Two Ways to Enter
- Halibut Drift Days: Fridays and/or Sundays 7:00am – 4:00pm. Limited load 25 passengers. $69 per person, $5 entry fee included in price. These are specific halibut drift trips that solely target halibut. Final Drift is Sunday, April 7th, 2019. (No discounts of any kinds accepted on drift trips.)
- Enter on any open party 1/2 or 3/4 day trip! Cost is $5 and will be taken at time of check-in. Entry must be paid before boat departs. An 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.)
PAST HALIBUT DERBY WINNERS:
2019 – Brian Dancer 26.625lbs
2018 – David Sluder 36.9lbs
2017 – David Mendez 32lbs
2016 – Jerry Boston 23.5lbs
2015 – Norm Bell 21.14lbs
2014 – Stephen Green 40.11
2013 – Mark Piercy 37.5lbs
2012 – Peggy Stein 43.10lbs ***still largest fish ever in the derby
2011 – Mike Knudtson 43.8lbs
2010 – Paul Pappas- 31.14lbs
2009 – Jerry Vyhnis-32.2lbs
$1,500 Winner of the 2019 Halibut Derby: Brian Dancer – 26lbs 10oz
Another $1,600 was paid out to the remaining top 4:
2nd place Cher Owens – 25lbs 10oz (11/2/2018)
3rd place JB Delvert – 23lbs 9oz (12/9/2018)
4th place Robert Prei – 22lbs 14oz (11/25/2018)
5th place Tony Garrido – 22lbs 7oz (12/7/2018)
$1500 Winner of the 2019 Halibut Derby – Brian Dancer
Annual Halibut Derby - Runs from November to March
Congratulations, Brian Dancer – He won 1st place in the 2018/2019 Halibut Derby!
His 26.625 lb fish caught in February held the top spot and was the derby winner. He took home $1,500. Another $1,600 was paid out to the remaining top 4 fish.
Thanks to our sponsors
Two Ways to Enter
These are special extended halibut drift trips that will specifically drift for halibut. Fridays and/or Sundays 7:00am – 4:00pm. Limited load to 25 passengers. Cost is $69 per person, $5 entry included in price. Final Drift is Sunday, April 7th 2019.
Cost to enter is $5 and will be taken at time of check-in. Entry must be paid for before boat departs. An entry is only valid for the day it is purchased. To enter on a different day, an addition entry ticket must be purchased.
- At the end of the derby, the top 5 anglers who catch the largest halibut (by weight) will receive the top 5 Cash Prizes – 1st place $1500, 2nd place $750 , 3rd Place $500 , 4th Place $250, and 5th Place $100
- $500 cash prize will go to the winner of the Dana Wharf Halibut Derby Fish Off on Sunday, April 7th, 2019. The Fish Off will be a free trip for the top 25 anglers who catch the top 25 halibut (by weight) during the Halibut Derby.
- Each month of the Derby, the angler who catches the largest halibut (by weight) that months will be awarded a $100 Dana Wharf gift card, a Daiwa rod/reel combo package worth $550, plus prizes from Hogan’s Bait & Tackle, Fishworks and a $100 Waterman’s harbor gift card. An overall value of $1,000! (No angler can win this prize more than once during the Derby.)
- Every angler entered in the Derby that catches a Halibut 15lbs or larger will win a $65 gift box filled with prizes from BD OUTDOORS. (Gift box will be mailed to the angler.)
- Each Drift Day every angler will be entered in a raffle to win a 3/4 day fishing trip with Dana Wharf. ($64 Value)
- Each Drift Day the JACKPOT winner for the day with the biggest halibut will receive a free HALIBUT DERBY shirt from Dana Wharf
Please read the full rules and eligibility requirements. Please note rules are subject to change.
View or download the 2018 Halibut Derby flyer and rules
*Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult on either the Halibut Drift Days or when buying a Halibut ticket on a 1/2 day or 3/4 day.
- TO BE ENTERED IN THE DERBY, YOU MUST BE ON A HALIBUT DRIFT DAY TRIP OR PAY A $5 ENTRY FEE ON A REGULAR ½ OR ¾ DAY OPEN PARTY TRIP!!! On regular ½ Day or ¾ Day Open Party trips, you must purchase your entry before the boat departs the dock. The $5 entry fee is included in the price on Halibut Drift Day trips. Sorry, no discounts for the Halibut Drift Days.
- Each paid ticket on a Halibut Drift Day is considered the angler’s entry into the derby for that day only. Each $5 entry on a regular ½ day or ¾ day is considered the angler’s entry into the derby for that day only.
- All anglers competing in the Derby and Fish Off must comply with all California Department of Fish and Game laws.
- Halibut must be caught on rod and reel in order to be eligible for the derby.
