Tagged halibut keep on coming in jackpot derby

Colorado angler Christopher Johnson managed to keep his lead with the biggest fish caught in this year’s Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby, but more tagged halibut were brought to the derby weigh-in station on the Spit. It’s the tagged halibut that offer more opportunities to win in this year’s May 15-Sept. 15 event.

Johnson’s 197.6-pound halibut, caught June 21 while Johnson was fishing with Capt. Scott Glosser of Captain Scott’s Sportfishing aboard the Mako, has him the current frontrunner for the derby’s $10,000 jackpot prize.

The tagged fish, none of them nearly as hefty as Johnson’s barn door beauty, offer opportunities for even bigger wins. For instance, GCI has sponsored a tag worth $50,000, Stanley Ford of Kenai sponsored one worth a new Ford F-150 pickup, there are four tags worth $10,000 each, 38 worth $1,000 each, 59 tags worth $500 each and 11 tags worth $250. Members of the Homer Chamber Commerce and Visitor Center, organizers of the derby, and local charter captains caught, tagged and released the fish earlier this year.

This week’s tagged halibut were reeled in by:

• Joseph Kuehn of Ojai, Calif., caught June 24 while fishing with Bob’s Trophy Charters;

• Brian Baker of Anchorage, caught June 29 while fishing on a private boat;

• Douglas Robinson of Anchorage, caught June 30 while fishing on a private boat;

• Myron Rafferty of Durand, Ill., caught June 30 while fishing with Central Charters.

The value of the tags remains a mystery until Sept. 16. With a total of 16 caught in the derby so far, there are plenty of tagged halibut still to be landed.

“There’s been lots of action for the month of June,” said Paula Frisinger, derby coordinator. “Now, what will July bring us? Hopefully great weather like June and lots of great fun.”

Homer has a two halibut limit per day per person. Only anglers with derby tickets qualify for prizes. Tickets are $10 per day and can be purchased at the chamber and from many local businesses.

For more information, visit www.homerhalibutderby.com.

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