Out on the water with her mother and father, 6-year old Tegan Humphrey ended up pulling out of the water a 138.8 pound halibut, big enough to win the Lady Angler division of the Homer (Alaska) Jackpot Halibut Derby.
Not too bad a feat for the 40 pound youngster, besting the next closest competitor by 77 pounds. However, while her parents were impressed and proud, Tegan herself was a bit sad, it was a nice catch sure, but it was the wrong species.
“She was fishing for a mermaid, and she didn’t get what she wanted,” said Courtney Humphrey, her mom. “So she was a little disappointed.”
Having already caught a decent-sized chicken halibut earlier in the morning, Tegan rebaited her hook and cast again.
“No sooner did she hit the bottom, than that fish was on,” ship charter captain Rob Hyslip (left) said. “And it took off zinging line. Next thing I heard was, ‘I can’t crank it, I can’t crank it.’ “
Tegan’s father, Charles went over to help, and the battle lasted about 25 minutes. As he was reeling in the fish, Hyslip took out his sawed-off shotgun.
“You’re not going to shoot my fish,” she pleaded.
“Yeah,” Hyslip acknowledged. “She wasn’t thrilled at first. She didn’t really understand what was going on.”
Ultimately she relented and the Hyslip shot the fish in order to bring it on-board. While her father did the hard work in bringing it in, everyone agreed it was her fish, and the small angler was exhausted.
“She was completely tuckered out,” Courtney said. “I’ve got an awesome picture of her on the way back in, sleeping.”