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Halibut Derby

Annual contest for cash and prizes!

Quick Details

Winner for the largest Halibut in January:

Jerry Vyhins
7.9 lbs – caught on 1/30/24 

Annual Contest for Cash and Prizes!

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$91 Entry Fee

Past Halibut Derby Winners:

2022 – Jonathan Sterling- 27 lbs 10oz
2021 – Frank Sahanas – 24 lbs 10oz
2020 – Cher Owens – 22 lbs
2019 – Brian Dancer – 26.1 lbs
2018 – David Sluder – 36.9 lbs
2017 – David Mendez – 32 lbs
2016 – Jerry Boston – 23.5 lbs
2015 – Norm Bell – 21.14 lbs
2014 – Stephen Green – 40.11 lbs
2013 – Mark Piercy – 37.5 lbs
2012 – Peggy Stein – 43.10 lbs ***still largest fish ever in the derby
2011 – Mike Knudtson – 43.08 lbs
2010 – Paul Pappas – 31.14 lbs
2009 – Jerry Vyhnis – 32.2 lbs

14th Annual Halibut Derby

Two Ways to Enter Our California Fishing Contest:

  1. Halibut Drift Days: Fridays and/or Sundays from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Limited load 25 passengers. $79 per person, $5 entry fee included in price. These are specific halibut drift trips that solely target halibut. The final drift is Sunday, March 27th. (No discounts of any kind accepted on drift trips)
  2. Enter on any open party 1/2 or 3/4 day trip! Cost is $5 and will be taken at the time of check-in. Entry must be paid before boat departs. Entry is only valid for the day it is purchased. To enter on a different day, an additional entry ticket must be purchased. (Charters not allowed in Derby.)

$79 Entry Fee

Past Halibut Derby Winners:

2022 – Jonathan Sterling- 27 lbs 10oz
2021 – Frank Sahanas – 24 lbs 10oz
2020 – Cher Owens – 22 lbs
2019 – Brian Dancer – 26.1 lbs
2018 – David Sluder – 36.9 lbs
2017 – David Mendez – 32 lbs
2016 – Jerry Boston – 23.5 lbs
2015 – Norm Bell – 21.14 lbs
2014 – Stephen Green – 40.11 lbs
2013 – Mark Piercy – 37.5 lbs
2012 – Peggy Stein – 43.10 lbs ***still largest fish ever in the derby
2011 – Mike Knudtson – 43.08 lbs
2010 – Paul Pappas – 31.14 lbs
2009 – Jerry Vyhnis – 32.2 lbs

Additional Information

  • Fishing Equipment: Spinning reel rods are available to rent for $18 dollars and include a small tackle package.
  • Fishing License Regulations: Anglers 16 years of age or older are required to have a fishing license before getting on the boat. Please pre-purchase your licenses online at https://www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales/.
  • Food and Beverages: Our boats feature full-service cash galleys that offer beverages, snacks, and hot sandwiches for purchase.
  • Gratuities: Tips for the hard-working crew members are optional but greatly appreciated! Typical tips range from $5-$10 per adult ticket.

15th Annual Halibut Derby: 2023 Event Cancelled

Dana Point, California— January 25h, 2023 — Halibut Derby Update :
For the last 15 years Dana Wharf Sportfishing has run its annual Halibut Derby.  We have seen some amazing fishing over the years.  However, over the last two years and again this year we’ve seen a dramatic decline in the number of halibut caught during our drift trips.  As a result of this we have decided to cancel the 2023 Halibut Derby.

As such, there were many factors to consider before we made this decision.  First and foremost is the shift in the amount of fish in our zone.  We just don’t have the amount of halibut here in catchable numbers as we’ve seen in years past. We’ve spent many trips this year and last year where we didn’t catch fish and we see the same patterns are present this year too.

We have many wonderful anglers that have become part of our Halibut Derby family.  Without them we couldn’t have seen the success over the years of the derby.  We thank you for your diligent participation and we value your contribution and efforts towards the derby.  Again, without your support and diehard dedication we could not have had the same success in years past.

Lastly we owe a huge thank you to our Halibut Derby sponsors.  Without prizes and giveaways for our participants we wouldn’t have had the tremendous support of our anglers.  Every single sponsor stepped up and provided us with the absolute best possible prizes and products to give to our winners.  We thank you all, Daiwa , Costa Del Mar, Fishworks Products, BD Outdoors, Hogan’s Bait & Tackle, Wind n Sea Restaurant and Western Outdoor News.  Your years of Halibut Derby support has been amazing.

As we roll through different cycles it is our hope we can once again get the Halibut Derby back online.  But again until then, we thank all involved for your tremendous support! We hope you will join us for our many other many other trips

Thank you ,

Donna Kalez , Captain and crews
Dana Wharf Sportfishing

Leaderboard | 2021-2022:

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Jonathan Sterling

2021 HALIBUT DERBY GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Frank Sahanas! 

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