A 12-year-old boy from Mar Vista has won the annual Marina del Rey Halibut Derby.

Ryan Lambert of Mar Vista was the first angler to bring his catch to the weigh-in station at the 2005 Marina del Rey Halibut Derby, Saturday, April 2nd.

Lambert’s name and the weight of his catch were immediately at the top of a lonely leader board, but as more catches were weighed throughout the day, Lambert’s name remained on top, and at the end of the day, the 12-year-old had won the derby with his 36-pound halibut.

Ryan’s father, Keith, expressed the joy he had for his son.

“It was a day of excitement, joy, happiness; what else can I say,” said Keith Lambert. “It was a perfect day.

“Ryan fought that fish hard for six or eight minutes.

“He started to complain that his arm was hurting, but he hung in there.”

The father said his son did a great job of reeling in the 36-pound fish.

“When we brought it on board, it hit the deck and slime flew everywhere,” the father said.

“Ryan blew me away; he did everything so well,” he said.

Although Ryan Lambert was honored as the “Overall Winner” of the derby, the prize he received was $450, the first place prize for the youth division.

The father said his son caught the fish around 11 a.m., but they had to wait three hours before the weigh-in station opened.

“I knew that it was a really nice-size fish, but I didn’t know he would end up being the overall winner at the derby,” exclaimed the father.

He says his son — a Palms Middle School student — plans to spend his prize money on a new dinghy that he can use to explore the area.

“Saturday was a perfect day for fishing and a perfect day in my life,” said the father.

GRAND PRIZES — Ryan Lambert was named the overall winner and youth division winner of the 2005 Marina del Rey Halibut Derby but the top five grand prizes went to the following anglers:

First place, John Romanak, 32.9-pound halibut;

second place, Carl Landerman, 31-pound halibut;

third place, Tom Brooks, 27.4-pound halibut;

fourth place, Tim Cavallo, 25.2-pound halibut; and

fifth place, Mark Harris, 23.8-pound halibut.

A total of 52 halibuts were caught and $11,000 in total prize and jackpot money was awarded.

Information on the halibut derby, www.mdranglers.com