The 34th annual Marina Del Rey Halibut Derby was its usual big success, with lots of prizes distributed to many of the 500 anglers who participated, and proceeds going to support both a kid’s fishing program and marine conservation efforts.
The two-day event saw 20 teams of anglers weigh halibut at the dock, with three fish surpassing the 30-pound mark. Dominic Gonzalez of Little Rock, CA took top prize with a 37.3-pound monster flattie, followed by Ruben Valdez of Goleta with a 35.8-pounder, and Mark Pierpoint of Canoga Park with a 35.6-pound halibut he caught from his kayak.
The biggest winners, though, will be the thousand kids from at-risk environments who, with derby proceeds, will be hosted by the Marina Del Rey Anglers’ Youth Fishing Program for a day’s fishing aboard local sportfishing boat the Betty-O. Remaining proceeds are earmarked for the Ocean Resources Enhancement Program, which raises white seabass in grow-out pens. Since its establishment in 1994, the Marina Del Rey facility has released 105,000 juvenile seabass into Santa Monica Bay.