"When I pulled it in I hadn't really thought about it," Repplinger said.
"When they said I was in first place, I was surprised because I didn't think it was that big."
Photo by Rosie Milligan Erik Dreisback weighs in a fish Saturday, Aug. 5, at Auke Bay for the 60th annual Golden North Salmon Derby. Ron Repplinger took first place in the derby with a 30.8-pound king salmon.
"I just bought a house here last week, so I'll have plenty of places to put it," he said.
Fishing in the derby turned out to be a family affair with everyone in the boat taking a place in the derby. Repplinger's son-in-law and owner of the boat Carl Mielke took 10th place while Mielke's father Glen Mielke took 66th place and his son Dylan Mielke took 77th place.
"They got up early and fished hard. They'd earned their fish," said Mari Mielke, Repplinger's daughter and Carl Meilke's wife. "It's just incredible."
She said he decided to move to Juneau after his wife died this summer, and he has been fishing solid for the past few weeks.
"His world would revolve around fishing if it could," Mielke said. "He's been going out and fishing every day, and then we got him in the derby and he won. It's just like a dream."
Mal Linthwaite, a co-chair for the derby caught one of the 12 tagged fish, which is worth $1,000.
Prizes will be awarded Thursday at Centennial Hall.