The Oregon Rockfish Classic was born as a fishing trip.
In Pacific City, Oregon, less than a dozen kayak anglers met up on Sept 20th, 2008. From throughout Oregon and Washington, they came to fish what some called the Oregon Coast Derby. Others called it the Pacific City Kayak Fishing Classic. There were a couple prizes to be had, but fishing was the main call. Pacific City is one of the easiest surf launches because it is fairly well protected. That's not to say there weren't some spills though.
The 2008 derby was a first saltwater experience for many people. The reports and photos from those that attended were great. Ocean Kayak provided a kayak to the winner and there was a paddle for second place
In 2009, the ORC moved to Depoe Bay, OR, and officially received the name of Oregon Rockfish Classic. Depoe bay, dubbed "the worlds smallest harbor," was chosen because it does not have much of a tidal exchange to worry about. This makes for easy outings into the Pacific, so long as the swells are down. There are no waves or beaches to concern people with the harrowing Surf Launch, and is ideal for people new to saltwater fishing. The launch is still narrow, and lined by rocks, so can be different in other ways. It really is one of the easiest places to launch on the coast. Participation doubled.
Unfortunately, 13+ foot seas shut down the short crossing, not to mention made the thought of fishing a likely disaster. The Oregon Rockfish Classic was moved to freshwater in an emergency move, and was held nearby at Big Creek Reservoir. Fishing here was tough, and the tournament was won on a single small Largemouth Bass. The event garnished sponsorship from Ocean Kayak, Hobie, Stohlquidst, and many others.
2010 brings Northwest Kayak Anglers back to Depoe Bay in hopes to give it another try. Again, this year is a biggest fish tournament. Target fish include Rockfish (Sebastes Genus), Lingcod, Cabezon and Kelp Greenling (Sea trout). Full sponsorship has not yet been announced, but I know there are a lot of companies being courted. Supporters thus far include Astoria Scuba, Scotty Paddle Sports, Kunz' Reel Gear, RAM Mounts, Hook1, Kayak Angler Magazine, and Slayride Kayak Fishing.
Fishing will begin first thing in the morning on June 19th, with folks launching from the Depoe Bay boat launch facility. Exit through the bar, and you'll find good rock-fishing to be had immediately around you. There is a wealth of information online about fishing this area of the Oregon Coast, and fishing will undoubtedly be intense.
Entry fees are $30 for Oregon residents and $20 for out-of-state folks (NWKA's own stimulus package). Fishing will continue until 330pm with weigh-ins done as you get off the water at the Depoe Bay boat launch. From the launch, things move to the Chinook Bend Resort a short distance away. Here we'll have a good ol' fish fry, raffle, and prizes. For those wanting to camp out, make reservations with Chinook Bend Resort, and mention you're with the Northwest Kayak Anglers, and get a discounted camp site near the rest of the anglers!
More information can be found at the Northwest Kayak Anglers website: http://www.northwestkayakanglers.com/index.php/topic,4485.0.html
There will be three other events this year, including the Cape Disappointment Crab Derby in July, Youngs Bay Fall Salmon Challenge in August, and the Moutcha Bay Tyee Kayak Fishing Derby in British Columbia, also in August.