Still time to hook a winner in derby

The 2013 Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby began May 15 and ends until Sept. 15. That means anglers still have plenty of time to land a prize-worthy fish. 

Gene Jones of Bellevue, Iowa, has maintained his lead in the big-fish category with a 236.2-pound flatfish he caught July 25 while fishing with Capt. David Bayes of Central Charters aboard the Grand Aleutian.  

The angler with the biggest catch at the end of the derby takes home the $10,000 jackpot.

Other prizes can be won by bringing in a tagged halibut. Earlier this year 114  halibut were caught, tagged and released by members of the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, sponsors of the derby, and local charter captains. The tags include:

• A GCI-sponsored tag worth $50,000;

• A Stanley Ford of Kenai-sponsored tag worth a new Ford F-150;

• Four tags worth $10,000;

• One of 38 tags worth $1,000 each:

• 59 tags worth $500 each; and

• 11 tags worth $250 each.

One tagged halibut was caught in May, 15 were caught in June and 10 in July. None have been caught yet this month. The value of each tag turned in will be announced after the end of the derby.

“Can’t wait until Sept. 16 to see who won what,” said Paula Frisinger, derby coordinator.

That’s not all the prizes, however. 

There also are four kids’ prizes; a $100 “Catch a Lefty” prize for bringing in a halibut with eyes on the left, rather than the right, side of its head; a $5,000 “Just for the Halibut Prize” ticket drawing; a $1,000 Captain’s Prize for the charter captain of the boat on which the winning fish is caught; the $1,000 Ticket Seller’s Prize to the individual who sold the derby ticket to the winning angler; and value-added coupons provided with every derby ticket sold. 

Homer has a two halibut limit per day, per person. Derby tickets are $10 a day and can be purchased at the chamber and from many local businesses.

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McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at