Anchorage angler catches tagged fish worth $1,000

With the tag securely clenched between his teeth, Jim Morgan shows off his catch worth $1,000. -Photo provided

With the tag securely clenched between his teeth, Jim Morgan shows off his catch worth $1,000. -Photo provided

As last year’s third-place winner in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, Jim Morgan wasn’t in the running for cash prizes. This year the Anchorage angler has improved his record, thanks to a tagged halibut Morgan hooked July 3.

“The fish was worth $1,000, sponsored by the Fish Connection,” said Meldonna Cody, event coordinator for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center.

Morgan was fishing on his own vessel, the Sea Bea.

Maintaining her lead in the derby’s big-fish category is Molly Malthby of Cheboygan, Mich. Malthby caught a 196.8-pound fish June 6 while fishing with Capt. Ben Martin aboard the Fringe Benefit of North Country Charters. 

New to the derby’s leader board is angler Casey Byrnes of Palmer. Byrnes moved into second place with a 185-pound halibut caught July 6 while fishing with Capt. Josh Brooks of Brooks Alaskan Adventures aboard the Huntress.

Although not among the leading anglers, another new name to the leader board is Emmy Savage of Murdock, Minn. Her catch was small, only 31.8 pounds, but memorable.

“This was (Savage’s) first halibut ever,” said Cody. “She has been in Alaska for several weeks, volunteering with Hunt of a Lifetime an organization focused on helping kids with life-threatening illnesses.”

Savage was fishing on a private vessel. 

With Malthby in first and Byrnes in second, other anglers currently in the top 10 include:

Third place: 141.80-pound halibut caught July 5 by Michael Martini of Sunman, Ind., while fishing with Capt. Ben Martin of North Country Charters.

Fourth 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.    

Fifth place: 134.40-pound halibut caught June 22 by Sean Hoffbeck while fishing with Capt. Gabe Linegar of Drift Alaska Charters aboard the Casino;

Sixth place: 110.60-pound halibut caught June 22 by Weldon Creech of Houston, Texas, while fishing with Capt. Ethan Harders of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force II;

Seventh place: 108.80-pound halibut caught June 4 by David Longacre of Orrstown, Pa., while fishing with Capt. Willie Beachey of Reel Fun Charters; 

Eighth place: 106.60-pound halibut caught July 5 by David Conklin of North Pole while fishing with Capt. Ethan Harders of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard Bear Force II;

Ninth place: 103.60-pound halibut caught July 5 by Pamela Coe of Ellensburg, Wash., while fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard Bear Force I;

Tenth place: 99.60-pound halibut caught June 26 by Troy Winters of Dayville, Ore., while fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force I.

Derby tickets can be purchased at the chamber and visitor center, derby headquarters on the Spit and at many local businesses. For up-to-date results and more derby information, call 235-7740 or visit homeralaska.org.

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

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