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Scale makes fish tale a doozy

Jeremy Peters
Jeromy Curtiss shows his 21 pound king he caught while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
BOB HALLINEN /Anchorage Daily NewsAnglers try their luck at King Salmon fishing at Ship Creek in Anchorage on Thursday evening June 7, 2012. 120607
Bob Hallinen / Bob Hallinen
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Steve Lee and Herb Richardson King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Trapper Scott Riley checks out the King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Aiden Flynn and Gracie Gilbert give dad Brian Flynn moose horns while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Gacie Gilbert got a little muddy while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Roger Peterson shows his king he caught while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Roger Peterson shows his king he caught while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Michael Crerend shows a gob of Triple Threat eggs while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012. Michael Crerend had just pulled in a 15 pound King using the eggs.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Joe DiBattista pulls Michael Crerend out of the mud after Crerend netted a King while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Michael Crerend gets ready to net the 15 pound King salmon Roger Peterson is reeling in while fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Garry Shelden tears down his gear after a day King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Aliyah Adams rides along as mom Shirley Adams King salmon fishes at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Jeromy Curtiss shows his 21 pound king he caught while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Card Saunders shows his king he caught King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
New friends Emily Wilmoth and Macey Harris play in a puddle at Ship Creek. While their families King salmon fish at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ron Burkett, from Texas, and Jack McKone, stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richarson, head out after King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Macey Harris casts into a puddle on the tidal flats as King salmon fishing goes on in the background at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Aiden Flynn, Emily Wilmoth and Macey Harris play in a puddle at Ship Creek. While their families King salmon fish at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Photographing the mountains across Cook Inlet as King salmon fishing is going on at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
A fisher rigs his gear with salmon eggs while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Lou Palmer, 91, fishes Ship Creek from his "electric side-wheeler salmon mobile" during the 2012 Downtown Soup Kitchen's Slam'n Salm'n Derby Monday June 11, 2012 downtown. "I had a lot of fun putting it together," he said. "It allows me to do this." Palmer, who first fished Ship Creek about 40 years ago, now lives in the Anchorage Pioneer Home and catches a lift from AnchorRIDES to get to the creek. Fishing was slow Monday, but Palmer was happy to be out with his fellow anglers. "Everyone's springing with hope and eternal optimism!"
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
An angler makes a cast while fishing for king salmon along Ship Creek during low tide on Monday evening, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon along Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon along Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Madison Nguyen, left and Sunny Pham, right, carry a raft down a promontory to try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday evening, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Lou Palmer wears his Slam'n Salm'n Derby pin while fishing Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Bystanders watch as anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Driftwood floats back downstream as anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Bystanders watch as anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Murky water makes it hard to view fish from the observation platform Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Jeromy Curtiss shows his 21 pound king he caught while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
BOB HALLINEN /Anchorage Daily NewsAnglers try their luck at King Salmon fishing at Ship Creek in Anchorage on Thursday evening June 7, 2012. 120607
Bob Hallinen / Bob Hallinen
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Steve Lee and Herb Richardson King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Trapper Scott Riley checks out the King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Aiden Flynn and Gracie Gilbert give dad Brian Flynn moose horns while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Gacie Gilbert got a little muddy while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Roger Peterson shows his king he caught while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Roger Peterson shows his king he caught while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Michael Crerend shows a gob of Triple Threat eggs while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012. Michael Crerend had just pulled in a 15 pound King using the eggs.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Joe DiBattista pulls Michael Crerend out of the mud after Crerend netted a King while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Michael Crerend gets ready to net the 15 pound King salmon Roger Peterson is reeling in while fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Garry Shelden tears down his gear after a day King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Aliyah Adams rides along as mom Shirley Adams King salmon fishes at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Jeromy Curtiss shows his 21 pound king he caught while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Card Saunders shows his king he caught King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
New friends Emily Wilmoth and Macey Harris play in a puddle at Ship Creek. While their families King salmon fish at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ron Burkett, from Texas, and Jack McKone, stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richarson, head out after King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Macey Harris casts into a puddle on the tidal flats as King salmon fishing goes on in the background at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Aiden Flynn, Emily Wilmoth and Macey Harris play in a puddle at Ship Creek. While their families King salmon fish at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Photographing the mountains across Cook Inlet as King salmon fishing is going on at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
A fisher rigs his gear with salmon eggs while King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
King salmon fishing at Ship Creek in downtown Anchorage on Friday evening June 15, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Lou Palmer, 91, fishes Ship Creek from his "electric side-wheeler salmon mobile" during the 2012 Downtown Soup Kitchen's Slam'n Salm'n Derby Monday June 11, 2012 downtown. "I had a lot of fun putting it together," he said. "It allows me to do this." Palmer, who first fished Ship Creek about 40 years ago, now lives in the Anchorage Pioneer Home and catches a lift from AnchorRIDES to get to the creek. Fishing was slow Monday, but Palmer was happy to be out with his fellow anglers. "Everyone's springing with hope and eternal optimism!"
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
An angler makes a cast while fishing for king salmon along Ship Creek during low tide on Monday evening, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon along Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon along Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Madison Nguyen, left and Sunny Pham, right, carry a raft down a promontory to try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck fishing for king salmon near the mouth of Ship Creek during low tide on Monday evening, June 11, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Anglers try their luck Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Lou Palmer wears his Slam'n Salm'n Derby pin while fishing Monday June 11, 2012 at Ship Creek.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News

Despite fishing nearly three or four times a week since he moved from Fort Riley, Kan., to Alaska in early May, Joshua Jones didn't catch a fish until Saturday.

He made his first catch count, landing a 34.85-pound king salmon at Ship Creek to take the lead in the Downtown Soup Kitchen's Slam'n Salm'n Derby.

"I knew what I needed to get to," Jones said. "I was just hoping it was enough. I had a little scale down on the river that I used, and it said 35."

Jones hopped on the back of his truck with the fish and a friend drove him to the official Derby weigh station just a few minutes away from where he made the catch. The previous leader was a 33.3-pounder caught by Nick Cavoulas on June 8, the Derby's first day.

Jones, a 25-year-old construction equipment mechanic for the Army will have to wait until noon Sunday for the conclusion of the Derby to see if he wins the first-place prize of a 14-foot boat, 25-horsepower motor and a trailer. He doesn't plan to do any more fishing, so Saturday's catch will have to be good enough.

"If my wife lets me out of church, I might be out here," he said. "My wife puts up with me fishing all the time and I love her for it."

The boat would come in handy, said Jones, who doesn't own one.

"I definitely would love to have it," he said. "I told my friend today as I was walking down to the creek how much I would love it."

Jones said he has been fishing all over the Eklutna and Eagle River areas this spring but hasn't enjoyed any luck. He began fishing Saturday around 2 p.m., only feeling a few nibbles before hooking the prize king around 7 p.m.

"I took about two steps back and it took off, and all I kept hearing was everyone screaming to set the hook," Jones said. "I think it took about 15 minutes to get him in."

The fish was officially caught at 7:35 p.m., with weigh-ins still available until 11 p.m. The official winner will be announced Sunday at 1 p.m.

Catching his first fish in Alaska was a big thrill for Jones, who said he has been an avid fisherman all his life.

"My dad took me fishing since I was a newborn baby," he said.

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.


By JEREMY PETERS
Anchorage Daily News