Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 4:14 PM on Wednesday, June 20, 2012

California angler in 1st place

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Photo provided

Pam Seward, left, of LaMirada, Calif., brought in a 219.6-pound halibut Friday while fishing with Capt. Mike Manns of Manns Charter Service aboard the Arctic Addiction.

Is it coincidence, luck or simply more fishermen on the water that makes Father's Day weekend a good time to wet a hook?

The 2011 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby winner, Chad Aldridge of Sterling, was fishing with his father, Ron, when he brought in a 350.8-pound monster fish. On Friday, two days before Father's Day, angler Pam Seward of LaMirada, Calif., reeled in a 219.6-pound barn-door beauty while she was fishing with Capt. Mike Manns of Manns Charter Service aboard the Arctic Addiction.

Anyone who follows derby history will recall Manns was the charter captain when hometown fisherman Dan Prisaznuk hauled in a 340.6-pound halibut on June 25, 2007. Prisaznuk basked in the derby's first place spot for a brief three days before Jerry Saunders of Chugiak hooked into a 358.4-pounder while fishing in a private boat and became that year's derby winner.

Currently in second place for biggest fish is Tony Granillo of Palmer, who brought in a 167.6-pound halibut June 14 while fishing on a private boat.

Derby weights and dates are enough to make an angler's head spin, but this year it's the prizes for catching a tagged fish that offer the most possibilities, according to event sponsors, the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. When the derby ends Sept. 15, the biggest halibut means a prize of $10,000. However, the value of tagged halibut include one worth $50,000; one worth a new Ford truck; five worth $10,000 each; 25 worth $1,000 each; 45 worth $500 each; and 23 worth $250 each. The value of the tags will be announced after the end of the derby Sept. 15.

To date, tagged fish have been caught by:

• Zak Mays of Eagle River, caught May 27 on a private boat;

• Colin Saltzman of Columa, Mich., caught June 1 while fishing with Capt. Sean Martin of North Country Halibut Charters aboard the Irish;

• Ray Kizer of Palmer, caught June 2 while fishing with Capt. Gary Ault of Inlet Charters aboard the Whistler.

Three monthly prizes are being awarded for caught-and-released halibut of 50 pounds or more. With the first month of the derby complete, the following prizes for May 15-June 15 have been announced:

• Overall winner ($1,000): Richard Brooks of Homer, caught and released June 10 aboard a private boat;

• Senior winner ($250): Jim VanWychen of Warrens, Wis., caught and released June 10 while fishing with Bob's Trophy Charters;

• Veteran-military winner ($250): David Droen of St. Paul, Minn., caught and released June 11 aboard a private boat.

Five caught-and-released fish were reported during the derby's first month. To date, one has been reported for the second month.

Derby coordinator Paula Frisinger reminds anglers that Homer has a two-halibut limit per day, per person. Tickets are $10 a day or $75 for 10 days. Tickets must be purchased in advance of fishing.

For more about the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, rules and a complete list of prizes, stop by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center or visit www.homerhalibutderby.com.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben.jackinsky@homernews.com.