in the Nation" ends on Wednesday.
The IABA Big Catch Classic, "The Geographically Largest Fishing Tourney in the Nation" ends on Wednesday.(Jordan Rodenberger)
Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 6:57 PM AKDT
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Fishing and Alaska are nearly synonymous, which is why there are so many fishing derbies that flourish around the state. Valdez, Anchorage and Homer see flocks of anglers compete in their derbies, but what about the fishermen and women in the Interior or Northern Regions of Alaska?

That is where the IABA Big Catch Classic Fishing Derby comes into play, with the self titled “The Geographically Largest Fishing Tourney in the Nation”. The Derby covers the Northwest, the Yukon, the North Slope and beyond. Eight different species are featured in the derby: Burbot, Char, Grayling, Rainbow Trout, Pike, Whitefish, King Salmon and “Other Salmon”.

What started as a weekend derby at Tanana Lakes in 2016 has expanded exponentially. Coordinator of the Big Catch Classic, Richard Musick, explained why the derby widened it’s outreach.

“This year, we wanted to expand it to pretty much the entire northern region,” said Richard Musick, Coordinator of the Big Catch Classic. “I’d love to see people bringing in sheefish from the Kobuk (River) and pike from the Innoko (River).

Anglers can submit their fish virtually, by taking a picture of the fish next to a tape measure and entering it into the derby app.

“People, they like to go out and go fishing and have their little secret favorite fishing spot. They can still go out, catch fish, take a picture, release those fish, and still be able to enter the derby,” added Musick.

The Big Catch Classic began on June 1 and runs through July 15. Cash prizes of $100 for first, $75 for second and $50 for third are awarded in each category. Tickets for the derby can be purchased by calling 907-455-6650.

Copyright 2020 KTVF. All rights reserved.

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