Daniel Ahman captured the overall title at the 37th Annual Marina del Rey Halibut Derby June 9 and 10.
Though he did not take in the biggest catch of the competition, Ahman jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a 48.8-pound halibut after receiving a 20-percent weight credit. Anglers were given a 20-percent weight credit for live halibut releases.
Paul Thompson, who had the heaviest catch of the derby with a 46.6-pound white seabass, finished in second place. Thompson won the derby jackpot for his biggest fish, taking home an additional $1,200.
It was the second year that the halibut derby has awarded prizes for other species and provided the weight credit for live halibut releases as well as a 20 percent weight credit for kelp (Calico) bass. The derby was returned to a two-day venue this year by overwhelming popular demand, according to Marina del Rey Anglers.
“This derby traditionally kicks off the summer fishing season and our timing is perfect,” said Joshua Gerson, Marina del Rey Anglers president and this year’s derby director.
By the end of the first day, 31 anglers weighed in fish and all but three had white sea bass or halibut, with several anglers boating several big fish. All of the top five fish on the leaderboard exceeded 36 pounds with the top three weighing in at 48.8, 46.6 and 39.3 pounds, respectively.
At the end of the derby June 10, 25 halibut and white seabass were weighed in, but none overtook the top-two leaders.
Third place in the competition went to Farney Brown with a 39.8-pound white seabass.
The first-place prize included four nights and two days sportfishing on the East Cape of Mexico, donated by Van Wormer’s Resorts.
Josephine Smith earned the Top Lady Angler trophy and a brunch compliments of Shanghai Reds in Marina del Rey.
Arthur Lozano, Jr. swept the first and second prizes for the youth division with his 15.7- and 8.2-pound halibut caught on back-to-back days.
Top team honors went to Thompson and Jeff Compton of Team Jack Pot, splitting a prize of $820.
Proceeds from the halibut derby have traditionally funded the Marina del Rey Anglers’ Youth Fishing Program and its White Sea Bass Grow-out Pens in Marina del Rey.