Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic Raises Over $5000 For Charity

1st Annual “Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic” Raises Over $5000 for Charity


August 15, 2011 – Ketchikan, AK – Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions has wrapped up its first annual “Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic”. The charity event, held from August 10 through 15 at Clover Pass Resort in Ketchikan, included guided and self-guided fishing, workshops and demonstrations, and culminated with a one-day pink salmon fishing tournament.

“We had been trying to put all of the pieces of this event together for a few years and are very pleased with the way things ultimately turned out,” said Russell Thomas, Clover Pass Resort General Manager. “We felt like our team accomplished a lot of our goals when everyone that participated insisted we set the dates for next year’s event so they could plan on attending.”

Thomas started the planning for the event after talking to numerous ladies while planning trips for the guys in their lives. “I would always say, ‘There’s still room on this list for you,’ and a lot of times the responses were, ‘This is a guy’s trip,’ or, ‘My husband won’t show me how to fish,’ or ‘I would never be able to do that on my own.’ I always thought that if we provided the right setting where women felt like they could ask a lot of questions and get some actual hands-on practical experience, those barriers would be removed and the fear of the unknown would completely go away.”

The fishing-related workshops were designed to introduce Southeast Alaska fishing techniques to potential first-time fisherwomen and to improve the techniques of ladies that already had extensive experience fishing in Alaska. A salmon fishing seminar taught by mother/daughter Ketchikan fishing experts Louise & Misty Pattison started the week off, followed by a knot tying seminar, a cooking class specific to salmon and halibut, as well as practical hands-on boat and gear demonstrations on the dock.

“All of the classes were terrific,” said Jen Elliott, one of the Ketchikan women that signed up to be part of a team. “The teachers were enthusiastic about sharing their knowledge and made everyone feel very comfortable, like there were no stupid questions. I’ve fished some with my husband since moving to Ketchikan but still found there was so much about fishing that I could learn.”

It was determined early on in the planning stages that some of the charity work would benefit breast cancer causes. Thomas’s mother, grandmother, and Aunt are all breast cancer survivors. “The cause of educating women, promoting early detection and treatment, and of ultimately finding a cure for breast cancer was something that we knew would not only be important to women in general, but is also something very personal to our family and to our organization,.” Thomas said.

However, Thomas and his team also wanted to find another way to make the event even more personal for the participants. During a brainstorming session they determined that half of the charity proceeds would be donated to breast cancer causes, and the other half would be directed to the tournament winner’s charity of choice. The idea was a hit with tournament participants who signed up representing a host of well-deserving charities including the First City Council On Cancer (Ketchikan, Alaska), Wounded Warriors Project, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, and Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others.

Eight team comprised of thirty competitors fished on Sunday, August 14, raising over $5000 for charity. Pam Thomas, a breast cancer survivor herself, landed the winning pink at 4.6 lbs. Her fish netted her charity, the First City Council on Cancer, over $1300. Ms. Thomas’ charity stood to benefit even more, but befitting the spirit of the tournament, she donated half of her portion of the proceeds to the charities of the two women who tied for second with 4.5 lb entries. Cindy Nash (Orange Beach, Alabama) took home $650 for her charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, as did Sylvia Johnston (International Falls, MN) for her charity, the Koochiching County Health Department Dialysis Center.

The tournament attracted the attention of Fishin’ Chix marketing director, Captain Hallie Burnett.  The Fishin’ Chix is a national women’s fishing organization dedicated to providing women access and opportunity to fish.  “The Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic embodies the Fishin’ Chix motto to “join the fishin’ sisterhood” in many ways,” said Burnett.  “The slogan for our own tournament series, the Pink Rubber Boots Ladies Fishing Rodeo: ‘No boat, no gear, no experience? No problem!’ was incorporated perfectly into the Think Alaskan Pink event. Both tournaments invite women of all ages and skill levels to participate and both are turn-key fishing adventures that makes it EASY for ANYONE to try this awesome sport.”  That was exactly the type of events Chix founder, Claudia Espenscheid, envisioned when she formed the Fishin’ Chix organization and the reason the Think Alaskan Pink event was an attractive addition to the organization’s calendar.  “The success that the Fishin’ Chix from Minnesota, Illinois, Florida and Alabama experienced at the Ketchikan Ladies Classic is proof that Miss Espenschied’s vision is now a reality, and I was very happy to be a part of it.”

Thomas and his team are already making plans for next year. “Although we accomplished a lot of what we had hoped to, this event triggered a lot of ideas about the kinds of things we could do to make it even more meaningful for participants next year. We’ve already started planning for what promises to be another fantastic week of events!”

Clover Pass Resort is one of the longest operating fishing lodges in the State of Alaska, opening its doors in the early 1950’s. The resort is located on the road system about 12 miles north of downtown Ketchikan and on the shores of Clover Passage, a corridor for salmon returning to their spawning grounds each summer. All five types of pacific salmon, halibut, rock fish, and ling cod are available in the waters around Ketchikan. The resort has capacity for 60 guests, with a dining room, marina, and RV park.



Largest Pink Salmon – Individual

Pam Thomas

Most Cumulative Weight – Team

Pam Thomas

Jaylyn Merrill

Liz Thomas

Barbara Johnson

Largest Pink Salmon – Senior

Sylvia Johnston

Largest Pink Salmon – Youth

Dyllan Borer

Largest Silver Salmon – Individual

Donna Burke

Dates for the 2nd Annual Think Alaskan Pink Ladies Classic

August 7 – 12, 2012


To see more pictures of the event, check out Clover Pass Resort’s Facebook page.

