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32nd Annual – April 1 & 2, 2006
1st Place – Victor Jedlicka – 41.8 lbs – California Halibut
2nd Place – David Foreman – 39.6 lbs – California Halibut
3rd Place – Ryan Bower – 39.2 lbs – California Halibut
4th Place – Jimmy Stathis – 37.6 lbs – California Halibut
5th Place – Adolf Valdez – 33.5 lbs – California Halibut
The 32nd Annual Marina Del Rey Halibut Derby held April 1st and 2nd was an outstanding success. Over 835 anglers competed for over $65,000 in cash and prizes as well as a shot at a brand new Toyota Tundra Truck. The weather preceding the event was ominous, and many an angler experienced cold and rain as they launched their boats in the pre-dawn hours. But bad weather was not in this fundraiser’s plans and was soon replaced by a beautiful sunny weekend. Though the halibut were far from easy picking, over 115 of them fell to dedicated and lucky anglers and every face on both fishermen and event volunteers alike was not just thankful for the good weather but also the opportunity to fish and/or to be part of this tradition and important community event.
The Derby was on, but the heat was quickly turned up to high within the first hour of weigh-in on Saturday when the previous years record of a 36 pounder was broken and one happy angler took the immediate lead. That lead held through the rest of the day and into the first part of Sunday until bigger and bigger fish started to come in. There was tremendous excitement and some fun tension in the closing minutes before the final weigh in at 3:00PM Sunday afternoon, as several big halibut were being hauled to the weigh station, and a couple of huge halibut were reported by jokesters over the VHS radio which never showed up at the dock. Except for one, which made it to the scales with only 10 minutes left in the tournament and weighed in at a whopping 41.8 pounds.
Congratulations to Victor Jedlicka from Marina Del Rey who captured 1st place with that 41.8 pound halibut, and won a fishing vacation for two people to Baja California’s East Cape, the Rooster Fish capital of the world, including seven days and six nights at the beautiful Hotel Punta Colorada , all meals, 3 days of fishing, freezing and packing the catch, air fare to and from LAX to Los Cabos Airport, and transfers to and from airport and hotel.
There were lots of winners and a mountain of prizes presented at the awards party which followed a well deserved and tasty barbecue feast. Of course, the biggest winners will be the 1,300 at-risk kids who will be hosted by Marina Del Rey Anglers volunteers this summer for fishing trips aboard the Betty-O out of Marina Del Rey. Proceeds from the event go to support not only the Marina Del Rey Anglers Youth Fishing Program but also its Ocean Resources Enhancement Program which has raised and released over 82,000 juvenile white seabass into Santa Monica Bay since its founding in 1994.
Congratulations also go out to all the other participants and winners, the biggest prize winners are listed below:
2nd Place: David Foreman with a 39.6 pound halibut
Seven days and six nights two people at the Inn at Mazatlan, including 2 days of fishing with Heimpel’s Star Fleet, all meals and air fare between LAX and Mazatlan
3rd Place: Ryan Bower with a 39.2 pound halibut
Five days and four nights, at the El Cid Hotel for two people in Mazatlan, including 2 days of fishing with Aries Fleet, all meals and airfare between LAX and Mazatlan
4th Place: Jimmy Stathis with a 37.6 pound halibut
Five days and four nights, at Las Flores Hotel for two people in Mazatlan, including 2 days of fishing with Heimpel’s Star Fleet, all meals and air fare between LAX and Mazatlan.
5th Place: Adolf Valdez with a 33.5 pound halibut
Six days and five nights at Las Rocas Resort, Rosarito Beach, Baja California including 3 days of fishing with Sergio’s Sportfishing, Ensenada, and all meals.
The derby also presented quality rod and reel combinations for the top 6th & 15th places donated by Turners Outdoors, West Marine, Shimano, Okuma and other generous sponsors.
There was also excitement in the Youth Division competition. Christian Bueno shared the stage with Tara Brooks and Jonathan Yuja, with their proud families cheering on. Christian claimed the 1st Place Youth prize with a 25.1 pound halibut and won $300. Tara took home $200 for her 19.8 pounder and Jonathan’s 13 pounder netted him $100. All three youths also took home quality rod and reel combinations donated by West Marine.
The top lady angler award went to Sandra Rodriguez for her 21.8 pound halibut. She won a nice ProGear fishing reel as well as a trophy to mark her achievement. The reel and several raffle items were donated by Lincoln Pico Fishing.
There was some fun and excitement for the 3 winners of the separate entry $20.00 Jackpot.
Victor Jedlicka with a bag weight of 41.8 pounds won $3,802. David Foreman with a bag weight of 39.6 pounds won $2,281. Ryan Bower rounded out the group of Jackpot winners with a bag weight of 39.2 pounds and took home $1,521
There were also big cash prizes for the three teams bringing in the biggest halibut. Dean Morrow and Gary Johnstone, total halibut weight points of 49.9 lbs won $2,575. George Castro and Jose Castro, total halibut weight points of 35.8 lbs won $1,545. Dale Cornett and Wayne Cornett, total halibut weight points of 33.2 lbs won $1030
Over $13,000 in cash alone was presented to the jackpot, team and youth division competitions. Although new trucks have been presented to winners in 2 of the last 5 years, another big’un is still swimming out there and is waiting for next year’s competitors.
Thanks to several generous anglers who donated live halibut to the Redondo Beach SeaLab for brood stock. These fish will be used as to boost halibut populations and for many future generations of fishermen to enjoy. Among those who donated, Adolf Valdez, 5th place tournament winner, donated his 33.5 pound whopper.
Congratulations to all participants and to the many dedicated volunteers from MDR Anglers for a great event and special thanks to all of our wonderful sponsors without whose generous support this event would not be possible.
The Marina del Rey Halibut Derby is the oldest and largest fishing tournament on the West Coast of the United States. The Derby is operated by volunteers from the Marina Del Rey Anglers fishing club and from the community. Don’t miss next year’s Marina Del Rey Halibut Derby.For more information on MDRA or the Halibut Derby please visit www.MDRAnglers.com.