Winning halibut catch is more than three times larger than second place finish.
MARINA DEL REY — A 27.2-pound California halibut catch was good enough to give Reggie Beauvais first place honors at this year’s Marina del Rey Halibut Derby, which was held April 29 and 30 at Burton Chace Park in Marina Del Rey.
The 42nd annual Marina del Rey Halibut Derby drew 84 competitive anglers this year – down from the 125 participants in the 2015 iteration of the tournament but up from the 40 registered competitors of 2014.
Conditions were windy during the two-day tournament, but anglers still hit the water to target halibut, white sea bass and yellowtail. Most of the fish caught were released alive. Anglers were rewarded with a bonus for releasing their respective catches alive.
Steve Legere finished the tournament in second place with his 8.2-pound bag of live calico bass. Rounding out the top five were Eddie Flores (7.9-pound California halibut), Oleg Astanov (7.5-pound California halibut) and Miguel Zamora (6.4-pound California halibut).
Legere’s calicos were released at the weigh-in dock. Flores, Astanov and Zamora were all given a 25 percent live bonus for their halibut catches.
The derby also included a team cash jackpot competition. Team Game Over (Beauvais, Sean Candelaria, Danny Liming) took first place honors with a combined catch of 27.8 pounds. Team Glass Cutter (Zamora, Jack Kell, Mike Milstead) finished second with 11 combined pounds, while Team Bugs (Dylan and Steven Legere) came in at third place with 8.2 combined pounds.
Some of the prizes given away to the top five winners included a three-day offshore fishing expedition and trips to Alaska and La Paz.
In addition to competing for catches the participating anglers also helped raise money for the Marina del Rey Anglers’ Youth Fishing Program and White Sea Bass Grow Out Program, which help the local angling organization to take more than 500 at-risk and disabled children fishing every year.
The program also releases 10,000 juvenile white sea bass annually.
Sitka Point Lodge, Tailhunter International and Vagabond Sportfishing provided prizes for the top three finishes. All participants were offered a BBQ lunch from Outback Catering.
Krystyn Lambert was this year’s Miss Halibut.
Anglers had a field day during the 37th annual Marina del Rey Halibut Derby when the top five catches on the leader board weighed more than 36 pounds. The weigh-ins of the top three catches were 48.8, 46.6 and 39.3 pounds, respectively.
Visit halibutderby.com for more information about the derby.
Vicki Toler photos