More Ways to Stay in Touch with ASE Resorts!

Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions has gone social – and now you can get the Deep Dish on Ketchikan Alaska Fishing on Facebook and Twitter!


If you have stayed with us at any of our resorts, we would love for you to share your experience with others! You can find a link to each resort’s Facebook page below. ‘Like’ our pages, post your comments and upload some pictures and let everyone know what a great time you had in Ketchikan, Alaska!!  By becoming a fan of our lodges, you’ll be eligible for exclusive, Facebook-only discounts and contests.

And for up to the minute news about fishing in Ketchikan, follow us on Twitter: @KetchikanFishin

The Cedars Lodge on Facebook

Clover Pass Resort on Facebook

Silverking Lodge on Facebook

A Day At The Office!

Photographer and friend, Barry Hill, recently made his way up to Ketchikan from Park City, Utah to get away from Utah’s summer heat, catch a few fish, and capture some pictures.  It was a busy trip for Barry, although he did find some time work combine work and play with some of  Clover Pass Resort’s team during a halibut fishing excursion.  The weather cooperated and despite a few other commitments that cut the trip shorter than all would have liked, everyone caught fish.  Barry and Carter Thomas (son of Clover Pass Resort manager, Russell Thomas) tied for most fish, with Clover Pass Resort dock manager Jeremy Merrill taking the prize for biggest.  All in all, it was a great morning!

Happy 4th of July from Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions!!

In 1776, the founding fathers created their vision of a free nation and instituted it by signing the Declaration of Independence. Today, we celebrate the unalienable rights given to us as Americans: the right to life, to liberty, and to the pursuit of happiness. Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions salutes our flag, our soldiers, and the United States of America, and we wish you all a very happy, and safe, Independence Day.

The Season Begins at The Cedars Lodge

The season got started at The Cedars Lodge on a beautiful day this morning in southern southeast Alaska. Clear skies and warm temperatures are always a welcome sight in Ketchikan, and our friends enjoyed this weather with Skipper Sean Mitchel for a day on the water in the Weight ‘n Sea. Each man caught a king salmon and a halibut before heading back to the lodge.

Elephant Seal Draws A Crowd!

An elephant seal has been making his home in and around the Clover Pass Resort dock over the last couple of weeks. Tonight it sat for 15-20 minutes just feet off the dock entertaining king salmon fishermen coming back after a day fishing the Ketchikan King Salmon Derby. About 30 onlookers crowded the rails in awe of the huge seal. Some out-of-town visitors were pleasantly surprised to find they had happened upon a treat — most of the onlookers were local residents who had never seen, or at the very least been this close to, an elephant seal.

First Fish Of The Derby

Cathleen Taro landed the first fish of the 2011 Ketchikan King Salmon Derby. The derby is celebrating its 64th birthday this year. Cathleen’s king weighed in at 19.4 lbs and was checked in at the Clover Pass Resort weigh-in station. The station is manned with volunteers from Rotary 2000. About 500 anglers checked out this morning for the first day of the three-weekend derby.

First Fish of the 64th Annual Ketchikan King Salmon Derby

Thanks to our Soldiers (Past & Present)!

Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions and Clover Pass Resort want to say thank you to those that have sacrificed in our behalf! We are proud to fly the American flag in honor of our Veterans, active-duty military, and reserves. God bless each of you this Memorial Day weekend!

Ketchikan’s Charter School Fishes from Clover Pass Resort

Fishing isn’t an activity you often associate with P.E. class in school. But Greg Gass of with a little help from the Southeast Alaska Guides Organization (SEAGO), Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions, and three generous local skippers: Jerry Engleman, Ron Moyer, and Sean Mitchel.

The sixth, seventh, and eighth graders were split into three groups and taken out to sea. They spent most of their time jigging for rockfish. A couple of red snapper and a number of lingcod were caught, including a 36.5 pound lingcod brought in by Brittnee Gibson. The class’s catch was brought back to Clover Pass Resort, where it was fileted and packed for the kids to take home. The kids also took home some fishing tackle, courtesy of Tongass Trading Company.

We are excited that the students of Ketchikan Charter School have been allowed to fish as part of their education. Fishing links people to the natural world in a way that can generate caring, responsibility, and action . . . but most of all, fishing is FUN for kids of all ages!!

Students (in alphabetical order): Brandon Corporon, Nico Deguzman, Addie Ferguson, Brittnee Gibson, Sonny Guthrie, Martha Mandan, Tylerlynn McRoberts, Bryce Moss, Elijah Murphy, Shania Olson, Isabelle Singleton, Gretchen Wilhelm

Chaperones: Greg Gass, Casey Robinson, Conan Steele

Skippers: Jerry Engleman (Clover Pass Resort), Ron Moyer (Beacon Hill Lodge), and Sean Mitchel (The Cedars Lodge)

Thanks to SEAGO, Alaska Sportfishing Expeditions, and Tongass Trading Co.

Gazebo Under Construction At Silverking

The Silverking Lodge crew spent the last week of March breaking ground on its new gazebo. The 40’x24′ structure will accommodate the new Silverking Seafeast Tour that begins operating in May 2011, as well as provide another picturesque place for Silverking guests to spend time during their stay at the lodge. The gazebo will be built using yellow cedars and hemlock harvested from the Tongass National Forest and cut in a Ketchikan sawmill. With the site work complete, construction on the structure itself is scheduled to being around the 14th of April.

Kolby Elliot spends his spring break from school helping with the concrete pour