Derby ends, North Pole angler named winner

  • Austin Nelson of North Pole caught his 252.2-pound halibut on Aug. 16, beat out the prior derby leader by a mere 1.2 pounds. He now will make upwards of $15,000 on his lucky catch.

After holding the top derby position for about a month, Austin Nelson of North Pole is officially the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby winner. His winnings are currently estimated at $15,378, according to Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby Coordinator Kim Royce.

Nelson, originally from Texas, moved up to North Pole with the U.S. Army. He came down to halibut fish in Homer for the first time and reeled in a 252.2-pound halibut on Aug. 16, which he named Henrietta.

The derby ended Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. As of the end of the derby, the Homer of Chamber of Commerce reported a total of 10,756 tickets sold over the course of the derby from May 15 through Sept. 15. The estimated derby winnings are yet to be finalized.

Derby tickets sales are up from the 2015 halibut derby, which sold 10,433 tickets.

Anna Frost can be reached at anna.frost@homernews.com.

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