Charlie Edwards of the Optimist holds his trophy after winning this year’s Winter King Salmon Tournament on Saturday, March 24, 2018 on the Spit in Homer, Alaska. His winning fish weighed 24.6 pounds. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Thousands head to Kachemak Bay for Winter King tourney

More than 1,200 anglers descended on Homer’s harbor on Saturday to try their luck in the 2018 Winter King Salmon Tournament.

Coordinated by the Homer Chamber of Commerce, the tournament gives out cash prizes for the largest fish in addition to the largest white king salmon, the top youth angler and several other categories and side bets. Charlie Edwards, aboard the aptly named Optimist, took home the big fish and the big bucks on Saturday, winning the tournament with a 24.6 pound salmon. For his efforts, Edwards was awarded $25, 280.

In all, 86 king salmon were caught that day, 19 of which were white. The total king salmon catch for the day came in at more that 1,200 pounds, according to the Chamber’s tournament results.

There were 379 teams, or vessels, entered that traversed Kachemak Bay and filed one by one back into the harbor at day’s end. Several kayaks also joined the ranks of the larger fishing boats.

Robert Ruffner, a member of the Alaska Board of Fish, participated in the tournament for the first time ever, and also spoke at the closing ceremony. He applauded the tournament for its efforts and focus on sustainability.

Top 20 results:

1. Charlie Edwards, 24.60 pounds, aboard the Optimist – $25,280; 2. Jerry Huff, 20.95, Olyjohn – $16,432; 3. Janet Donnell, 20.75, Drag N Bait – $11,376; 4. Todd Bareman, 20.10, Catcher – $8,216; 5. Vernon D Pate, 20.10, Aquaholic – $8,216; 6. Zachary Marley, 19.70, Fly Dough – $6,320; 7. Bill Pawliski, 19.45, Balls Deep – $5,056; 8. Johnlars Lindberg, 19.20, AK 7886 AE – $3,792; 9. Mike Shea, 19.15, Aquaholic – $2,528; 10. Sean Carpenter, 19.05, Carpenter – $1,264; 11. Bryan Shields, 18.80, Diamond Cape; 12. Curt Schmidt, 18.55, Fish Magnet; 13. Brad Connely, 18.55, Pole Bender; 14. Robby Switzer, 18.50, Kinak; 15. Blake Larson, 18.45, Tunnel Vision; 16. Tanner Stengel, 18.40, Kinak; 17. Shane Benya, 18.25, Brown Chicken Brown Cow; 18. Emily Stafford, 17.70, Kinak; 19. Elwood Brehmer, 17.40, High Card Murder; 20. David Bacon, 17.40, Klam Daddy.

Reach Megan Pacer at

Two anglers fish just off shore in Kachemak Bay from their kayaks during this year’s Winter King Salmon Tournament on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. The winning fish this year weighed 24.6 pounds. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

The top three fish of this year’s Winter King Salmon Tournament hang on a wall before a closing ceremony announcing the winners Saturday, March 24, 2018 on the Spit in Homer, Alaska. This year’s winning fish weighed 24.6 pounds. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Fishing boats return to the Homer Harbor at the end of this year’s Winter King Salmon Tournament on Saturday, March 24, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

More in Sports

Homer goes 0-2 at DI state hockey championship

Fresh off a Division II state hockey championship title — the first… Continue reading

Homer’s Autumn Daigle climbs a hill at the Kenai Peninsula Borough Nordic ski championships Saturday at Tsalteshi Trails just outside of Soldotna. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi relay ski squad takes borough title

The Soldotna relay team of Quinn Cox, Cameron Blackwell, Erika Arthur and… Continue reading

Homer High School. (Homer News file photo)
Sports in brief

Upcoming events Cross-country skiing: The Nordic ski team will compete in the… Continue reading

Adult league teams battle for basketball championship

Adult basketball players sponsored by South Peninsula Hospital battled it out for… Continue reading

Homer’s Ethan Pitzman (26) and Matey Reutov (67) battle with Soldotna’s Dylan Dahlgren (left) for the puck during the second period of the Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 final of the ASAA/First National Cup Division II State Hockey Championships at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Patty Ice Arena in Fairbanks, Alaska. (Photo by Danny Martin/News-Miner)
Homer wins first hockey state championship in school history

The Homer Mariner hockey team made school history last weekend when they… Continue reading

Sports in brief

Upcoming events Hockey: The hockey team will compete in the Division I… Continue reading

Photo by Kat Sorensen/Peninsula Clarion 
                                Hallie Bergwall makes a move in a Scrabble game at Resurrect Art Coffee House in Seward, Alaska. Bergwall took home the win.
Tangled Up in Blue: Piecing together a win

My friend Joseph is a Scrabble savant by my standards and, I… Continue reading

Skiers take off at the start of this year’s Ski for Women on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 at the Lookout Trails on Ohlson Mountain Road near Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
Wind couldn’t stop annual Ski for Women

Skiers young and old braved some hefty winds on Sunday for the… Continue reading

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion 
                                Martha Story and David Story cruise down a hill in the Fat Freddie’s Bike Race and Ramble on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019, in the Caribou Hills near Freddie’s Roadhouse.
Freddie’s Roadhouse closes doors

Freddie’s became more and more of a gateway to the Caribou Hills as the years went on.

Most Read