Port Alberni teen becomes youngest-ever winner at salmon derby

Port Alberni teen becomes youngest-ever winner at salmon derby
Fourteen-year-old Justin McKay, middle, poses with his derby-winning catch at an event near Port Alberni.

Fourteen-year-old Justin McKay netted himself the top spot at the Port Alberni Salmon Derby over the Labour day weekend, becoming the derby’s youngest winner ever.

McKay caught a 27.1-pound fish, coming in ahead of Bob Matlock who caught a 21.6-pound fish. The teen secured the first-place prize of $10,000.

“It’s crazy in like 52 years, that’s crazy that I’m the youngest ever. I just can’t believe it,” said McKay.

The boy says fishing has been a part of his life ever since he was a baby, and participated in many derbies before but has never placed in the top three until this year’s event.

His catch at the derby isn’t even the biggest fish he’s ever reeled in.

“A couple of years ago I caught a 33,” said the 14-year-old.

McKay’s mom says that next year, Justin is going to join the Alberni Valley Tyee Club and is already practicing for the Salmon Derby.

“We definitely won’t stop going to derbies. We love derbies, even just for the fun of it,” said Jennifer Qvist.

Justin also completed another accomplishment by opening up his first bank account in order to cash in his cheque. He tells CHEK News he’s planning on buying a dirt bike.

“That’s too much money for me it feels like,” said McKay.

Oli HerreraOli Herrera

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