Homer Alaska - Outdoors

Story last updated at 5:49 PM on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Counting down to derby's end

Sterling angler still maintains his lead

Only hours remain in the 2011 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, but that's long enough for anything to happen.

Since June 19, Chad Aldridge of Sterling has maintained the derby lead with a 350.8-pound monstrous flatfish he caught near Seldovia while fishing on his own boat, the Seabee.

On Sunday, angler Chriss Ryherd of Soldotna nearly capsized Aldridge's standing with a 339.6-pound halibut. Ryherd was fishing with Capt. Sean Martin of North Country Halibut Charters aboard the Irish.

"Goes to show you, the derby isn't over 'til it's over," said Paula Frisinger, coordinator of the event sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

The derby began May 1 and comes to a close at 5 p.m. Friday.

Ryherd's catch puts him in first place for the month of September, with Aksel Buholm of Palmer slipping into second place for the month with a 225.8-pound halibut caught Saturday.

September standings:

• First place, $1,000: 339.6-pound halibut caught Sept. 25 by Chriss Ryherd of Soldotna while fishing with Capt. Sean Martin of North Country Halibut Charters aboard the Irish;

• Second place, $750: 226.8-pound halibut caught Sept. 24 by Aksel Buholm of Palmer while fishing with Capt. Josh Brooks aboard a private boat, the Huntress;

• Third place, $500: 202.6-pound halibut caught Sept. 4 by Jeff Van Landingham of Eagle River while fishing with Capt. Jeff Cundiff of Good Time Charters aboard the Millie Jane;

• Fourth place, $250: 178-pound halibut caught Sept. 17 by Sheryl Warmblood of Eagle River while fishing with Capt. Mike Swan of North Country Halibut/Spirit Charters aboard the Beausoleil;

• Lady Angler: Warmblood;

• Released fish: one;

• Tagged fish: None.

Homer has a two halibut limit per day, per person. Derby tickets are $10 a day and can be purchased at the visitor center or many local businesses. Only ticket holders qualify for prizes.

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