2018 Sproat Loggers Winter Spring Derby

Vancouver Island fishing

The 30-year anniversary of the Sproat Loggers Winter Spring Derby was held March 3 and 4.

Don Deforest founded the derby with a few friends back in 1988 and has been the driving force behind this fun-for-all tournament. While Don did all the legwork for the 2018 derby, unfortunately, he couldn’t be there due to heart surgery. I know all of us are sending him our very best wishes and thanks for all the hard work and commitment. Four hundred and seventy-six tickets were sold—almost a sell-out of the 500 printed and the biggest turn out to date.

Last year, I remember happily scraping ice and snow off my boat in order to participate. Unfortunately this year I was working at the Sportsman’s Show—promoting the magazine. I was really wishing I was there in beautiful Barkley Sound instead. However, I did manage to speak to Kaitlyn Deforest for the results, which weren’t bad at all especially for the early season:

First place was Brent Demerais with a 17.6-pounder, close to Diplock Island, on a white hootchie at 97 feet on Bob Matlock’s boat with Pat Flatager on board.

His prize? A 9.9 Yamaha High-Thrust Outboard, donated by the Port Boat House.

Brent Demerais loving his new kicker.

Second place went to Bob Downey with a Chinook of 15.6 pounds. He won a Scotty Prawn Puller package plus traps and floats from Gone Fishin’.

A close third place went to Derek Little with a fish of 15.3 pounds. He won an Islander Reel donated by JW Berry Trucking.

Gord Lidstone and the “last ticket” prize.

Last but not least—the “last ticket” drawn prize—won a Suzuki DF 2.5 outboard, donated by Breakers Marine. That went to Gord Lidstone.

Bob Cole with the “Spirit of Jake” Islander Reel.

Kaitlyn would like to thank and acknowledge Mike and Sylvia Wolff for donating the PA system and Donna Deforest, Dave Johnston, Shauna Jasken, Bob Matlock and Curtis Leyenaar for helping out.

Organized by Bob Cole in memory of Jake Leyenaar, the iconic “Spirit of Jake” Islander Reel was won by Tom McGuckie with proceeds going to local fish enhancement. The reel was donated by Islander.

Apparently first place winner Brent got a lot of offers for the kicker. But as luck had it, he was in the market for one.

Everything it seems, including great fund-raising and well-organized derbies, happens for a reason.

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