Chris Denton mugs for photos with his catch at the James Denton Memorial Fishing Derby Sunday.

Fish derby nets big support

Annual James Denton Memorial Fishing Derby returns to Port Hardy.

This weekend saw the first return of the annual James Denton Memorial Fishing Derby in Port Hardy.

The event drew a field of 52 entries vying to land the biggest catch in the Area 12 fish-off.

After time was called at noon Sunday, the anglers and supporters made their way to the Fish and Game Club where prizes were awarded.

Port Hardy’s Aren Kufaas defended the local honor, landing the top spring salmon over the weekend, weighing in at 24lb and earning $300 for his efforts.

The second largest spring was not far behind, a 23lb fish caught by Hunter Hamel, also worth a $300 share of the $1,300 prize pot.

There was nothing to choose between the top two halibut for the weekend, both Wayne Morgan and Jake Monson bringing up a 25-pounder over the weekend. The pair took equal share of the $300 prize.

Jessica Beckman earned a $100 payout for bringing in the top cod at 30 lb.

In addition, three competitors took home $100 apiece for hidden weight prizes.

The organizers expressed their appreciation to the Port Hardy Fish and Game Club, all those who donated to the event and to the friends, family and supporters who came out to the event in support of the Denton family.