Oregon angler Ned Friedman can breathe a sigh of relief. He and his 227.8-pound halibut are still in first place in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby.
Friedman of Chilquin, Ore., reeled in the behemoth July 24 while fishing with Capt. Greg Northover of Alaska Arctic Sun Fishing and Hunting aboard the Quintessence.
In fact, the derby’s top seven placeholders are the same as last week. However, new fish and the smiling anglers that brought them in are claiming the eighth, ninth and 10th spots in the annual event sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.
As of Monday, the 10 biggest fish in the derby 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 of Kenai while fishing with Capt. Gabe Linegar of Drift Alaska Charters aboard the Casino;
Eighth place: 133.20-pound halibut caught Aug. 3 by Milsah Bolen of Sardis, Ohio, while fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force I;
Ninth place: 121.00-pound halibut caught July 30 by Kevin Smith of Casper, Wyo., while fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force I;
Tenth place: 111.80-pound halibut caught Aug. 3 by Jason Mecham of Wasilla while fishing with T. J. Frank aboard a private vessel.
The derby began May 15 and continues through Sept. 15. Derby tickets are $10 per day and can be purchased at the visitor center, derby headquarters on the Spit and at many local businesses.
Big fish aren’t the only prize-winners in the derby. There are prize-worthy tagged fish, three monthly drawings in the “released fish” category, cash prizes for five anglers age 12 and younger, a prize for catching a left- rather than a right-handed halibut and a “just for the halibut prize.” The person who sold the derby ticket to the angler with the biggest fish will receive a $1,000 prize. The captain of the boat from which the biggest derby halibut is caught also receives a prize.
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.