Greg Betts of Boise, Idaho, became the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby's new derby leader on July 30 with his 244-pound catch.

Greg Betts of Boise, Idaho, became the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby's new derby leader on July 30 with his 244-pound catch.

Angler takes Jackpot Derby lead with 244-pound catch

Greg Betts from Boise, Idaho took the lead spot in the Jackpot Halibut Derby with a 244-pound halibut. Betts was fishing with Capt. Mike Crawford on the Kachemak King from Bob’s Trophy Charters on July 30.

Bett’s halibut trumps previous derby leader Gayle Muggli’s 167.2-pound fish by more than 70 pounds and is the first halibut more than 200-pounds to enter the derby this season. Betts is also the first man to take the lead in this year’s Jackpot Halibut Derby. The previous three leaders — Muggli, Alisa Stevens, and Marcella Kolberg — brought the derby through the majority of the summer with exclusively female top anglers.

Although Bett’s leading halibut is the first of it’s size to qualify for the race for the top derby spot and the cash prize that goes with it, Homer has seen hulking halibut this summer season whose anglers did not purchase a derby ticket.

Most notably, a Pennsylvanian man and a German man reeled in a 246-pound halibut and a 348.6-pound halibut, respectively, in late July.

In addition to the new derby leader, three anglers pulled up 2016 tagged fish, winning a total of $2,000:

• Austin Hunter of Bean Station, Tenn., caught a fish worth $500 on Aug. 2, which was sponsored by Homer Cabins & Halibut Charters.

• Rebecca Cramer of Denver, Colo., caught a fish worth $1,000 on Aug. 1, which was sponsored by Alcoa B&B/Homer Fish Processing.

• Robert Wellman, Clay City, Ind., caught a fish worth $500 on July 29, which was sponsored by Dragonfly Nails by Dee.

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

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