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Indiana man hooks Seward derby winner

Alaska Dispatch News

An Indiana man will leave Alaska with an extra $10,000, his reward for catching the biggest coho in the 59th annual Seward Silver Salmon Derby.

John F. Kennedy of New Palestine caught the winner on Tuesday. When the nine-day derby concluded at noon Sunday, Kennedy’s 17.67-pound fish was the winner by little more than four ounces.

He is only the fourth winner, and the first since 2006, in 59 derbies from outside Alaska.

Finishing a close second was Anchorage’s Carl Bergstrom, who caught his 17.41-pound fish on Monday. He earned $5,000.

Only two other fish weighed 17 pounds or more. The third-place prize of $2,500 went to another Lower 48 angler, Frank  Jaramillo of Lindrith, New Mexico, who hooked a 17.01-pounder, and fourth place went to Wasilla’s Ed Dubey, whose 17-pound fish was worth $1,000. Claiming fifth place and $750 was Soldotna’s Keith Herring, who caught a 16.92-pound silver.

The top three finishers also were awarded the weight of their fish in coffee.

Unthreatened was the derby record of 22.24 pounds, set in 2002 by Shirley Baysinger of Cooper Landing. Also unthreatened was the record for the smallest winner in derby history, the 15.4-pound coho that earned Anchorage’s Gwenevere Hudson the 1965 victory.

Seward Silver Salmon Derby

Top 10 finishers

John F. Kennedy, New Palestine, Indiana           17.67

Carl Bergstrom, Anchorage                                   17.41

Frank Jaramillo, Lindrith, New Mexico                 17.01

Eric Dubey, Wasilla                                                17.00

Keith Herring, Soldotna                                         16.92

Kari Atwood, Seward                                             16.87

Ken Lester, Ferndale, Washington                      16.80

Jim Cottrell, Anchorage                                         16.66

Kevin Johnson, Anchorage                                  16.26

Patti Ansel, Soldotna                                               16.25