Let’s hear it for the women anglers leading the 2013 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby.
On May 27, April Saputski of Rathdrum, Idaho, hooked into a 142.2-pound halibut while fishing with Capt. Scott Glosser of Captain Scott’s Sport Fishing aboard the Mako. With the largest fish caught to date in this year’s derby, Saputski is in the running for the $10,000 jackpot prize.
On May 19, Homer angler Janet Baldauf landed a 10-pound halibut while fishing with Capt. Pete Weden of Captain Pete’s Alaskan Experience aboard the Julia Lynn. That’s a bit smaller than Saputski’s flat fish, but Baldauf’s halibut was wearing something special: a tag.
Before the derby began May 15, members of the event sponsor, Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, caught, tagged and released more than 100 halibut. The tags include a GCI-sponsored tag worth $50,000; a Stanley Ford of Kenai-sponsored tag worth a new Ford F-150 pickup; four tags worth $10,000 each; 38 tags worth $1,000 each; 59 tags worth $500 each; and11 tags worth $250 each.
The value of Baldauf’s tagged halibut and any other tagged halibut caught during the derby will be announced when the derby wraps up Sept. 15.
It’s been a slow start for this year’s derby according to Paula Frisinger, derby coordinator. However, Frisinger said she has been hearing “great things” about halibut fishing this season, with reports of “healthy and solid and nice fish.” It isn’t the fishing that’s slow. It’s the number of anglers slow to gain momentum.
“Ticket sales are a bit down from last year, but the people don’t seem to be here either,” said Frisinger. “Just seems really slow for everyone.”
Homer has a two halibut limit per day, per person.
Only ticket-holding anglers qualify for prizes. Tickets are $10 per day and can be purchased at many local businesses.
Anglers lacking their own boats should have no problem finding space on local charters.
“There are lots of boats sitting in the harbor and those going out are not full boats,” said Frisinger. “I would love to encourage anglers to come to Homer to fish. … We are waiting for you.”
For more information, call the chamber at 235-7740 or visit www.homerhalibutderby.com.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.