- Anglers must hook and land halibut with minimal crew assistance in order to be eligible for the Fish Off or for the Derby Prize Money. The crew may only assist with gaffing or netting the halibut. No hook and hands will be counted. Captain of the boat has final say as to the eligibility of the halibut. All disputes MUST be handled the same day as the halibut is caught.
- We will be targeting halibut all day on the Halibut Drift Day trips. This can include drifting or anchoring. On regular ½ day or ¾ open party trips, we may or may not be fishing in areas known for Halibut.
- The largest 5 halibut of the derby (by weight) will receive the prize money at the end of the derby. Should there be a tie; the money will be divided equally.
- The top 25 angler leader board will be visible on the Dana Wharf website. An angler may only have 1 space on the top 25 leader board. The angler’s heaviest halibut will be used in the case that the angler has multiple halibut.
- An additional daily jackpot on the boat will be available just as it is normally and entry is optional.
- All eligible halibut will be weighed and filleted aboard the boat.
- Anyone caught cheating in the tournament will forfeit all cash prizes and loose their position in the top 25 leader board immediately.
- There is a passenger minimum of 10 for any trip to depart.
- If a scheduled Halibut Drift Day trip is missed due to weather or other circumstances, it will not be made up.
- The $100 gift card and rod and reel prize cannot be won 2 months in a row, and in the event that the winner of the rod and reel does not live here it can not be shipped .
The Dana Wharf Halibut Derby Fish Off will be a FREE trip for the top 25 anglers who catch the top 25 halibut (by weight) between November 1st, 2018 and March 31, 2019. The trip will be rescheduled if there is poor weather.
- The largest halibut (by weight) caught on the Fish Off will receive a $500 cash prize. There will be no daily jackpot available on this trip.
- If no legal halibut are caught on the Fish Off, then the $500 will be split among ALL of the anglers on the Fish Off.
- In the case of a tie on the Fish Off, the largest halibut will be determined by weight AND length.
- Anglers must hook and land halibut with minimal crew assistance in order to be eligible for the Fish Off or for the Derby Prize Money. The crew may only assist with gaffing or netting the halibut. No hook and hands will be counted. Captain of the boat has final say as to the eligibility of the halibut. All disputes MUST be handled the day of the Fish Off.
- Halibut must be caught on rod and reel in order to be eligible.
- All anglers competing in the Derby and Fish Off must comply with all California and Federal Fish and Game laws.
- All eligible halibut will be weighed and filleted aboard the boat.
- There will be no alternates on the Fish Off. If one of the top 25 anglers cannot make the Fish Off, their position will not be filled.
This seems to be a pretty popular set up among our anglers. There are quite a few variations of this set up. I prefer the reverse dropper loop set-up with a 3 or 4 oz. torpedo sinker. This means short sinker leader with a longer 24 leader to the hook. The stinger hook set up is probably the best. Snell in a regular 1/0 hook about 10• from the end of the leader (this distance really depends on the size of the bait that is being used). Then tie a treble hook on the tag end of the leader to act as the stinger hook. You then hook the 1/0 hook through the nose of the bait and the treble hook down by the anal fin of the bait with 2 of the 3 hooks exposed. A vast majority of the halibut I’ve seen caught have jus the stinger hook in its mouth. Pretty effective.
Drifting is typically the best “method” as you can cover some water. But you can however have some success if you have this type of set up and try fishing different areas of the boat and not just fishing in the same spot on the boat.
This picture shows all kinds of crazy stuff like swivels and beads. There are now 3 line connections that can fail. It’s not really necessary. Some people swear by it, I think if you can tie a decent knot on your dropper loop than a swivel is not necessary. If you feel more comfortable with tying the same knot on all the connections to the swivel then go for it. It’s all preference.
~ Brian (Capt. Of the Sum Fun)
About Dana Wharf
Dana Wharf Sportfishing & Whale Watching is dedicated to helping locals and visitors alike enjoy the unique wonders of Dana Point Harbor and the Orange County coastline. The warm waters right out of Dana Point Harbor are flourishing with sea life including whales, dolphins, harbor seals, and California sea lions. Our thriving coastal waters provide bountiful fishing of sand bass, calico bass, halibut, bonito, yellowtail, yellowfin tuna, bluefin tuna, and dorado. Whether you’re looking for boat rentals in Dana Point to enjoy a private boat charter, sailboat or catamaran, coming for an awe-inspiring whale watching cruise or wanting to create memories onboard our sportfishing charters, one thing is for certain: your trip through the beautiful and scenic Orange County coast will be unforgettable. Dana Wharf is conveniently located in Dana Point, Orange County, just south of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach – about 30 minutes south of Disneyland, an hour south of Los Angeles and an hour north of San Diego.
Proud Partner of the World Cetacean Alliance
The World Cetacean Alliance (WCA) is the world’s largest Partnership working to protect whales, dolphins and porpoises (cetaceans). Partners of the WCA aim to conserve and protect cetaceans and their habitats in the world’s oceans, seas and rivers, to ensure their continued survival.