By: Fish Rap News
MARINA DEL REY — Organizers for the 36th annual Marina del Rey Halibut Derby are already making preparations for this year’s event — June 9-10 — and they’re hoping for some big halibut, as well.
Gerson added that the last few years have seen a large resurgence of fish and other marine life around Marina del Rey, and the tournament was moved from its usual May date to June to take advantage of the peak time of year for many of the area’s local species.
Marina del Rey Anglers, which hosts and organizes the derby, canceled the derby in 2010, citing concerns over the health and sustainability of halibut in Santa Monica Bay. At the time, Marina del Rey Anglers president Ken Raymond said the decision was one of the hardest the club had to make in its 35 years of running the tournament.
The club put the event back on last year, to much success — with the top halibut catch weighing in at 43 pounds.
“We understand the need to minimize the impact on our local fishery, so we will continue to provide weight bonuses for caught-and-released fish, and also include species that are more abundant — and, of course, we will encourage safe and responsible fishing practices in general,” Gerson said. “Of course, a little competition to see who will reign as King of the Derby seems to be in order.”
The money raised from the halibut derby has funded the club’s youth fishing program, white seabass grow-out pens in Marina del Rey and various other marine environmental and conservation programs.
Marina del Rey Anglers hosts more than 500 children from at-risk environments and future anglers on fishing trips each summer, and the group has released nearly 100,000 white seabass from its grow-out pens in Marina del Rey.
All derby entrants will get a limited edition derby shirt, discount membership in Marina del Rey Anglers and “goodie bags,” which alone will make the derby worth their while, organizers said.
Sign-up information for those interested in entering the derby will soon be available at halibutderby.com
Entry forms will also be available at the Marina del Rey Halibut Derby booth at the Fred Hall Show, March 7-11 at the Long Beach Convention Center.