The Homer Chamber of Commerce is gearing up for the 24th Annual Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament (WKT) on Saturday, March 18. Mark your calendars, get your boats ready, get out and fish.
The winter king dalmon come north to the waters of Kachemak Bay to feed throughout the year. These “feeder” kings” are here to feed, and not to spawn. They’re building up fat reserves, making them a great fish on the grill.
New for 2017 is online fishing tournament software. This will allow participants to pre-register online at www.homerwinterking.com starting March 1. There will be a random early-bird prize drawing for those who register online between March 1 and March 10 consisting of great fishing tackle and gear valued at over $300.
The 2016 Winter King Tournament Champion, Eric Holland, of Homer won $31,668.00 with a 26.45 pound king. The total payout for the top 10 cash prizes was $113,100, the boat side bet payout totaled $44,531.25, and Skunk Bets $4,687.16. The total payout in all categories in 2016 was $162,318.41. The 11th through 20th place winners shared in merchandise worth over $10,000.
In addition to the big prizes, registered anglers have the chance to win hundreds of prizes throughout the day donated by local businesses and nationwide fish and tackle companies. Upon arrival at Coal Point Trading Company (WKT Headquarters), anglers will enjoy live music and receive free beer and food vouchers, while waiting for the big announcement.
The public is welcome to attend and join the festivities from 2 –6 p.m. There will be food and beer for purchase, kids activities, live music, fish weigh-in and the awards ceremony. New this year will be live results displayed on screen, as the fish are brought in and weighed.
Volunteers and sponsors make this tournament happen. This year’s tournament is sponsored by Ulmer’s Drug & Hardware. Ulmer’s donated both cash and manpower to help make this tournament a huge success. This year both Scott Ulmer and his daughter Monica Mede are on the WKT committee.
“It is impossible for staff and committee to do everything that goes into making this tournament such a success and we rely on over 40 volunteers every year,” the chamber said in a press release. “Volunteers return year after year because it is a lot of fun to be a part of the tournament, even if you aren’t fishing. Volunteers are needed the week of the tournament and the day of the tournament in various capacities and various hours.”
If you are interested in donating prizes or volunteering, please call the chamber at 235-7740 and ask for Kim Royce or Bridget Maryott.