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Truckee: Stampede Kokanee Power Derby won by ounces

BY PAUL LEBOWITZ/WON Staff WriterPublished: Aug 14, 2019

TRUCKEE — Kokanee Power brought one of its 6 fundraising tournaments to Stampede Reservoir on Saturday, and the results, as usual, came down to mere ounces on a good day of landlocked salmon fishing.

“It was pretty tight. The top three teams were less than 4 ounces apart,” said Gary Coe, Kokanee Power President and winner of the Stampede Reservoir and Team Kokanee Derby with his fishing partner John Lico. The pair weighed a 3-fish tournament limit of 53.40 ounces.


kokaneepowerKOKANEE POWER HELD its Stampede Reservoir Team Kokanee Derby on Saturday, and Junior anglers held up their end of the bargain, weighing some nice fish and collecting commemorative caps and other prizes. In no particular order, the Junior winners were Aleene Rainsbarger (first), Nathaniel Lenard (second), Matty Itow (third), Lillian Smith (fourth) and Adam Naves (fifth). PHOTO COURTESY KOKANEE POWER

Coe said luck played a factor in his team win. So did catching the tournament big fish first thing in the morning, a 16.90 ouncer that measured just a hair under 16 inches long. “Getting that kicker fish an ounce heavier than the next guy throws you over the top,” he said. Coe was running a Paulina Peak Tackle Flutterbug with a new Performer dodger. His partner chose a green and silver Apex and Paulina Peak Micro Hoochie in purple.


The team of local guide Marc Christophel and John Johnson finished second with a 50.50-ounce limit. The pair worked the middle of the lake from north to south, not on any particular structure at 70 to 100 feet. “I knew there were some bigger fish holding there and figured I would fish it,” Christophel said. At first, they had it to themselves. “We were straight out from the boat ramp, go figure. We ground a few nice fish there before people saw we were turning hard.”


That attracted attention, so the pair trolled away only to return for a few more nice fish once the crowd dispersed. They ended with two 15.5 inchers and one 15. Christophel further said he noted the bucks were starting to develop hooked jaws, indicating the onset of spawning season, however, all the hens were still bright.


Jon Swaney and Mike Davis were third in the adult division with 49.25 ounces for their 3-fish limit. Highlighting the close competition, the tenth place team weighed in 43.30 ounces.


Junior anglers had their own, single fish competition. Aleene Rainsbarger, daughter of local guide Shaun Rainsbarger, finished first with a 17.30-ounce kokanee, one of the heaviest weighed on the day. Nathaniel Lenard was second with 14.90 ounces. Matty Itow (third, 14.60 ounces) rounded out the podium, followed by Lillian Smith (fourth, 13.05 ounces) and Adam Naves (fifth, 11.60 ounces).


Sixty-five teams competed, said Coe, and there were some 160 entrants including Junior. “It was a grand tournament, it made for a very competitive and good event,” Coe said.


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