Skamania Mania Results
July 5-6. 2014
1. Jacob Gurney, Schererville, Ind. 13-pounds, 12 ounces
2. Jim Kovacek, Whiting, Ind. 13-10
3. Brad Sandberg, Portage, Ind. 13-8
4. Terry Jamieson, Michigan City, Ind. 12-0
5. Joshua Patton, LaPorte, Ind. 11-13
6. Steve Braddy, Trail Creek, Ind. 11-9
7. Rick Wesner, Buchanan, Mich. 11-9
8. Aaron Aalfs, Buchanan, Mich. 10-14
9. Greg Allen, Terre Haute, Ind. 10-10
10. James Rutherford, Hammond, Ind. 9-15
11. Ted Fennicle, Portage, Ind. 9-12
12. Jake Marczuk, Sugar Grove, Ill. 9-5
13. George Wolf, Chicago, Ill. 8-11
Youth was served during the 24th annual Skamania Mania fishing contest held July 5-6 in Michigan City.
Fifteen-year old Jacob Gurney of Schererville, Ind., bested a gorgeous 13-pound, 12-ounce steelhead to beat out hundreds of veteran fishermen for the first place, $200 Cabelas gift card, year-long bragging rights and a box of spinners from Fishing Connection Tackle Shop.
"It's my first steelhead, but I knew it was a monster when I hooked it," Gurney said. "I've been waiting for this contest all summer after reading about it."
Plenty of anglers had plenty of stories of crazed steelies busting lines and tearing up tackle on Trail Creek, but Gurney was able to wear his brute out with modest, 10-pound monofilament.
"It jumped a couple times and made some runs, and some guys helped net it," Gurney said. "It hit an orange Mepps spinner."
Gurney also claimed the first place youth medal. Second and third place youth medal winners also placed among the 13 prize winners.
Terry Jamieson of Michigan City claimed fourth overall as well as a youth medal with a 12-0 from Trail Creek and Jake Marczuk of Sugar Grove, Ill., took third in youth and 12th overall for a 9-5 pulled from Trail.
The lucky 13th place fish, good for a custom $500 XCalibur fishing rod was George Wolf of Chicago.
Wolf hustled into the weigh station with two minutes to spare with Trail Creek mud clinging to his flip flops.
Altogether, nine of the 13 winning steelies came out of Trail Creek where a small run of Skamania had arrived in recent days. One steelie came from Salt Creek and three from boaters near Burns Ditch, including a 13-8 (3rd place) by last year's champ Brad Sandberg.
The Michigan City pier and lakefront produced zero winners, despite heavy angling effort.
Cabelas gift cards were awarded to first ($200), third ($50) and fourth through 12th ($25). Justin's Guide Service donated $100 (2nd) and the ultra-fine XCalibur rod went to 13th.
A Big Thank You to Mike Ryan, Mike McKee, Rich Hedgepeth, Russ Hedgepeth and Carl Thomas for their time and effort in making this year's Skamania Mania a success.