Dean Simms was getting ready to ride his motorcycle in anticipation of the Seattle Seahawks game on Sept. 20 when he got a call that would change his fishing life forever.
The call was from Northwest Marine Trade Association director of fishing affairs Tony Floor.
Floor had news: Simms’ name had been randomly drawn from more than 6,500 anglers after the conclusion of the 2015 Northwest Salmon Derby Series to win the grand prize, a fully equipped 21-foot Hewescraft aluminum boat with a trailer valued at more than $65,000.
Simms shut off his motorcycle. He had purchased a ticket to fish in the Olympic Peninsula Salmon Derby last February and was shocked.
“I couldn’t believe it. Compared to my boat, it’s like a Rolls-Royce,” he said in a statement. “For a fisherman like myself, I’m on top of the world.”
The boat is the 12th grand-prize boat, motor and trailer package that has been given away since the series was created in 2004.
This year’s Hewescraft 210 SeaRunner boat is powered by a Mercury FourStroke 150 and 9.9 ProKicker on an EZ Loader tandem axle galvanized trailer. The boat came with extras that include Lowrance electronics, Scotty Downriggers and a Dual Electronics stereo.
“We are excited for the many memories that Mr. Simms is going to have on that boat,” said Floor, who coordinates the series. “Giving away big-time fishing boat packages is the ultimate satisfaction for us.”
The Northwest Salmon Derby Series is a fishing promotion program directed by the Northwest Marine Trade Association that encourages boating and fishing in the Northwest.
This year the series included 14 derbies. For each derby in which they compete, anglers get one entry into the raffle for the grand prize drawing held at the Everett Coho Derby, the final derby in the series and the largest salmon derby on the West Coast, with more than 2,000 anglers competing.
“We are pleased with what the Northwest Salmon Derby Series is doing for boating and fishing in the Northwest,” NMTA president George Harris said. “Getting people excited about boating and fishing is what this is all about.”
“I can’t wait to take my grandkids fishing on the boat,” Simms said. “If they don’t get to feel it, they won’t get the buzz. They need to experience it. And that’s what we’re going to do.”