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.
Monsanto caught the halibut July 21 while fishing with Homer Ocean Charters. She now joins other anglers waiting until the derby ends Sept. 15 to find out the value of the tag. It could be:
• The GCI-sponsored tag worth $50,000;
• The Stanley Ford of Kenai-sponsored tag worth a new Ford F-150;
• One of four tags worth $10,000;
• One of 38 tags worth $1,000 each:
• One of 59 tags worth $500 each; or
• One of 11 tags worth $250 each.
During May, one tagged fish was landed; 15 were caught in June and seven have been hooked this month.
The angler with the biggest fish caught during the derby will claim the $10,000 jackpot prize. Jell caught his 198.2-pound monster July 7 while fishing with Capt. Chad Kiesel of Silver Fox Charters aboard the Arctic Envy.
Tagged halibut and big halibut aren’t the only ways to win in the derby, which is sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. There are four kids’ prizes; a $100 “Catch a Lefty” prize for bringing in a halibut with eyes on the left, rather than the right, side of its head; a $5,000 “Just for the Halibut Prize” ticket drawing; a $1,000 Captain’s Prize for the charter captain of the boat on which the winning fish is caught; the $1,000 Ticket Seller’s Prize to the individual who sold the derby ticket to the winning angler; and value-added coupons provided with every derby ticket sold.
The derby began May 15 and continues until Sept. 15.
Homer has a two halibut limit per day, per person.
For more information, call 235-7740 or visit homerhalibutderby.com.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.