Halibut Derby

Oregon angler takes derby lead with 277.8-pound fish

An Oregon angler has taken the lead in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby’s big-fish category with a 277.8-pound barndoor caught Monday. Ned Friedman of Chiloquin, Ore, was fishing with Capt. Greg Northover of Alaska Arctic Sun Fishing & Hunting Expeditions aboard the Quintessence.

“It was only a matter of time before a fish was caught that weighed more than 250 pounds, and it was Freidman’s day,” said Jim Lavrakas, executive director of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, organizer of the event.

Anchorage angler catches tagged fish worth $1,000

As last year’s third-place winner in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, Jim Morgan wasn’t in the running for cash prizes. This year the Anchorage angler has improved his record, thanks to a tagged halibut Morgan hooked July 3.

“The fish was worth $1,000, sponsored by the Fish Connection,” said Meldonna Cody, event coordinator for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

Morgan was fishing on his own vessel, the Sea Bea.

Halibut fishing brings shifts in derby leaders

Michigan angler Molly Malthby continued to hold onto her lead in the 2014 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, with the 196.8-pound flat fish she caught June 6 while fishing with Capt. Ben Martin aboard the Fringe Benefit for North Country Charters.

Michael Martini of Sunman, Ind., also managed to maintain his second-place position with a 141.80-pound halibut caught June 5. Martini also was fishing with Martin.

Derby’s first ‘released fish’ prize awarded

Minnesota angler Molly Malthby held on to her lead in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby’s big-fish category, but the week saw other action in the four-month event, as well as one sobering reminder.

“An angler staying at Homer Spit Campground had a halibut topping 239 pounds, but did not have a Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby ticket,” said Meldonna Cody, event coordinator for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, derby sponsor.

Michigan angler leading jackpot derby with 196.80-pound halibut

The action is definitely picking up in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby since it began May 15. Currently leading the “big fish” category is Molly Malthby of Cheboygan, Mich., with a 196.80-pound halibut caught June 6.

Malthby hooked into the monster while fishing with Capt. Ben Martin aboard the Fringe Benefit for North Country Charters.

With Malthby leading the pack, current standings as of June 10 include:

Iowa angler wins halibut derby jackpot

For Gene Jones, an angler from Bellevue, Iowa, it seems a long time — and a long wait — since he reeled in a 236.2-pound halibut July 25 while fishing with Capt. David Bayes of Central Charters. The wait ended at 9 p.m. Sunday, when the 27th Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby came to an end and Jones was crowned the winner.

“Who’d have thought that after all that, I’d win?” said Jones in a Monday morning phone interview with the Homer News.

Derby wraps up Sunday; ‘anything can still happen’

By 9 p.m. Sunday, the mysteries of  2013 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby will be resolved.

“We are almost there for our derby season,” said Paula Frisinger, the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center’s derby coordinator. “(It’s the) last week of anticipation of those tagged fish winners and for the current derby leader. Anything can still happen.”

More tagged fish caught in derby

There’s little more than two weeks left until the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby comes to a close Sept. 15. That means two more weeks for anglers eager to get in on the prizes. 

The big fish remains the 236.2-pound halibut brought in by Gene Jones of Belleview, Iowa. Jones caught the fish July 25 while fishing aboard the Grand Aleutian with Capt. David Bayes of Central Charters.

This week’s action has focused on the derby’s tagged fish category.

So far, 27 of 114 tagged halibut caught in derby

With less than a month until the 2013 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby comes to an end, Marian Oritz of Cottonwood, Ariz., has turned in one of the halibut caught, tagged and released earlier this year.

Oritz landed the halibut Aug. 14 while fishing with Bob’s Trophy Charters.

That makes a total of 27 of the 114 flatfish sporting tags worth prizes that include:

• A GCI-sponsored tag worth $50,000;

• A Stanley Ford of Kenai-sponsored tag worth a new Ford F-150;

• Four tags worth $10,000;

One month left in halibut derby

It was a quiet week in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, according to derby coordinator Paula Frisinger.

“A few prior (year) tags came in and a few weigh-ins that didn’t make the board,” said Frisinger of fish making it onto the Spit weigh-in board.

That’s good news for Gene Jones of Belleview, who holds the lead in the big-fish competition with a 236.2-pound halibut he caught July 25 while fishing with Capt. David Bayes of Central Charters aboard the Grand Aleutian.

Still time to hook a winner in derby

The 2013 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby began May 15 and ends until Sept. 15. That means anglers still have plenty of time to land a prize-worthy fish. 

Gene Jones of Bellevue, Iowa, has maintained his lead in the big-fish category with a 236.2-pound flatfish he caught July 25 while fishing with Capt. David Bayes of Central Charters aboard the Grand Aleutian.  

The angler with the biggest catch at the end of the derby takes home the $10,000 jackpot.

236.2-pound halibut pushes to lead in derby

An Iowa angler has taken over the lead in this year’s Homer Halibut Jackpot Derby. On July 25, Gene Jones of Bellevue, Iowa, reeled in a 236.2-pound monster flatfish while fishing with Capt. David Bayes of Central Charters aboard the Grand Aleutian.

In Homer for the first time, Jones, his brother, Keith Jones, and sister-in-law, Darla Jones, reserved two days with Bayes just in case weather kept them off the water one day. On their first day out, they landed their limit of halibut, three lingcod and their limit of rockfish.

Tagged fish keep on coming

James Jell of Moscow, Idaho, continues to have the biggest flat fish caught to date in the 2013 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, but the tagged halibut are coming fast and furious. Michele Monsanto of Hilton Head, S.C., is the most recent angler to bring a tagged halibut to the derby’s weigh-in station on the Spit, making it the 23rd halibut caught of the 114 tagged and released earlier this year by members of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center and local charter captains.

Idaho angler lands lead in Homer halibut derby

It’s a change in leaders — yet again — in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, with James Jell of Moscow, Idaho, bringing in a 198.2-pound halibut. Jell hooked the monster fish on July 7 while fishing with Capt. Chad Kiesel of Silver Fox Charters aboard the Arctic Envy.

“(It’s) another exciting week here at the derby headquarters,” said Paula Frisinger, coordinator of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center event that began May 15 and ends Sept. 15.

Halibut, halibut and more halibut

If things were ho-hum in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby last week, it’s a whole new song and dance this week.

“It was action like you would not believe,” said Paula Frisinger, coordinator of the May 15-Sept. 16 event sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

On June 20, Gary Koos of Starbuck, Minn., brought in a 182.5-pound halibut while fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force I. That put Koos in the lead, but only for a day.

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