DEPOE BAY — Organizers of a popular kayak fishing derby will limit entrants to 100 this year after previous contests jammed the harbor entrance.
The 2019 Rockfish Classic will take place Saturday, July 13, from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event, sponsored by the Northwest Kayak Anglers (NWKA).
The tournament is a showcase for physical strength and angling skill as kayakers propel themselves into the open ocean — sails and motors are prohibited — for tournament trophies lingcod, rockfish, greenling and recently-opened cabezon. In this highly competitive derby, the total catch is measured to the nearest hundredth of a pound.
In Oregon, where kayaks are considered by many anglers to be the boat of choice for nearshore rockfish, Depoe Bay has become an ocean kayaking hot spot due to the short run to the ocean through a narrow, 150-foot fissure in the rocks.
According to Rockfish Classic rules, anglers will be ranked based on total combination weight of the single heaviest of each target species in possession for the tournament. The top five bags will receive prize packages, as will the angler with the largest fish of the day.
The tournament boundaries will be within eyesight of the Depoe Bay seawall, stretching north from Cove Point at Little Whale Cove to Worldmark Resort and seaward to 17 fathoms (about 100 feet), just under one mile. The channel is off limits to fishing, due to previous brushes with charter vessels.
The top five finishers in the derby will receive prizes from main sponsors Hobie and American Kayak Supply, while proceeds from the event will be donated to Neighbors for Kids, an award-winning after-school program in Depoe Bay.
Other sponsors include Garmin Electronics, Gerber Knives, NRS, Kokatat, Ram Mounts, booneDOX and Yak Power. Chinook Bend RV Resort on the Siletz River has been tapped as tournament headquarters.
Registration Closes at 11:59 p.m. on July 5. For more information, visit northwestkayakanglers.com, or go to the Facebook page, Oregon Rockfish Classic.