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North Dakota man wins final Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: September 19
  • Published September 19

Jason Schuler of Wahpeton, North Dakota, left, poses for a photo with his 224.2-pound halibut alongside captain Daniel Donich, center, after Schuler landed the new leader in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby on July 12 in Homer. (Homer Chamber of Commerce photo)

The 34th and final Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby is over, and a man from North Dakota reigns as the final champion.

Jason Schuler of Wahpeton, North Dakota, won the 34th annual derby with a 224.2-pound fish caught in July. He pocketed $13,160.50 for his victory.

The Homer Chamber of Commerce announced earlier this month that this year’s event would mark the end of one of Alaska’s oldest fishing derbies. Instead of putting on a four-month derby next year, the chamber will instead host a two-derby in June.

About 30 halibut were entered this year, according to Amy Woodruff of the chamber. Five tagged fish were turned in, four of them worth $1,000 and the other worth $250.

The derby was first held in 1986. The biggest fish in derby history came in 1996, when Minnesota’s Jerry Meinders hauled in a 376.9-pound halibut. The biggest prize ever awarded was in 2004, when Nevada angler Don Hanks hit a $51,298 jackpot for landing a 352.6-pound halibut.

Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby Winners:

1986 — Tony DeMichelle, Homer, 312.0 lbs, $13,700

1987 — Ruby Caswell, Wasilla, 315.5 lbs, $5,000

1988 — Vince DeGeorge, San Clemente, California, 262 lbs, $9,631

1989 — William Lawrence, Anchorage, 275 lbs, $10,864

1990 — Steve Thomas, Delta Junction, 312.5 lbs, $12,306

1991 — Lonnie Crum, Anchorage, 304.8 lbs, $18,434

1992 — Patrick Niekamp, Ft. Recovery, Ohio, 308.5 lbs, $20,096

1993 — Yolanda McCarter, Escondito, California, 307.8 lbs, $18,644

1994 — Mike Wagner, Santa Rosa, California, 307.1 lbs, $18,734

1995 — Jim Clymer, Homer, 346.9 lbs, $31,730

1996 — Jerry Meinders, Willmar, Minnesota, 376.9 lbs, $25,984

1997 — Jeffrey Council, Newberg, Oregon, 359.3 lbs, $28,844

1998 — Sean Coy, Wasilla, 320.8 lbs, $25,392

1999 — John McCray, Tuttle, Oklahoma, 295 lbs, $30,300

2000 — David Chaparro, Chicago, Illinois, 337 lbs, $31,820

2001 — Tom Barkman, Homer, 322 lbs, $33,514

2002 — Clayton McDowell, Eagle River, 347 lbs, $48,675

2003 — Joseph Volk, Reedsville, West Virginia, 345.4 lbs, $46,302

2004 — Don Hanks, Sparks, NV, 352.6 lbs, $51,298

2005 — Jim Corliss, Corvallis, OR, 310.4 lbs, $48,504

2006 — Duane Olson, Anchorage, 341.8 lbs, $43,612

2007 — Jerry Saunders, Chugiak, 358.4 lbs, $37,243

2008 — Jeff Pardi, San Rafael, CA, 348.2 lbs, $45,475

2009 — Thomas Youngblood, Homer, 354.6 lbs, $40,440

2010 — Jamie Lynn Olvera, Fairbanks, 277.6 lbs, $40,610

2011 — Chad Aldridge, Soldotna, 350.8 lbs, $28,260

2012 — James Peeples, Chico, CA, 323.2 lbs, $10,000

2013 — Gene Jones, Bellevue, IA, 236.2 lbs, $21,281

2014 — Jackson Hobbs, Franklin, ID, 335 lbs, $16,731.50

2015 — Linda Scott, Bloomington, MN, 224.4 lbs, $15,216.50

2016 — Austin Nelson, North Pole, 252.2 lbs, $15,419.50

2017 Sam Mills, St. Maries, ID, 240.0 lbs, $15,241.00

2018 — Ashley Camp, Vancouver, BC, 221.4 lbs, $8,677

2019 — Jason Schulter, Wahpeton, N.D., 224.2 lbs, $13,160.50

(Source: Homer Chamber of Commerce)

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