More tagged fish caught in derby

There’s little more than two weeks left until the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby comes to a close Sept. 15. That means two more weeks for anglers eager to get in on the prizes. 

The big fish remains the 236.2-pound halibut brought in by Gene Jones of Belleview, Iowa. Jones caught the fish July 25 while fishing aboard the Grand Aleutian with Capt. David Bayes of Central Charters.

This week’s action has focused on the derby’s tagged fish category.

“We have had a couple more tagged fish come in,” said Paula Frisinger, derby coordinator for the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. “Wonder what they won. Was it the GCI $50,000, the Stanley Ford F150 truck, some of those $10,000 (tags)? … Anything at this point is a great day of fishing, for each person that has caught a tagged fish is guaranteed at least $250. Not bad for a small halibut.”

Chamber and visitor center members and charter operators earlier this year caught, tagged and released 114 halibut. Prizes range from the two biggies Frisinger noted — the GCI tag worth $50,000 and the Stanley Ford of Kenai tag worth a new F150 pickup — all the way down to 11 that are worth $250. In between are four worth $10,000 each, 38 worth $1,000 each and 59 worth $500 each.

One tagged halibut was caught in May, 15 were caught in June and 10 in July. That leaves plenty more out there swimming around, waiting to be reeled in. The value of the tags turned in will be announced after the derby comes to an end. 

Tagged fish caught during August were turned in by:

• Marian Ortiz of Cottonwood, Ariz., caught Aug. 14 while fishing with Bob’s Trophy Charters;

• Brian Todd of Kenai, caught Aug. 21 while fishing with Bob’s Trophy Charters; and

• Kent Thornburg of Lakewood, Colo., caught Aug. 24 while fishing with Alaska Coastal Marine.

Homer has a two halibut limit per day, per person. Daily derby tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the chamber and visitor center, as well as many local businesses.

For more about the derby, call 235-7740 or visit

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at