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Hefty 200-pound-plus halibut take over Southcentral derbies

  • Author: Alaska Dispatch News
  • Updated: December 2, 2017
  • Published June 19, 2017

Finally, those pipsqueak halibut that have led various Southcentral halibut derbies so far this season have been shoved down the leader boards, with 200-pound-plus fish taking over.

In Homer, Tennessee angler Dominique Brooks grabbed the top spot in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby with her 229-pound flatfish. That's bigger than the fish that won the summer-long tournament two years ago.

Brooks was fishing with captain Chris Andrews on June 16 aboard an Alaska Coastal Marine charter.

And a tagged fish worth $500 was caught by Nathaniel Flynn of South Dakota, fishing with Bob's Trophy Charters.

In Valdez, an even heftier halibut grabbed the lead in the Valdez Halibut Derby when Fairbanks angler Tim Stadtmiller pulled in a 267-pound fish. In addition to vaulting him into the lead of the summer-long $15,000 tournament, Stadtmiller earned a $1,000 prize for winning Valdez's 10-day tournament within a tournament called the Halibut Hullabaloo.

Stadtmiller's fish is the largest halibut entered in the Valdez tournament since fellow Fairbanks angler James Culley won with a 325-pound fish in 2013.

"It probably took a while to reel it in but it didn't feel like it," Stadtmiller said on the Valdez tournament's website. "It was fun."

And the month-long Seward Halibut Tournament, saw Ermagene Aalund of Fullerton, California, seize the lead with a 232-pound fish caught on Aurora Charters' boat Orion.