Fishing / Dan Stanton : Weather Poor, but Angler Sets Halibut Derby Mark With 45-Pounder

Freakish weather plagued the Santa Monica Halibut Derby on Saturday and Sunday.

It was breezy, and swells curtailed full-day angling for most of the 1,800 who participated in the charity event.

Mike Rogalla of Buena Park, fishing with his brother Wayne from their 22-foot boat, caught a halibut that shattered all derby records.

Drifting close to shore off Torrance Beach, Rogalla, using a live anchovy for bait, hooked the derby winner that weighed in at 45 pounds, 1 ounce. The catch was good for a $1,200 prize.

Jim Goodwin of West Los Angeles finished second with his 29-pound, 8-ounce catch.

At the Marina del Rey weight station, 415 of the fish caught in the derby were big enough to qualify for the drawing of prizes at an April 15 banquet.

Anglers on Redondo Sportfishing's Sea Spray who qualified with catches longer than 23 inches and weighing up to 10 pounds: Mike Baker of Torrance, Rick Hawley of Redondo Beach, Hector Banuelos of Culver City, Tom Hopper of Venice and Melody Franks of Hermosa Beach.

John Bourget, chairman of the derby, said proceeds will again be donated to the Boys' Club of Santa Monica. Proceeds will also benefit the halibut hatchery.

Bourget said 250,000 halibut will soon be released from the King Harbor hatchery.

Fishing in his sea skiff, Rick Beirold of Avalon was using 20-pound test line with a live anchovy at the east end of Catalina Island near the kelp when he hooked a white sea bass. Unable to boat the fighting fish, he called on companion Bob Lee, who gaffed the 37-pound bass.

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