Veteran angler Jioji Lino took the top prize at this year's Downtown Soup Kitchen Slam'n Salm'n Derby fishing contest Sunday for his 29.1-pound king salmon, winning a boat, motor, trailer and bragging rights.
But Lino's fish wasn't the biggest king to come from the shores of Ship Creek this weekend. Just 15 minutes after the competition closed at noon Sunday, angler Tom Baker caught a 44.5-pounder, said organizer Chip Gallagher.
"He was a great sport about it," Gallagher said. "We put it on the scale so he could weigh it and he was letting tourists take pictures of him and with the fish."
Baker won the sportsmanship award, Gallagher said.
Lino's prize includes a boat package valued at around $8,000, as well as an ulu and an Alaska Mint coin.
This year's derby drew 1,400 entrants, up from last year's 1,200, Gallagher said.
It is expected to raise between $40,000-50,000 for the Downtown Soup Kitchen.
Reach Michelle Theriault Boots at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4344.
By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS