Floyd DeGarmo, fishing aboard Just Cuz, landed a Chinook salmon weighing in at 24.5 pounds to take home first-place honors in the Grand Haven Steelheaders’ Big King fishing contest, held in association with Salmon Festival on Saturday.
Second place went to Vince Pannucci, fishing aboard The Saint, with a 24-pounder.
A total of 15 boats landed a salmon weighing 20 pounds or more.
The big non-king salmon award went to Jon Ray, who netted a 9.5-pound coho salmon.
A total of 61 anglers registered for the competition — 59 boats and a pair of pier fishermen.
Saturday was a terrific day for the event, with sunny skies, good lake conditions, and the salmon either staging to enter the Grand River or already running up the river.
“With fish in the river — many boats were trolling in the river, catching and netting fish, it was a perfect background for the 10th annual Salmon Festival,” said event organizer Mary Jane Belter.
As part of the weigh-in, Dan O’Keefe of the Michigan Sea Grant collected information on the fish caught. He checked to see if the salmon were planted or a result of natural reproduction and gathered other data to help biologists study the health and the quality of the Lake Michigan fishery.