by Steve Breazeale
November 1 marked the start of Dana Wharf’s fifth annual Halibut Derby, which gives local anglers and tourists the chance to get paid for catching the big one.
For the past five years, thousands of dollars have been awarded to anglers who caught the biggest halibut during Dana Wharf sanctioned excursions from November 1 to April 30. Last year’s winner, Dana Point resident Peggy Stein, took home the $2,957 first place prize with her 43-pound, 10-ounce halibut.
To be eligible for the pool you must catch your halibut on one of Dana Wharf’s open party half-day or three-quarter day trips. You must also pay an extra $5 to enter the pool.
Once the April 30 cut-off date hits, the angler who hooked the biggest fish wins half of the money in the jackpot.
But things aren’t quite over at that point.
On May 5 Dana Wharf will hold a “fish off,” featuring the top-25 anglers who caught the biggest fish. Whoever catches the biggest halibut on that day will walk away with the remaining prize money.
There will also be prizes awarded to the person who catches the biggest halibut every month. Rod and reel combinations and gift cards are slated to be the prizes.
The complete rules for the Halibut Derby can be found at www.danawharf.com/derby.htm