'Happy Hookers' turn heads with monster two-day catch

Posted: Friday, September 19, 2003

VALDEZ (AP) They call themselves ''The Happy Hookers'' because, well, because they know how to ''hook'' fish.

And that hardy band of Valdez women made their point this week. On a two-day charter in the Gulf of Alaska, they brought home 3,495 pounds of halibut.

That's a ton and three quarters of fish. And it doesn't include about 30 halibut, all under 75 pounds, that were thrown back as too small.

''Most guys would die for a trip like that,'' remarked Bonnie Woods.

Woods, Karen Dullen, Laura Saxe, Mona Mooney and Donna McGee were originally known around these parts as the Poster Girls. They took the moniker Happy Hookers a couple of years ago.

For Dullen, a guest from Fairbanks, the trip paid off handsomely. She hooked into a 250.8 pound halibut worth $5,000 in the halibut derby. Her fish just missed being the leader by two-tenths of a pound.

She was edged out by Joe Prax with a 251 pounder, good enough for first place and $15,000 cash.

Additionally, she nailed a 188-pounder.

All five of the Hookers got to share in the bounty. None was skunked.

For Dave Bruss, skipper of the No Excuses charter, the trip also gave him something to crow about. He also brought in a 218.8-pound fish, enough to tide him over the winter.

Visitors in the Small Boat Harbor on Wednesday couldn't quite believe their eyes at the haul as the halibut were laid out on the dock for weighing and a photo session.

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