Thomas “Tom” Poff was a resident of Southern California all his life. Married to his beautiful wife Bonnie for many years, they raised two children (Mike and Kathie) and enjoyed the expansion of their family as their grandchildren arrived. A loving family, who enjoy their annual summer retreats to the Sacramento Delta, consider their cabin at the B&W Resort in Isleton their home-away-from-home for a few weeks each summer. Throughout the 60+ years Tom and Bonnie made the trek to Isleton, they built a following of extended family members who also joined them to enjoy time together each summer. A big part of the time spent at the Delta was Tom and various friends waking-up pre-dawn to board their boats and venture off to their favorite fishing holes every morning. They spent hours each day enjoying the calm of the morning, the sun as it rose over the winding river and competing with each other to catch the most and biggest catfish. They even kept a log of the number of fish they caught each day. The log managed by Bonnie still provides the history of each year’s bounty. Over the years, the numbers of fish they caught grew and dropped just like the tides, but according to Tom, every day fishing on the river was better than any other day of the year. In 2013, we lost Tom the day after Christmas. He was surrounded by family and friends during his last days and hours. The love he shared with everyone throughout his life was reflected back on him as many of us stood around his hospital bed and shared stories of the wonderful memories we will always cherish of him.
We honor Tom each year in July, which also commemorates his birthday, as the Tom Poff Catfish Derby brings together people from many locations who enjoy fishing, spending time together, and celebrating the memory of such an incredible man.