FAIRFIELD — Edward Tenorio can now say he caught the big one.
After 15 years of entering the Rio Vista Bass Derby, Tenorio, a Fairfield resident, won first place in the striped bass division with a 32.24-inch fish and also won the side pot, which is 10 percent of adult fishing ticket sales. His total take was $3,337.
“They’ve gone out like 15 years but never caught anything near the target length,” said Tenorio’s wife, Kristen Tenorio. “It’s an accomplishment for both of them.”
“Them” includes Edward Tenorio’s fishing buddy, Joe Adair, who happens to be his wife’s brother.
They launched Friday morning from Grizzly Island after learning the target lengths and headed for the favored place, Montezuma Slough.
“That’s like our stomping grounds,” Edward Tenorio said. “We’ve been going there since we were kids.”
Each year, just prior to the beginning of the derby, the wheel is spun for the target length for two of the three adult derby categories. This year’s target length for the striped bass was 32 1/2 inches, for sturgeon, 53 inches. Salmon winners were based on weight.
Edward Tenorio caught the winner about 2:15 a.m. Saturday and waffled with Adair about whether to bring it in, in the morning, to have it checked. Fish were to be brought in to the weighmaster located at the foot of Main Street in Rio Vista within 15 hours of being caught in order to qualify. He called Haps Bait Shop in Rio Vista and was told the current winning fish was 32 inches, which is what Tenorio had his calculated at. His turned out to be just shy of a quarter-inch longer. That quarter-inch kept Tenorio in the lead for the rest of the weekend.
The two went back out on the water and continued fishing, however. They spent the entire three days on the boat.
“If you want to catch the target-length fish, it’s a hurry up and wait,” he said. “You have to stay out there and have some dedication.”
Fifteen years of dedication – with most of the fish caught being well over target length.
“I was telling my brother-in-law we have another fishing story to tell,” he said. “I have bragging rights for a whole year.”
Winners for the Kid’s Fishing Derby – under 15 – were not available Tuesday. Neither were parade or soap box derby winners.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.