• Homer anglers place four in top 10, earn nearly $14,000
By Sean Pearson
The view from the top of Baycrest Hill late Saturday morning looked a lot like the Saturday of last year’s Homer Winter King Salmon Tournament. The sky was fairly clear, the wind was blustery, and no boats were visible in the Bay.
It didn’t look good.
Luckily, the cause for concern was a false alarm, as apparently all 206 boats participating in this year’s tournament decided to fish a little further out; many trying their luck up around the bluff or across the Bay near Seldovia.
That luck certainly held out for angler Leszek Kuligowski of Anchorage, as seven hours of fishing netted him a total of $41,247. Kuligowski was one of 732 anglers (including six kayakers) participating in the Homer Chamber of Commerce’s 20th Winter King Salmon Tournament. His 35.10-pound king bested 161 other kings, and earned him $15,372. But it was his five boat side-bets that added another $25,875 to his total.
Fishing from his own boat, the F/V Glas Ply, Kuligowski also won the John Hillstrand Memorial Award for being the captain of the boat with the first-place fish. His monster king dwarfed the next highest finisher by nearly eight pounds.
Wasilla’s Chris Hollwedel reeled in the second-place king, which weighed in at 27.35 pounds and earned Hollwedel $10,248 for his efforts.
The third-place fish, a 25.45 king caught by Jim Morgan of Anchorage, also came with a $250 bonus, as it was also the largest white winter king landed for the tournament. Morgan’s fish earned him $8,052.
Homer angler Toras Fisk, 93, was the oldest to place, finishing seventh with his 23.25-pounder and reeling in $2,928. Fisk was fishing aboard the F/V Silver Beach.
Homer’s Wylie Donich, 16, finished in 10th place and earned $732 for his 20.65-pound king. He also won the $300 Bill Thompson Memorial Youth Award, sponsored by Bay Roamers Water Taxi.
Tourney organizer Jim Lavrakas said anglers came from all over Alaska, as well as a few Lower 48 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas and Washington.
Total poundage for the top 20 fish was more than 450 pounds.
1. Leszek Kuligowski, Anchorage, 35.10 pounds $15,372
2. Christopher Hollwedel, Wasilla, 27.35 pounds $10,248
3. Jim Morgan, Anchorage, 25.45 pounds $8,052
4. Rudolph J. Schoepke, Homer, 24.25 pounds $5,856
5. Russell Walls, Homer, 23.65 pounds $4,392
6. Edward O Heath, Anchorage, 23.50 pounds $3,660
7. Toras Fisk, Homer, 23.25 pounds $2,928
8. Shannon Bevegui, Anchorage, 22.00 pounds $2,196
9. Terry French, Anchorage, 20.80 pounds $1,464
10. Wylie Donich, Homer, 20.65 pounds $732
11. Lorraine Ahlquist, San Diego, Cali., 19.95 pounds
12. Jon Bartelds, Kenai, 19.90 pounds
13. Harold Ebersole, Eagle River, 19.75 pounds
14. Rob Larkey, Jr., Anchorage, 19.25 pounds
15. Dan Cuddy, Anchorage, 19 pounds
16. Arn E. Johnson, Homer, 18.85 pounds
17. Robert Rude, Homer, 18.80 pounds
18. Rudolph J. Schoepke, Homer, 18.75 pounds
19. Alan Gilbert, Anchorage, 18.60 pounds
20. Henry Riggs, Sterling, 18.60 pounds
White Winter King
Jim Morgan, Anchorage, 25.45 pounds, $250
Bill Thompson Youth Award
Wylie Donich, Homer, 20.65 pounds, $300
|Side Bet||— Winning Boat||— Representative||— Prize|
|$25||Alaskan Assassin||Diamond Bevegni||$693.75|
|$50||Sea Wolf||Jim Morgan||$2,062.50|
|$75||Sea Wolf||Jim Morgan||$3,093.75|
|$100||Glas Ply||Leszek Kuligowski||$6,900.00|
|$125||Glas Ply||Leszek Kuligowski||$4,687.50|
|$150||Glas Ply||Leszek Kuligowski||$6.075.00|
|$200||Glas Ply||Leszek Kuligowski||$5,400.00|
|$250||Glas Ply||Leszek Kuligowski||$2,812.50|
|$300||Thunder Bay||Richard Bagley||$900.00|
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