Anglers eat up halibut tournament


Mar 11, 2001
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Anglers eat up halibut tournament

March 26, 2001

By DAVE STREGE, The Orange County Register

The weather didn't cooperate and neither did the fish. Rain fell one morning. The water turned green. A small-craft warning canceled a day of fishing. And gale force winds had already postponed the event by a week.

Disastrous might be a fitting word to describe the inaugural Dana Point Halibut Tournament, but it wouldn't be accurate.

Successful is more apropos.

Tournament director Chris Badsey of FinnSeeker, a sportfishing manufacturer in Dana Point, called the weekend event unbelievable, especially considering the short amount of time he had to plan it.

The sponsors, convinced of the tournament's potential, pledged even more support for next year's event. The community was as eager to embrace it.

"Some said it was the best thing to happen to Dana Point," Badsey said.

Even with the postponement, the event drew 233 anglers in 84 boats and it paid out more than $10,000.

Only 16 halibut were weighed Saturday. The second day of the event was canceled when small-craft warnings persisted.

Fishing near Trestles, Team Raptor caught five legal halibut, weighed in three and was in the money on two.

John Yancey of San Clemente caught a 33-pound, 8-ounce halibut to lead Team Raptor to victory.

Gary Yancey of Mission Viejo added a 9-11 halibut giving the team $3,970 in winnings.

Steve Yancey of Capistrano Beach and Jim Reisberg of Laguna Beach rounded out the team, competing in a tournament for the first time.

"We'd have been fishing anyway even if there wasn't a tournament," Steve said. "We fish every weekend, generally."

The home-waters advantage paid off with the biggest halibut biting at 7 a.m.

"We were pretty sure that that would win or at least be in the money," Steve said.

Usually, the anglers catch halibut averaging 10 pounds or so, though they have caught them up to 45 pounds off the coast.

"I think we were just lucky," Steve said. "We catch fish that size, but we were lucky we caught it on the day the tournament was running."

The fish won handily. Second place was a 12-15 by Ken Breeling of Anaheim for Team Double Trouble. John Brooks of Laguna Niguel landed a 10-11 for a third-place for Team Top Gun.

Badsey was overwhelmed by the turnout, having anticipated 50-70 anglers.

He expects next year's event will rival the Santa Monica Bay and Marina del Rey halibut derbies.

"Based on e-mail and responses from people who said to count them in for next year, I can say we'll easily have 400 to 500 anglers next year," Badsey said. "Now we're on the map and we have a whole year to market the tournament. I foresee this as a big event."

The 2003 event is already scheduled for March 15-16. tagline tagline

d trees

Well-known member
Oct 27, 2001
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Jesse was that sunday ?? I knew we made the right call.d

D Sea

Well-known member
Oct 23, 2001
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it was a 2 day tournament that had been postponed previoulsy.  They fished Sat., but felt it was too risky to have the boats out on Sun.

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