Good, bad news in Homer jackpot Derby

There’s some good new and some bad news in this week’s Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby action.

The bad news comes from Bill Brock of Anchor Point. Brock was fishing with Crystal Sea Charters aboard the Donna Mae on Sunday when he hooked into a tagged halibut. The tag was sponsored by Alaska Adventure Cabins, owned by Bryan and Karen Zak, and valued at $500. The bad part of that fishing story: Brock hadn’t purchased a $10 derby ticket prior to fishing.

“(Brock) returned the tagged fish to the water and was great about posing for our ‘Table of Tears.’ His photo will join those who caught tags, but had no tickets,” said Meldonna Cody, events coordinator for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, the derby sponsor. 

Brock was given a derby hat for being such a good sport, but went home without the $500 that could have been his.

The good news in the derby is that there are still plenty of tagged fish to be caught before the derby ends Sept. 15. Tagged halibut are valued at $250, $500 and $1,000 and two major tagged fish prizes for a Ford F-150 from Stanley Ford or $50,000 in cash from GCI. 

The other good news this week is for Ned Friedman of Chiloquin, Ore., who maintains first-place in the derby for one more week. Friedman reeled in a 277.80-pound halibut July 14, putting himself at the top of the leader board for big fish caught.

Big and tagged halibut are only two of the prize categories in the derby. There are three monthly drawings worth $500 each and one at the end of the season worth $1,000 in the released-fish category for anglers who catch and release halibut measuring 48 inches or more. For the 12-years-and-younger set, there’s an end-of-season drawing with prizes of $300, $250, $200, $150 and $125 just for buying a ticket. Fishermen reeling in a left-handed halibut, a flat fish with its eyes on the left side of its head, take home $100. A $5,000 “just for the halibut ” drawing also at the end of the derby is for anyone who buys a derby ticket, whether they fish or not.

As of Monday, the top 10 spots on the leader board were claimed by:

First place: 277.80-pound halibut caught July 14 by Ned Friedman of Chiloquin, Ore., while fishing with Capt. Greg Northover of Alaska Arctic Sun Fishing and Hunting Expeditions aboard the Quintessence;

Second place: 197.00-pound halibut caught July 14 by Mark Meaders of Lake Geneva, Wis., while fishing with Alaskan Fishing Adventures aboard the Yoda;

Third place: 196.80-pound halibut caught June 6 by Molly Malthby of Cheboygan, Mich., while fishing with Capt. Ben Martin of North Country Charters aboard the Fringe Benefit;

Fourth place: 185-pound halibut caught July 6 by Casey Byrnes of Palmer while fishing with Capt. Josh Brooks of Brooks Alaskan Adventures aboard the Huntress;

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

Sixth 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.   

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

Eighth place: 133.20-pound halibut caught Aug. 3 by Milsah Bolen of Sardis, Ohio, while fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force I;

Ninth place: 121.00-pound halibut caught July 30 by Kevin Smith of Casper, Wyo., while fishing with Capt. Rob Hyslip of Big Bear Halibut Charters aboard the Bear Force I;  

Tenth place: 111.80-pound halibut caught Aug. 3 by Jason Mecham of Wasilla while fishing with T. J. Frank aboard a private vessel. 

Derby tickets can be purchased at the chamber and visitor center, the derby headquarters on the Spit, Safeway, Boardwalk Bakery and several charters including Bob’s Trophy Charters, Central Charters, Inlet Charters and Sport Shed.

Up-to-date results, a list of prizes and more derby information can be found at or by calling 235-7740.

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at