Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions has wrapped up its second annual “Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic”. The charity event, held from August 7 through 12 at Clover Pass Resort in Ketchikan, included guided and self-guided fishing, workshops and demonstrations, and culminated with a one-day pink salmon fishing tournament.
“Our goals for this event have always been to provide an environment where women feel empowered to fish the waters of Southeast Alaska, while raising money for a cause that has impacted the lives of many women, including members of my family,” said Russell Thomas, General Manager of Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions. “Based on the feedback of the participants, it appears that we are accomplishing those goals.”
Like last year’s event, half of the charitable proceeds were directed toward breast cancer research, with the remaining portion donated to the charity of the derby winner’s choice. A host of deserving charities were represented by tournament participants, including Autism Speaks, the First City Council on Cancer, and the Wounded Warriors Project, among others.
“Clover Pass Resort went all out to make my fishing and Alaskan adventure enjoyable, adventurous, educational, exciting, and a truly unforgettable experience,” said Johnnie Redditt, winner of the one day derby. “From day one, I felt I was among long time friends. The entire staff was never too busy to give me a hand or answer any questions I might have. I can honestly say that I was so blessed to have had the opportunity to participate in the ‘Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic’. And by winning the derby, I was living my dream and making a difference by splitting the proceeds between Breast Cancer Research and the Wounded Warrior Project!”
Five teams comprised of twenty competitors fished on Saturday, August 11, raising nearly $5000 for charity. Ms. Redditt landed the winning pink at 6.4 lbs, and her winning fish netted the Wounded Warriors Project a check for $2300. Additionally, Ms. Redditt was awarded a free entry into next year’s tournament to defend her title as well as a pink fishing rod and reel.
A total of 365.9 lbs of salmon was caught by the five teams. The team sponsored by The Cedars Lodge pulled in 121.8 lbs, winning them the cumulative weight title for the second year in a row.
Fishing-related workshops were designed to introduce Southeast Alaska fishing techniques to potential first-time fisherwomen and to improve the techniques of ladies that already had extensive experience fishing in Alaska. The week began with a salmon fishing seminar taught by Clover Pass Resort Dock Manager Jeremy Merrill. He also led the knot tying seminar the following evening. Ron Short, Clover Pass Resort’s Chef, instructed the ladies on proper salmon cooking techniques during the final workshop.
Many of the participants are members of the Fishin’ Chix organization, including Ms. Redditt. The Fishin’ Chix slogan of ‘No boat, no gear, no experience? No problem!’ highlights the spirit of the event. In addition to Ms. Redditt, who is from Pensacola, Florida, other participants traveled from Minnesota, Illinois, and Maryland.
Dates for the 3rd annual event have already been set, with workshops and demonstrations set for August 7-9, 2013 and the tournament scheduled for August 10. “Although we have accomplished a lot of our objectives, we still feel there is room to grow the event and make it even more meaningful for participants next year.”
Clover Pass Resort is one of the longest continually operated fishing lodges in the State of Alaska, opening its doors in the early 1950’s. The resort is located on the road system about 12 miles north of downtown Ketchikan and on the shores of Clover Passage, a corridor for salmon returning to their spawning grounds each summer. All five types of pacific salmon, halibut, rock fish, and ling cod are available in the waters around Ketchikan. The resort has capacity for 60 guests, with a dining room, marina, and RV park.
Largest Pink Salmon – Individual
Johnnie Reddit – 6.4 lbs
Most Cumulative Weight – Team
Dates for the 3rd Annual Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic
August 6 – 11, 2013