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Alaska angler catches same 200-pound halibut twice

July 6, 2010 | 10:45 am

Fairbanks, Alaska, resident Melody Dalbec with her twice-caught halibut. An Alaska angler had luck on her side recently when she landed the same 200-pound halibut not once, but twice to take top prize in a halibut fishing derby.

Fairbanks resident Melody Dalbec was on a charter fishing trip June 19 out of Valdez, Alaska, with her husband, Randy, when she hooked the fish. She was able to get it to the side of the vessel, where the captain harpooned it, but the halibut ran under the boat and broke the line.

She started fishing again, and soon Dalbec, her husband and another angler got their lines tangled and had to reel them in. And there was the 200-pounder, back on Dalbec's line beneath the tangle. 

"Sure as tootin', it was my fish," Dalbec told the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

The fish, weighing in at half-pound shy of 200 pounds, was the biggest halibut caught during the Valdez Fish Derbies 11-day "Halibut Hullabaloo" tournament, earning Dalbec two tickets anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. The fish also gave Dalbec the lead in the overall Halibut Derby, and will be worth an additional $15,000 grand prize if it holds up as the largest caught until the contest ends on Sept. 5.

Even if she doesn't garner the top prize, Dalbec certainly is a winner, with an original fishing tale to tell.

"I’m just tickled," Dalbec said. "It's a story I’ll tell my grandkids forever."

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Fairbanks, Alaska, resident Melody Dalbec with her twice-caught halibut. Credit: Valdez Fish Derbies

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