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21.25-pound giant coho claims lead in Seward derby

Beth Bragg
Seward Chamber of Commerce

An Anchorage man caught the third-biggest fish in the 58-year history of the Seward Silver Salmon Derby on Saturday.

Rich Taro landed a 21.25-pound fish to grab the lead with one day remaining in the derby.

Only two fish in derby history are bigger -- Shirley Baysinger's 22.24-pounder that won the 2002 derby, and Albert Verrall's 21.31-pound fish that finished second that year.

Taro hooked his giant in Thumb Cove fishing aboard the Florette C.

Five minutes after he took it to the derby booth on the Seward docks, Anchorage angler Therin Ferrin showed up with another lunker, a 17.65-pounder that took over second place. Ferrin's catch came while fishing on the North 1 in Resurrection Bay.

Saturday's big catches pushed Anchorage's Daniel Dixon and his 17.34-pound coho into third place.

A prize of $10,000 awaits the angler with the biggest silver landed during the nine-day derby. Second place pays $5,000; third is worth $2,500; fourth earns $1,000 and fifth gets $750,

So far, some 2,000 fish weighing a combined 17,000 pounds have been entered in the derby.

Still waiting to be caught are 14 tagged fish -- including one worth $50,000 and another good for a 2014 Chevy Silverado. There's a $10,000 fish, a $5,000 fish and 10 that are worth $1,000 apiece.

"So there's still a lot of money swimming out in the bay," derby coordinator Erin Lemas said.

The derby ends at noon Sunday.

Reach Beth Bragg at or 257-4335.