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By Zach Cavanagh

Fishing picked up with the better weather, including a strong run of halibut as the Halibut Derby enters its final weeks. Photo: Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching

With an improved run of weather comes an even better run in the fishing at Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching.

In his weekly report, Captain Brian Woolley said that the rockfish has continued to be steady. Anglers are connecting with jigs and live bait on the three-quarter-day trips.

With the Halibut Derby entering its final weeks – the competition runs until March 31 – the halibut catches have gotten stronger as well. Woolley said that last week two halibut were caught at 26 and 27 pounds, which would have been the new pacesetters on the leaderboard. However, the anglers who caught those big fish had not bought into the derby.

Anglers don’t have to be on specifically registered halibut trips to enter the derby. Woolley reminded that prospective derby contestants can buy in before any half-day or three-quarter-day trip for only $5.

The top spot on the leaderboard still sits at 26 lbs., 10 oz., and the top five fish are at least 22 pounds. The top 25 anglers will compete in a free fish-off halibut trip on April 7. Currently, the No. 25 halibut is 7 lbs., 6 oz.

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Here are the latest fish counts from Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching:

March 20 – 1 boat, 28 anglers: 1 sculpin, 3 sheephead, 18 whitefish, 2 blue perch, 24 bass released.

March 19 – 4 boats, 103 anglers: 7 calico bass, 2 sand bass, 21 sculpin, 5 sheephead, 13 whitefish, 86 rockfish, 170 vermilion rockfish, 41 bocaccio, 1 treefish, 2 blue perch, 45 bass released.

March 18 – 5 boats, 117 anglers: 3 calico bass, 1 sand bass, 66 sculpin, 16 sheephead, 101 whitefish, 229 rockfish, 196 vermilion rockfish, 25 bocaccio, 15 bass released.

March 17 – 7 boats, 170 anglers: 1 calico bass, 2 sand bass, 28 sculpin, 1 sheephead, 154 whitefish, 308 rockfish, 339 vermillion rockfish, 25 bocaccio, 1 halibut, 1 lingcod, 2 blue perch, 12 salmon grouper, 39 sand dab, 27 mackerel.

March 16 – 4 boats, 151 anglers: 3 sand bass, 32 sculpin, 20 sheephead, 180 whitefish, 416 rockfish, 165 vermilion rockfish, 51 bocaccio, 1 halibut, 38 sanddab, 3 blue perch, 5 lingcod, 60 bass released.

March 15 – 3 boats, 71 anglers: 1 calico bass, 1 sand bass, 36 sculpin, 2 sheephead, 30 whitefish, 66 rockfish, 90 vermilion rockfish, 15 bocaccio, 1 halibut, 9 mackerel, 1 halibut released, 15 bass released.

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