Don Barney of Primeville, Ore., had plenty of reasons to smile fishing July 18 with Capt. Chris Andrews of Alaska Coastal Marine aboard the Nautilus II. Two hundred and fifty reasons, to be exact.
Barney’s 10-pound halibut won’t put him in first place in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, but the tag it was wearing, sponsored by Wild Rose Cottages, put $250 in Barney’s pocket.
That is the third tagged halibut caught in this year’s derby, sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Mark Mehalko of Grand Blanc, Mich., reeled in a 10-pound halibut June 1 with a tag worth $250 and sponsored by Best Western Bidarka Inn. Mehalko was fishing with Capt. Tom Bunnell of Halibut Hunter Charters. On July 3, Jim Morgan hooked a slightly larger halibut, 11.5 pounds, that was sporting a tag sponsored by the Fish Connection and worth $1,000. Morgan was fishing on a private vessel, the Sea Bea.
Also taking home some derby prize money is Pamela Coe of Ellensburg, Wash. For releasing a halibut measuring 48 or more inches, Coe won $500 in the second of four monthly released-fish drawings. Coe’s prize was sponsored by Alaskan Suites, Homer Brewing Company, All Seasons Honda & Peninsula Ski-Doo and South Peninsula Hospital. Coe was fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force I.
Matt Hines of Minnetonka, Minn., won the May 15-June 15 released-fish drawing. That $500 prize was sponsored by Kachemak (Napa) Auto Parts of Homer. Hines was fishing with Capt. Bryan Bondioli of Captain B’s Alaskan C’s aboard the Ashtikan. Two more drawings remain before the derby winds up Sept. 15.
Leading the big-fish category are:
First place: 277.80-pound halibut caught July 14 by Ned Friedman of Chiloquin, Ore., while fishing with Capt. Greg Northover of Alaska Arctic Sun Fishing and Hunting Expeditions aboard the Quintessence;
Second place: 197.00-pound halibut caught July 14 by Mark Meaders of Lake Geneva, Wis., while fishing with Alaskan Fishing Adventures aboard the Yoda;
Third place: 196.80-pound halibut caught June 6 by Molly Malthby of Cheboygan, Mich., while fishing with Capt. Ben Martin of North Country Charters aboard the Fringe Benefit;
Fourth place: 185-pound halibut caught July 6 by Casey Byrnes of Palmer while fishing with Capt. Josh Brooks of Brooks Alaskan Adventures aboard the Huntress;
Fifth place: 141.80-pound halibut caught July 5 by Michael Martini of Sunman, Ind., while fishing with Capt. Ben Martin of North Country Charters.
Sixth place: 139-pound halibut caught June 26 by Mike Leno while fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charter aboard the Bear Force I.
Seventh place: 134.40-pound halibut caught June 22 by Sean Hoffbeck while fishing with Capt. Gabe Linegar of Drift Alaska Charters aboard the Casino;
Eighth place: 110.60-pound halibut caught June 22 by Weldon Creech of Houston, Texas, while fishing with Capt. Ethan Harders of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force II;
Ninth place: 108.80-pound halibut caught June 4 by David Longacre of Orrstown, Pa., while fishing with Capt. Willie Beachey of Reel Fun Charters;
Tenth place: 106.60-pound halibut caught July 5 by David Conklin of North Pole while fishing with Capt. Ethan Harders of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard Bear Force II.
Derby tickets are $10 per day and can be purchased at the visitor center, derby headquarters on the Spit and at many local businesses.
Up-to-date results, a list of prizes and more derby information can be found at homeralaska.org or by calling 235-7740.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at email@example.com.