Jeff Pardi has set the fishing bar -- high.
For more than a month, Pardi's 348.2-pound lunker has topped Homer's 23rd annual jackpot halibut derby leader board. Pardi is one of two anglers to have turned in a 300-pounder in this year's derby.
The winner of the derby will receive $2.50 of every $10 ticket sold, said derby coordinator Paula Frisinger. Last year the derby jackpot totalled $37,243.
Due to higher ticket sales this year, Frisinger said she expects the jackpot to increase.
Cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $250 are also awarded to the top four anglers with the largest fish for each month, as well as a monthly top female angler prize of $500.
A $10,000 released fish prize will be awarded by random drawing of all anglers that released a fish weighing more than 60 pounds, and a released fish award of $1,000 will is also given each month of the derby.
This year 100 halibut have been tagged; 53 worth $500, 41 worth $1,000 and six worth $10,000. So far, five have been turned in.
The derby concludes Sept. 30 at 9 p.m., Frisinger said. Daily tickets can be purchased at Homer Harbor and at several local businesses. A list of those businesses and more derby information is available at www.homerhalibutderby.com.
Renee Wellington's 18.57-pounder was enough to take the $10,000 first-place prize of Seward's 53rd annual silver salmon derby, which ended Sunday at noon.
Wellington, of Palmer, topped the leader board since Monday after reeling in her silver outside Resurrection Bay aboard the Golden Eagle. She edged out Ryan Sheehan, of Anchorage, who landed an 18.50-pounder. For second place, Sheehan received a $5,000 cash prize.
A third-place fishing trip to Costa Rica went to Wasilla resident Jolene Clark, who turned in an 18.26-pound silver. Nikiski resident Daniel Williams took home $1,500 for his fourth-place, 18.04-pound fish. Less than a pound and a half separated first from 10th place.
Alaska residents accounted for nine out of the top 10 anglers.
Mike Nesper can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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